With a strong legacy in kiteboarding, 2020 marks the celebration of Cabrinha’s 20th product collection. New materials, construction techniques and products highlight the 2020 lineup along with an improved Contra, Cabrinha’s light wind session saver which has consistently scored high marks in both Tkb’s freeride and light wind annual gear tests. As Cabrinha readies itself to kick off the next 20 years in the industry, James Boulding walks us through the highlights of what’s coming down the line.


AT THE AWSI INDUSTRY SHOW IN HOOD RIVER THIS AUGUST, WE WERE IMPRESSED WITH THE CRISPY NEW FEEL AND SOUND OF CABRINHA’S NEW NANO RIPSTOP MATERIAL INTRODUCED ON ALL 2020 KITE MODELS. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS NEW MATERIAL?

For 2020, every kite in the line is being made with Cabrinha’s exclusive new Nano Ripstop canopy material, something which has been in development for the last three years with our factory and design team. The new Nano Ripstop canopy introduces an exclusive new longlasting coating that is bonded to the greige cloth by a process called plasma treatment. This is a big difference to competitors’ canopy materials where the cloth is just dipped into the coating.

Plasma treatment enables a far better adhesion to the cloth and takes longer to breakdown which keeps your kite feeling crisp and lively throughout the life of the kite. The canopy also has a new smaller Nano Ripstop pattern that doubles the number of cells in each panel. This has greatly increased tear strength while reducing elongation on the bias, which is how a material stretches at 45° to the weave. This is incredibly important when trying to keep a kite’s shape rigid in the sky and to avoid any canopy stretch when it crashes.

THE CONTRA, CABRINHA’S LIGHT WIND WEAPON, IS BOTH OLD AND NEW FOR 2020. WHAT CHANGES WILL YOUR DIE-HARD CONTRA FANS NOTICE THE MOST AND WHAT WILL POTENTIAL NEW FANS APPRECIATE? WHERE ANY OTHER CHANGES MADE TO THE KITE LINE?

The Contra is a formidable beast in the light wind arena, well known as a session saver for kiteboarders all around the globe. Dudu Mazzocato, Cabrinha’s chief kite designer says, “The Contra is such an effortless kite to use for a big kite. Overall, it’s now more agile with a more balanced grunt. The faster turning allows you to generate more power from less.” No matter what discipline you’re into, the Contra excels as a power source for any style of riding in less than favorable wind conditions. As it’s such an important kite for our customers and team, we’ve given the kite a slight tweak to enable the kite to turn a touch quicker as well as to increase its upper wind range. The Contra retains its grunt and smooth power-on-demand nature that users love, but the steering livens up the kite, especially in the bigger sizes.

Another huge advancement for the Contra, already mentioned in detail, is the use of Cabrinha’s new Nano Ripstop canopy material. Users will notice the difference straight away in the Contra due to the new stiffer canopy which adds stability to the kite and makes the overall kite more reactive. Additionally, the exclusive coating lasts longer against the elements keeping your kite crispy and new for longer. The Contra really does sell itself in light wind conditions, so we urge anyone interested to just try one out—you won’t be disappointed! There’s no better feeling than riding when others sit on the beach watching. Combined with Cabrinha’s new Overdrive control system, riders can tailor the exact amount of bar pressure desired with just the one bar, something that comes in handy with large sized kites.

Watch Cabrinha’s 2020 Kite Product Preview from AWSI

FOR THE 2020 LINEUP, CABRINHA HAS A BRAND NEW BAR, THE MODULAR 1X, AND MADE SOME TWEAKS TO THE OVERDRIVE CONTROL SYSTEM. HOW WOULD YOU STEER CUSTOMERS TO THE BAR THAT WILL SUIT THEIR SKILL LEVEL AND RIDING STYLE BEST?

