TESTED: 9, 11m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16m
TESTED IN: La Ventana 21-25 knots, large chop
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
The 2011 Spitfire is our latest SLE C-shaped hybrid that’s guaranteed to make you fall in love with Caution all over again. Our R&D team was so confident that the 2011 Spitfire will be one of those epic models that offers our customers breakthrough performance, ease of use, and durability that we named it after our classic C-kite that first earned Caution it’s notoriety for durability and performance in the old school days. The 2011 Spitfire blends our two kite platforms from 2010 into one well balanced, high performance wing that delivers super stable “no way this thing’s falling out of the sky” flying characteristics merged with fast turning and across the window flying speed. In terms of construction, the 2011 Spitfire continues in the legacy of Caution’s bulletproof design with some additional features to increase performance and durability. Check out the 2011 Spitfire, the flame continues strong.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:
Out of the Box: Our first impression when unrolling the Spitfire is that this kite is built to take a beating. It’s a five-strut one pump kite with a compact bridle. Both the front and rear bridles use one pulley per side, but Caution uses a unique molded block with no moving parts, meaning that it is unaffected by sand and salt. The rear bridle is adjustable and each strut features a small zipper near the front, a welcomed addition to make removing and installing bladders much easier. Each strut has a unique taper at the trailing edge, which Caution claims offers a cleaner airflow off the trailing edge. The strut to leading edge connections are unique in that they are solid back and forth yet allow the strut to move side to side, something Caution says allows the kite to withstand severe impacts.
The 2011 Caution Bar features a push-away quick release (with integrated swivel), an above-bar depower strap, 24m braided Dyneema lines, and adjustable (47-56 cm) ends. The bar feels slightly thicker than most bars.
On the Water: The Spitfire is a very stable, well-behaved, and direct-feeling kite. Turns initiate immediately and it’s an easy kite to fly without having to look at it, thanks to the excellent bar feedback. The Spitfire is a grunty kite that goes upwind well and turns fast. Bar pressure is in the medium to medium-heavy range. Relaunching is easy and we were impressed by how stable the canopy of the kite is with a minimum of distortion or fluttering. The Spitfire depowers very well within a relatively short amount of bar travel. Jumping performance is good and predictable with the Spitfire providing floaty jumps with a lot of hang time. When riding downwind, the Spitfire remains stable through carves, drifting downwind with the rider and is always ready to turn on command.
- The Spitfire is built to Caution’s legendary surf-tough construction standards and is meant to take a beating.
- Excellent stability and downwind drift make this kite very well-suited for wave riding.
- The 2011 control bar is a little thicker than usual, which may take some getting used to for some riders.
- Bar pressure might be a little high for some riders who prefer kites with very light bar pressure.
The Caution crew spends most of their time in the waves, and our impression is that the Spitfire is a kite that excels in the waves. Its turning is fast and direct and the Spitfire gives very good feedback so you always know where it is. The bar pressure may be a little high for riders who prefer a light bar pressure, but the pressure is nowhere near excessive. It’s stability and responsiveness when riding downwind is excellent. This kite has enough all-around performance to satisfy most riders, but where it will really shine is in the surf.
- Move the rear line bridle forward to slow down turning speed, move it back to speed up turning.
- In light conditions move the back lines to the middle or top knot to get a little more power.
“From the moment I had it in my hands, I was immediately in tune with this kite. It had super smooth power, responsive turning, boosted big, and was super easy to relaunch.” – Marina Chang, 130 lbs., All-Around Kiter