This year there are some exciting changes at Cabrinha with long time athlete and camera-creative, James Boulding, taking lead of marketing at a time when the Maui-based brand is returning to its roots. This year the Cabrinha team is pumping out all new kite designs such as the Moto kite and an entirely new foil lineup that tackles the infinite dimensions of the burgeoning kite foilboarding scene.
THE MOTO IS ALL NEW FOR THIS YEAR. HOW DOES THIS KITE’S PERFORMANCE FIT WITH CABRINHA’S EXISTING LINE OF SWITCHBLADE, FX AND DRIFTER KITES?
The Moto is a well-balanced, lightweight, nimble all around kite. It is easy to fly due to its incredible stability in the air with a light and comfortable bar feel. The sweet spot on the bar is just right to give the rider a solid feel in their hands while not having to reach too far for good de-power. The steering is fast and direct but delivering some predictable pull to get you up and going in lighter winds. The kite is fast through the sky and flies forward well, providing exceptional upwind performance. The power is solid and stable and the kite flies stable when ridden towards it making it work great in the waves and for foilboarding. What’s really exciting about the Moto is its new pure arc technology which adds segments to the leading edge, making the canopy more of a curve where it joins the leading edge. This means the leading edge and canopy shape are now in near perfect harmony making the kite more efficient for its size and offering riders an overall smoother feeling. The Moto is an incredibly versatile surf, freeride and foiling kite. It’s the perfect one kite quiver if you are into any of these disciplines. With big developments in foil design and production this kite is sure to help you get the most out of riding a foil.
WHAT CAN LONGSTANDING FANS OF THE SWITCHBLADE, FX AND DRIFTER EXPECT FOR CHANGES IN 2019?
The FX has had some bridle tweaking to it with new attachment tow points on the leading edge. There’s some extra freestyle performance available for freestyle riders looking for more slack on unhooked tricks by using the ‘more slack’ tow point. And because it’s still the same badass boosting, kitelooping machine, for this, riders will probably favor the ‘more depower’ tow point on the leading edge or the middle knot for a good mix of everything. The Switchblade remains the absolute legendary kite that it is. It’s predictable, smooth park and ride handling remains at the forefront and its versatility and performance in the freeride arena puts it at the top, bar none. The Drifter keeps up its mantle as the best wave kite in the industry with its famous slackline drift that is refined each year with its flexibility to be adjusted for onshore and offshore wind conditions. The Moto has crossed over into its territory a little this year but for pure wave action, the Drifter is still king and should be the number one choice for waves.
THIS IS A BIG YEAR FOR CABRINHA’S FOILBOARDING LINEUP WITH TWO COMPLETELY REDESIGNED FOIL SETUPS AND TWO BOARD OFFERINGS. HOW SHOULD USERS CHOOSE BETWEEN THE SPEED AND THE LIFT VERSIONS OF THE HI:RISE FOIL SETUP?
In a nutshell, the Lift’s geometry focuses on ‘stability and control’ vs. the ‘speed and turning’ you get with the Speed model. Owners of the Lift will enjoy its early lift off and stability at a wide range of speeds. It is a cruising machine; add any type of wave and it is your vehicle for uncontrollable fun. Those new to foilboarding will appreciate the Lift’s attributes over the Speed. The Speed is faster and more maneuverable. It can carve tight radius turns and is immensely stable at high speeds. Cabrinha doesn’t actually focus too heavily on the high performance and speed segment of foiling, but rather strives to design products that are fun, stable and easy to ride, so that you do not have to worry about always trying to win the ‘arms race’ and can just focus on having fun. However, there is a lot happening in foil development and we work with both additive manufacturing technologies to do fast turnaround on prototypes as well as more conventional CNC machining. Cabrinha’s main innovation this year is in the construction category with some of the lightest and most durable wings in the industry. Much of this comes from further development of the technology used in twin tip kiteboards. This year our extended fuselage is 20% lighter and offers improved stability and hydrodynamics.