The new Modular Control System allows you to customize your control bar to exactly the way you ride. With four different connection methods available you have the ability to connect in the way that best fits your style, on any given session really. Whether it is freestyle, surfing, freeriding, foiling, or racing, you can easily configure your connection in under three seconds without the need for tools or complicated instructions.

There have been so many avenues of the sport opening up recently we wanted to offer options for all of them in a plug and play package. The small loop connector is ideal for riders who simply want to stay hooked in, whereas the large size is for freestyle riders who want to unhook—we’ve also made a specific freestyle leash attachment for this option. Of course, we have a Fireball option as well that excels in all conditions except unhooked, and a rope slider option that uses our exclusive carabiner to safely and easily connect and disconnect from any rope slide spreader bar.

The completely redesigned lightweight new Overdrive control bar allows you to easily adjust your bar a full 8cm, on the beach or on the fly. It comes as standard on all of Cabrinha’s 2020 control systems and allows you to choose the sensitivity level of your bar’s input, as well as allowing for your control system to work on multiple sized kites. Cabrinha’s control systems come in two sizes: a 44-52cm and a 52-60cm Overdrive bar length option.

CABRINHA EXPANDED ITS FOIL LINEUP FOR 2020. WHAT WAS ADDED AND WHY? HOW SHOULD A RIDER GO ABOUT CHOOSING THE BEST SETUP FOR HIM OR HER?

If you ask riders what’s next in kiting, they all respond with the same answer: foiling. It has definitely turned into the biggest distraction in the office and the Hi:Rise Varial wings have opened up whole new ways to get on the water. For 2020 Cabrinha has a complete offering, from the stealthy race-orientated AV8 all the way through to the surf-orientated Varial large wingset.

The AV8 foil is made from full prepreg carbon composite and is built for speed and efficiency. One of its great attributes though is that it’s stable and forgiving at low speeds. Its short fuselage configuration gives superior maneuverability while the integrated wing and fuselage design provides maximum stiffness. The AV8 is truly a collision of design precision, performance, and art—it’s simply gorgeous.

The new Hi:Rise Carve is an incredibly diverse wingset that will take you from your first steps in foiling to freeride and surf. The amazing thing with the Carve is its stability and ease of flight. It requires little input to get flying and the added lift comes in handy when pumping through lulls and between waves. As freeride foils go, it’s fast becoming a primetime player due to its diverse characteristics. For kitesurf freeride foiling, it’s the go-to in the range.

The new Hi:Rise Varial foil wings are lean and efficient and with the one set you can kite, surf, and also use the Crosswing to get you out and flying on the water. The profile creates an incredible amount of drive and lift while being playful and carvey in turns. The Varial is the most versatile wingset we’ve ever made. If you want to mix surf foiling with kite foiling then this wingset is the one.

CABRINHA HAS ONE OF THE WIDEST OFFERINGS OF VERSATILE AND PERFORMANCE-ORIENTED TWIN TIPS. WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT IN THE TWIN TIP DEPARTMENT FOR 2020?

The focus for the 2020 line was to perfectly match each board with its ideal construction. There are 10 different models that satisfy the wide variety of styles and riders. The Ace Hybrid board highlights the 2020 twin tip line as we introduce a completely new construction technique. At its core is a honeycomb foam/paulownia hybrid construction. Two unidirectional carbon strips lock in the core on the top and bottom. The results are improved response and amazing pop. It’s a really exciting concept that makes the board feel incredibly lively under foot. The material quantities and layup have been agonized over to make sure the strength to weight ratio is perfect for each size. This board is going to be red hot in the big air arena and we can’t wait to see what our customers and team will do with it this year. As for the rest of our twin tip lineup, be sure contact our local dealers or participate in demo opportunities to experience the fusion of prime materials, detailed construction and high-performance.

Watch Cabrinha’s 2020 Twin Tip Product Preview from AWSI


Want more gear info? Get the latest product info from all the top brands all in one convenient place with Tkb’s 2020 Buyer’s Guide.

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