Sizes Available: 13, 15, 17, 19m
Sizes Tested: 13, 19m
The Contra is perfect for any rider that wants to extend their game into the light wind arena with a responsive, light wind kite.
Light wind used to be considered the archenemy of kiteboarding. That was until Cabrinha introduced the Contra light wind kite with its unmatched efficiency and performance combination. Every riding style and discipline now has a kite to bridge your riding into the light wind arena.
The Contra’s lightweight 3-strut hybrid design performs incredible things in what used to be known as the unrideable realm. A true light wind performer in any and all riding categories.
Visit for more info: www.cabrinhakites.com/collections/kites/products/contra
Our Testers Say:
“Easy flying, light bar pressure, good relaunch, with middle of the road turning speed and really good depower.” // Cam Lewis
“Good pull while handling gusts extremely well. Stable kite, not super fast turning but user-friendly intuitive flying; let’s you do what you want to do in light wind, great kite for light wind progression.” // Bryan Waldberg
“Much lighter weight construction than model from two years ago, really good power, light bar pressure, slower turning speed but will keep you off the beach on light wind days and you will actually have fun using it!” // Kristin Vincenzo
The Contra scored rave reviews this year as a dedicated light wind weapon to keep you going on your twin tip or surfboard when the wind hits foilboarding conditions. Designed with a 3-strut low to medium aspect canopy, the Contra offers a fixed single setting front bridle with two attachment settings on the wingtips to choose between “lighter steering impulse/increased depower travel” or with the farther forward setting B, “direct steering/shorter depower travel.” The Contra comes with Cabrinha’s large diameter bayonet style inflation valve that requires no nozzle on the end of your standard pump hose for a quick and easy pump up. The front bridle connection points end in a knot and the wingtip pigtails end in a loop. The Contra is a super stable kite with fairly crisp bar dynamics for its larger size. The Contra sports a linear power progression along the throw of the bar and felt extremely resistant to over-sheeting and stalling even in the lighter wind sessions. The Contra sits deeper in the window with loads of the grunty pull that you would expect from a large low-wind kite, yet it was very usable power because of the kites surprisingly large amount of depower. The ability to release that power from the canopy made the grunt very usable for staying upwind and at all times served up a comfortable ride. The Contra’s steering arc was wider because of the size, but the steering response was quite good for a kite of its size. The bar pressure surprised us with light to medium tension which we did not anticipate, and is particularly notable because it comes with good feedback and fairly quick inputs to the kite. Overall, testers were really impressed with the Contra in both the 13m and 19m sizes and hailed it as an excellent choice for those not ready to submit to the foilboard for light wind sessions.
This year we tested the Contra with three bars, firstly the 1X with Trimlite (non-adjustable bar ends with above the bar cleat), secondly the Overdrive 1X with Trimlite (on-the-fly adjustable bar ends with above the bar cleat) and finally the Overdrive 1X with Recoil.
The Overdrive 1X with Trim Lite is a dual adjustable length bar (48cm/56cm) that riders can adjust on the water while riding. This bar features a streamlined single center-line safety depower system, low V, and a fixed length PU-coated sheeting/throw line which combines above the bar tuning via a cam cleat. The quick release is a clean system which integrates a below the bar hand swivel which doubles as a quick release travel guard and an easy to grab (white colored) push away quick release handle. With a little bit of practice, you can get the quick release handle to lock open with the gate in the open position when pointed down. When you insert the end of the loop back into the release you can just nudge the release handle and it closes. For most riders it is probably considered a two-handed proposition, but with practice and proper orientation it becomes a fluid and reliable process (some testers patted themselves on the back for proving the release can be opened and reset with a single hand…albeit with practice and not in the water and under fire). The Overdrive system is a fairly straightforward design for adjusting the bar length on the fly. It can be done on the water, but it does require two hands, one to hold the bar in place, a second hand to pull on the small pull tab that releases the lock. It then takes two hands to shift and lock the bar ends into the narrow or wide position.
When it comes to tuning the kite, the Overdrive 1X can come with either the Trimlite (above bar cleat) or the Recoil system (above bar power strap with extension handles). For those riders that prefer a simpler bar layout the Trimlite cleat system is probably the better option. Many testers commented on the extra weight and complexity of the Recoil system, but testers with shorter arms noted that it does deliver the tuning controls closer within reach.
For all the Cabrinha control bars, the center lines end in a knot, the outside lines end in loops and the bar ends are padded for those chaotic wipeouts. The floats are integrated and fairly unobtrusive and while the bar bungees are not retractable they do have a groove that stow away while riding to keep them from flapping about. Testers commented on the 1X’s slightly thicker grip diameter and liked the rubber texture of the hand grip. The adjustable Overdrive bar ends don’t feature adjustable length outside lines like the 1x Trimlitel this is mostly likely because the bar ends have the Overdrive mechanism taking up much of the bar end space.1X with Trim Lite – We were also given the 1X with Trim Lite which 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 (the alternative power control option to Cabrinha’s Recoil system). The center lines end in a knot and the outside lines end in loops. The outside lines are adjustable; simply pull the outside line through a small gap in the side of the integrated bar floats and you can adjust between three knots (stock is on shortest setting). Compared to the adjustable bar ends of the Overdrive, the 1X with Trim Lite is overall a lighter bar and requires smaller more streamlined floats. Testers commented on the 1X’s slightly thicker grip diameter, symmetrical in the hand, and liked the rubber texture of the hand grip. When it comes to bars, everyone is a critic, and Cabrinha has three great options to address just about everyone’s needs.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.cabrinhakites.com/products/1x-with-trimlite
With the help of 14 testers from all walks of kiteboarding, Tkb’s staff assembled detailed gear reviews with objective performance criteria of the latest 2019 kites, twin tips and foilboards all packed into one neat and tidy 180-page digital package. Get all the reviews in convenient digital guide here: https://www.thekiteboarder.com/product/2019-freeride-gear-review-guide/