On the board front, the X:Breed foilboard joins the range to compliment the popular Double Agent board. As a surfboard, the X:Breed crosses seamlessly between surfing and freestyle but then it has the ability to attach to any of our Hi-Rise hydrofoils. The extra volume in this board offers a point of difference to the twin tip construction you will find in the Double Agent. The extra volume of the X:Breed foil helps when you’re looking to master tacks and jibes, whereas the construction of the Double Agent deck allows it to easily sit on its side in the water which is handy for waterstarts when learning.
HOW DO YOU STEER USERS BETWEEN THE WOOD AND CARBON VERSIONS OF YOUR TWIN TIP MODELS AND HOW DOES EACH OF THE MODELS TAILOR TO THE VARIOUS STYLES AND SKILL LEVEL OF RIDING? WHAT ARE THE MAIN PERFORMANCE AND COMFORT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE STANDARD H1 FOOTSTRAP AND PAD SYSTEM AND THE ALL NEW H20?
The main difference between the carbon and wood models is in their response and the conditions they excel in. Both carbon boards add that extra bit when ridden in perfect conditions. In flat water both these boards are the pinnacle of freestyle and freeride kiteboarding. The snappy reflex from the carbon board when it pops off the water adds more pop to the trick and more height in the jumps. The wood boards offer a bit more comfort, especially when conditions are choppy or less than perfect.
The new H20 binding system has been an eagerly awaited product brimming with technical features. It’s been designed with the user in mind and the diversity of the human anatomy, so the main standout feature is adjustability. We approached this product with the goal of increased ease of use. There are four overall adjustments that need to be considered in the design and this is what makes the H20 a truly unique strap.
Before even mounting the binding, you should determine whether you are looking for comfort or performance; this in turn will help you choose which heel insert to use. There is a soft comfort-orientated option as well as a stiffer higher impact option for riders looking to perform tricks with heavier landings. Next you can modify the 360strap, so that you have a wrinkle-free, secure fit. This is one area where if you use booties you can already pre-set the strap for a bigger space. The eyes and wings can be modified to give the desired comfort characteristics. The various combination of ‘eye’ and ‘wings’ positions help tailor the fit for all sizes and shape of feet. This is where there is great potential to maximize the comfort and fit. With the four degree incremental adjustments of up to 28 degrees, you can choose the perfect angle for your desired stance.
WHAT IS NEW IN THE SURFBOARD DEPARTMENT FOR 2019?
The 2019 surf collection is a complete range of surfboards with two new models to advance some of the emerging styles of free surfing. At one end of the spectrum is our all-new Cutlass surf freestyle model with its fast and loose quad fin setup that’s perfect for generating speed in small to mid-sized surf. The lower rocker line and quad fin set up promotes quick acceleration and a tight turning radius. The Cutlass planes quickly and accelerates out of every turn, but we struck the perfect length to width balance in order to allow for better control at higher speeds. The result is an incredibly fun freestyle / surfboard that feels super charged in the surf and allows you to ride fast and hard when the wind is less than perfect. Once in the air the increased surface area in the nose provides some push back to keep the board stuck to your feet during complex strapless maneuvers. When it comes to surf freestyle, the Cutlass’ design is ideal for a load and pop routine with its wide point slightly forward of center which lets you load up and spring into your airs.
The all new X:Breed ‘Crossbreed’ thruster surfboard sits perfectly between the S:Quad and the Spade. Whereas the narrow width and pulled nose of the S:Quad is favorable to down the line surfing, the X:Breed’s symmetrical tip and tail design combines the best of the surf and freestyle worlds into one board. Being our second narrowest surfboard the X:Breed can handle surf of any size. But the squashed nose and tail makes for a seamless transition from surfing to freestyle. The wide nose creates a longer virtual waterline which means that each given size will ride like a slightly longer board. In the air the increased area of the nose helps to keep the board pressed to your feet. With the twin tip shape you can land it forwards, backwards or any way you like! It’s worth mentioning that every board in the line has our signature step rail which does two important things. The step allows for a thin rail while distributing volume throughout the board. The step rail also allows us to create a double concave deck shape that delivers greater control when riding strapless.