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TKB Review: 2013 Cabrinha Switchblade

2013-cabrinha-0047

Cabrinha Switchblade
Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16m
Sizes Tested: 11m

Cabrinha Says:

There are very few cases in the world of kite design where high performance and ease of use collide. The Switchblade is just one of those rare cases. The Switchblade is the worlds premier wakestyle kite. Powering the likes of Andre Phillip to legendary status in his pursuit of core wakestyle riding. One of the elements that make this kite so perfect for wakestyle riding AND all round freestyle riding is its predictability. It has pitch perfect balance when riding unhooked and a light bar pressure when riding hooked in. The Switchblade has undergone a few strategic improvements in 2013 to enhance its efficiency and turning speed (especially in the larger sizes) without compromising the legendary “feel” that has made the Switchblade the world’s best selling kite model.

Our Testers Say:

“Simple bar, very stable and solid feeling kite. Great jumping,” Kirstyn O’Brien.

“Stable, comfortable, and good jumping performance. Medium turning speed and easy to get upwind on,” Andy Sologub.

“Great intermediate kite with a unique safety system. Fairly slow turning but kite delivers good steady pull through turns,” Joe Bharat.

“Very stable and easy to fly with light/medium bar pressure. Feels very comfortable,” Marko Bartscherer.

Meet the 2013 TKB Test Team.

TKB Says:

The Switchblade is a medium aspect 5-strut kite marketed as an all-around performance kite. New for 2013 Cabrinha has introduced a new large-diameter inflation valve that is easier to use than the previous Cabrinha valve. The bridle is adjustable to change bar pressure and depower throw. Our testers liked the Switchblade’s stability, great jumping performance, easy upwind performance, and ease of use.

While the Switchblade’s handling feels direct, turns are not very fast. Compared to previous versions of the Switchblade the bar pressure has been lightened significantly, but there is still enough to feel the kite. Compared to the Cabrinha Vector the Switchblade has better upwind and jumping performce and lighter bar pressure but turns slower than the Vector.

2013-cabrinha-0253

The Switchblade uses the 2013 Quicklink control bar. Our 11m test kite used the 55cm bar. The Quicklink features a plastic-coated depower line, above-bar trim adjusters, below-bar swivel, soft ends, and a quick release that has been redesigned for 2013 to be easier to reassemble. The unique trim adjusters use a spring to keep the ends near the rider and there is never any slack line in the system after it’s been adjusted.

Pros:

  • Very easy to fly and stable with great kite feedback.
  • Great jumping performance.
  • Great all-around freeride performance.

Cons:

  • Not an especially fast-turning kite.

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