Down Loop S-Bend Kitesurfing Technique

Down Loop S-Bend

Technique / Advanced


We’re throwing this in just in time for those winter gusts and/or trips abroad. We’ve noticed quite a bit of down looping this summer, and this is a fairly simple add-on. In itself the move opens up a plethora of possibilities, done super powered up it can deliver some seriously arching height, looks great off a wave and is a real crowd pleaser when thrown to blind.

Not wishing to state the obvious (but we will), it’s more than a fine idea to be happily pulling unhooked tricks such as raleys, down-loops, f16s and to be honest the ability to s-bend wouldn’t hurt either. The chances are that you will be landing with speed and a looping kite, so you’ll need a lot of space for sticking it and crashing it. If the wind has any onshore make sure you’re far, far out, as the last thing you’ll need is a broken kite or injured beach goer. Also respect those other kiters; it’s no fun crashing because you’re trying to avoid some fruit loop charging downwind with a hyperactive kite doing mach 10.… Deep water is also good. Needless to say bow-like depower or a 5th line are a must for the more abortive attempts.

The Down Loop

The kite down loops when it is sent with the direction of travel by being somewhat aggressive on the front hand’s side of the bar. It is best to start with the kite at 12 o’clock. This will give you more lift, more time to react, and more chance of landing. To loop the kite you’ll need to adopt an over-under pole grip on the leading side of the bar. To do this once you have unhooked, with your hands centred on the bar, you will release your back hand, reach underneath your front hand and grab the bar with your palm facing up (see pics A and B).

The S-bend

An s-bend is the most effective way of completing a pop forward rotation when powered. The primary difference between this and a standard front loop is the take off. When learning the front loop we usually throw our head and front shoulder down towards the water, bending and folding in the process, as if we were roley-poleying. Because we have sent the kite, it gives us the necessary lift. To complete an s-bend, when we are using pop rather than the kite, we extend our spine by lifting our trailing shoulder and looking back. As we are not throwing ourselves down at the water, but actually extending upwards we produce a bit of extra height, which in turn enables us to rotate further and more quickly, landing slightly off the wind with our feet and board underneath us. If you try popping a front loop type of rotation with the kite low, you invariably land hard on the crown jewels with the board in front of you. Not a good option.

The Full Monty

Like many moves your first attempts at this are best when you’re not clinging onto your bar for dear life. Larger kites will give more lift and time, smaller kites will turn more quickly, so middle of the road relative to your weight would be ideal. The key to down looping is timing, more precisely going early.

The approach needs to be controlled so that you can pre-empt what is about to happen. Think back to learning the down loop and reminisce how the kite would loop whilst you just got pulled off down wind. If your kite is so quick that it’s already completed a loop and you haven’t had time to say “crikey”, try something slower. If you are not getting much lift from your down-loops, keep practicing them following the sequences here, but forget the s-bend.

Following Sequence A

This all happens very quickly and is the preparation of popping up before the kite pulls too hard. The longer you take the further the kite will have moved, making it harder to complete the move before the kite starts a second rotation.

What’s Happening?

In a perfect world, as you land you will see your kite once again diving down towards the sea. Which means that you can grab the back of the bar and pull the kite out of its dive as you hook in.

It’s not uncommon that the kite is further around another loop than you would hope. If this is the case follow it out toe side and transform the whole shindig into a lovely transition.

There are two reasons for the kite doing this:

Top Tips

If you are having trouble finishing your rotation, try starting with the kite higher. It’s fairly unnatural to stick the kite at 12 o’clock.

Once you’re confident try using more power. That is to say don’t pull the trim strap as far down as you usually would for an unhooked move.

Bowsexuals should eventually be doing this without pulling on any trim. In fact we actually let the trim off to move the bar further away from us than we would normally ride for kite loops!

Both of the above will result in it being harder to unhook, so head downwind a tad more to release the tension in your chicken loop.
More power in the kite should give you a slower rotation, but a more fearsome, guns blazing downwind yank. Marvellous.

Do you enjoy reading IKSURFMAG, using our App and website? We now need your support to keep IKSURFMAG going. Support IKSURFMAG from as little as £2 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you!


This technique article was in Issue 1 of IKSURFMAG.



Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop to Blind with Air Pass
Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop to Blind with Air Pass
Back Loop to Blind with Air Pass

After last issue’s take on the back loop to blind we thought it only fair to continue on from where we left off. Needless to say you really should be sticking the blind landing on your back loop before moving on to this cherub. That said the air pass on this trick is heavily dependant on timing and technique, not…

Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop to Blind with Surface Pass
Kitesurfing Technique - Back Loop to Blind with Surface Pass
Back Loop to Blind with Surface Pass

For the truly courageous amongst you our final move this issue is a real gem. Not only is a back to blind with a surface pass, see Video 1 out an absolute show of control and a beautiful move in it’s own right, it is also the final building block to a couple of world class air pass moves. Once…

Kitesurfing Technique - Back Mobe
Kitesurfing Technique - Back Mobe
Back Mobe

Seeing as its getting much warmer up this way, and holding onto the bar is now genuinely possible and even enjoyable, we thought it high time to throw a real cherub of a move at you aspiring unhooked freestylers. So here and beyond lies the A-Z of how to learn the jolly Back Mobe. Just to clarify this is not…

By Christian and Karine
Christian and Karine have been working together as a coaching team, running improver to advanced kitesurfing clinics since 2003.

Problems? Ask Below


Subscribe it's Free!

Win a Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement this issue in our FREE subscriber prize draw.

By subscribing you will not only be first to read the mag but automatically entered into the prize draw every issue!

Draw closes on Wed 10th Apr, 2019
First name is required.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Subscribe Another
Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement

Issue 72 Wed 6th Feb, 2019

Compact Series Surfboard from ODO Kiteboarding


Issue 71 Fri 7th Dec, 2018

A 2019 Mercury 6/4 Freezip and Vex Harness from Prolimit


Issue 70 Mon 8th Oct, 2018

CrazyFly Raptor LTD Neon Board


Issue 69 Tue 7th Aug, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera


Issue 68 Tue 12th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera


Issue 67 Wed 11th Apr, 2018

Mystic Majestic X Harness


Issue 66 Fri 9th Feb, 2018

6m Flysurfer Stoke


Issue 65 Tue 12th Dec, 2017

7m Cabrinha Drifter + Fireball Bar Set Up


Issue 64 Wed 18th Oct, 2017

Board You Desire From Shinn


Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar


Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera


Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha


Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite


Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force


Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard


Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera


Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!


Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite


Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board


Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board


Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar


Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar


Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite


Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses


Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag


Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!


Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!


Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board


Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard


Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition


Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System


Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones


Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite


Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo


Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness


Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board


  1. The Promotion is organised by IKSURFMAG and the participating brand stated on the subscribe page. You are providing your information to IKSURFMAG, not the participating brand. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the Promotion and notifying you when new issues of our totally free magazine are released. We will never sell or supply your details to any 3rd parties.
  2. You can opt out of any future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link within the footer of the email at any time.
  3. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the closing date shown. Previous winners will not be eligible to win again until at least three new Promotions have run.
  4. Winners must reply to our email within two weeks or a new winner will be drawn. Please check all spam folders to avoid loosing out.
  5. Participants only need to enter once in order to be eligible for all future prize draws.

Share - Down Loop S-Bend