If you are responsible for looking after a lot of gadgets or cable management is an important part of your job, then you might spend a good proportion of your day detangling cables.

Well you would, unless you knew about this special roadie technique for wrapping cables.

Roadies spend their working lives transporting and looking after thousands of pounds of equipment, including lots of expensive cables like microphone chords.

Road crews have changed a lot since the days of Led Zeppelin’s Richard Cole and his infamous on-tour antics. But the fundamentals of looking after equipment have stayed the same, apart from having fewer TVs thrown out of windows nowadays.

The roadie technique for cable wrapping is quick to learn and saves hours of frustrating detangling.

Wrapping cables up in the normal way - where you simply coil it around your hand or the length of your forearm – causes cables to tangle up when they are unwound.

It also causes kinks in the cable and can limit its lifespan.

The roadie method works on all sorts of cables, particularly long ones like extension cables and network cables. But it can also be used on shorter cables and yes, even on your headphones and phone charger.

The roadie ‘over-under’ method

Roadies and TV crews coil and uncoil hundreds of meters of cable daily.

Whether it’s expensive microphone chords that need to be protected or television camera cables that have a tendency to knot up and the worst possible moment, the over-under method keeps the show on the road.

It’s not very complicated. Holding one end of the cable in one hand, use your other hand to make a loop in the normal way, then grab the next piece of cable with your hand upside down and make an inverted loop. Repeat this process until the whole cable is wrapped up.  

The over under cable wrapping method will take slightly longer initially to wrap your cables, but it will save countless hours when it comes to detangling your cables. And you will speed up once you get the hang of it.

Once you have wrapped up your cable make sure you tie a suitable cable tie around the group of cables to prevent them from coming unstuck.

Here’s a video showing you how to do it.