Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 7, 9, 12m
The Switchblade is back with over 12 years of design and composition refinements. Evolving into an icon, the Switchblade sits at the heart of our kite range where style and performance are seamlessly interwoven. The five strut design has distinct segments that hold the canopy true to its intended shape, increasing the kite’s performance regardless of the wind conditions or angle of attack. The wide ranges of attack angles give the SB the incredibly powerful, predictable pull it is famous for. Unmatched in its power, performance and craftsmanship, the SB unapologetically creates the ultimate kiting experience.
Visit for more info: www.cabrinhakites.com/kite/switchblade.html
Our Testers Say:
“The Switchblade is durable, reliable and easy to fly. It’s perfect for any kiter who just wants some good ol’ fun.” // Jabe Harpole.
“The Cadillac of kites; big engine, smooth ride.” // Dray Murray.
“Grunty and smooth with consistent power through turns.” // Jon Dixon.
The Switchblade has always been a top performer at Tkb’s Test Week and the 2017 model once again made a positive impression on our team. The 2017 Switchblade is a 5-strut SLE with swept back wingtips that Cabrinha markets as a high performance freeride kite. It uses a large diameter bayonet style inflation valve that requires no nozzle on the end of your pump hose for a quick and easy pump up. There’s two wingtip steering settings to choose between shorter depower/direct steering and long depower stroke/light steering impulse and the front bridle has a single setting with one pulley. Testers highlighted the Switchblade’s extremely reliable relaunch ability from deep within the wind window — a simple pull on one side of the bar would flip up a wingtip and the kite would taxi to a side position where it would launch every time. They also found the Switchblade’s low end grunt impressive, as it stayed rock solid in the sky while getting them through the low wind lulls with ease. The power delivery over the sheeting throw is predictable and progressive while the precise steering response make load and pop super easy and helped to deliver some of the most explosive big airs of the test. Testers recommended the Switchblade as an excellent choice for those that crossover between general big air freeride and freestyle.
For this year’s test Cabrinha sent us three options each outfitted with the Fireball system: 1) Overdrive 1X with Recoil (Adjustable bar ends with spring/tuning strap) 2) Overdrive 1X with Trim Lite (Adjustable bar ends with cam cleat tuning) and 3) 1X with Trim Lite.
The Fireball system offers a proprietary ball and socket connection between the control bar and your harness. Most testers chose to use the supplied NP harnesses with the Fireball spreader bar attached. The Fireball brings the pivot point between harness and kite closer to your body which tended to reduce the spreader bar from ratcheting upward into your ribs and reduced the harness’ propensity to rotate. Some testers praised the Fireball for keeping the throw close to the body and for making back rolls and toeside riding easier and more comfortable. The Fireball is a fairly clean push away quick release with a below the bar hand swivel that doubles as a release guard. The quick release handle has a notch similar to last year’s that locks the handle in the open position for an easier reset in the water. While some testers were indifferent or resistant to adopting a new harness system, the one very clear advantage of the Fireball is doing away with the traditional chicken loop and donkey dick system and it’s potential to create a false or “foul hooked” situation in which the bar becomes unhooked seconds after launch or midway through a session. If you’ve ever seen a beginner negotiate the perils of a foul hooked situation on a rock studded beach, then you’d know that the safety feature of the Fireball sells itself.
The Overdrive 1X with Recoil is a dual adjustable length bar (48cm/56cm or 57cm/65cm) that riders can adjust on the water. The Recoil features a streamlined single center-line safety depower system, low V, and a fixed length durable plastic sheeting/throw line which combines above the bar tuning with longer travel throw while keeping controls well within the rider’s reach by using extension handles. The plastic depower/throw line doesn’t include an adjustable stopper but the spring loaded controls act to keep the bar within reach when let go. The center lines end in a knot and the outside lines end in loops. Testers commented on the Overdrive 1X’s slightly thicker grip diameter and liked the rubber texture of the hand grip.
The Overdrive 1X with Trim Lite is a dual adjustable length bar (48cm/56cm or 57cm/65cm) that riders can adjust on the water. This bar features a streamlined single center-line safety depower system, low V, and a fixed length durable plastic sheeting/throw line which combines above the bar tuning via a cam cleat. This is likely Cabrinha’s answer to those riders that prefer a simpler bar layout than the spring/tuning strap (Recoil version). The center lines end in a knot and the outside lines end in loops. Testers commented on the 1X’s slightly thicker grip diameter and liked the rubber texture of the hand grip.
The 1X with Trim Lite is a fixed length bar (44cm, 52cm and 60cm) that features a streamlined single center-line safety depower system, low V, and a fixed length durable plastic sheeting/throw line which combines above the bar tuning via a cam cleat (another option to Cabrinha’s Recoil system). The center lines end in a knot and the outside lines end in loops. Compared to the adjustable bar ends of the Overdrive, the 1X with Trim Lite is overall lighter and requires smaller floats. Testers commented on the 1X’s slightly thicker grip diameter and liked the rubber texture of the hand grip. Cabrinha also offers this bar’s adjustable length bar ends (Overdrive) with the Trim Lite simplified cam cleat tuning system instead of the spring/tuning strap/extensions of the Recoil tuning system.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.cabrinhakites.com/controlsystems/overview.html