WHEN OR HOW DID YOUR WING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM START, WHO WAS THE LEAD INSTIGATOR IN YOUR BRAND AND DESCRIBE YOUR EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH WINGSURFING DEVELOPMENT?
For Cabrinha’s kite designer, Dudu Mazzocato, wingsurfing draws inspiration from all of his passions: kitesurfing, windsurfing, airplanes and wings—it’s development was a major focus for him and because it was his first major ground-up design for the brand, he put all his energy and talents into it. Since Dudu arrived at the brand and was immersed in Maui’s ‘anything goes’ atmosphere it has been his partnership with Pete that has spearheaded the R&D of Cabrinha’s Crosswing. With each step of the prototyping, there have been leaps in performance and efficiency. This is where the benefits of testing on Maui, a place with wind and waves daily, has been so advantageous. This specific design process really plays into the skillsets of Pete and Dudu and watching Pete’s progression and enthusiasm for the sport brings with it a real buzz that’s highly contagious.
WHAT ARE THE KEY DESIGN FEATURES THAT YOU HAVE INTEGRATED INTO YOUR WINGSURFING PRODUCT AND WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS MIX OF DESIGN AND FUNCTION?
Cabrinha has aimed for performance, simplicity and ease of use with the Crosswing. Everything you need to fly the wing is contained in its fully integrated form. There are no masts, no separate booms and no control bar. Simply inflate the wing and it is ready to be used. The Crosswing is incredibly lightweight, something that has been a major focus during the design phase and attributes to its simple to use form. The inflated outline and boom provide structure and performance at a fraction of the weight of an aluminum boom. The Crosswing is manufactured with Cabrinha’s tried and tested production techniques including our new exclusive Nano Ripstop canopy material, high tenacity Dacron leading edge, and SPRINT inflation system.
What’s most exciting about The Crosswing is the intuitive design which broadens the audience so that just about anyone can try it. Easy on the arms and without the need of a harness or lines, it’s an entry point for all the other wind-driven sports and can be paired with a SUP or a foil. As Pete likes to point out, “I was at the beach the other day, and I gave it to my daughter Tahiti. I basically put it in her hands, just gave her a couple little words of what to do, but she could feel what it’s supposed to do. I stepped back and let her play with it. I would never just clip a kite to her and step back.”
HOW DOES YOUR DESIGN HANDLE THE STANDARD ASPECTS OF WINGSURFING PERFORMANCE: RELAUNCH, STABILITY, UPWIND ABILITY AND HOVER-ABILITY?
One key advantage of having such a lightweight structure is that relaunch with the Crosswing is incredibly easy. It floats in a resting state completely depowered on the water until you are ready to pick it up and fly. The inflatable airframe technology provides the Crosswing with its unique rigid wing shape. This technology eliminates the need for large and heavy physical spars. The Crosswing deflates down and packs into a very small transportable package. We’ve also minimized the need for extra handles by focusing on the handle options that allow the wing to fly most efficiently. The streamlined profile of the Crosswing also gives it superior upwind ability.
WHAT APPROACH HAVE YOU TAKEN TO WING SIZING, AND HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND THE VARIOUS SIZED WINGS TO YOUR POTENTIAL BUYERS?
With wingsurfing in its infancy, we have taken the less-is-more approach and gone with a single size wing. Our 4m design works well in a variety of foiling and non-foiling conditions. Keep in mind that a larger size wing used on a non-foiling board will drag in the water easily and make the sport more difficult, and we feel there is a large group of people who will be interested in the recreational non-foiling side of the sport—let’s keep it easy for them. Once up on a foil, the size of the wing doesn’t make a huge difference, so we are really happy to offer just a single size.
Our retail and center partners are pretty excited about this as well since it reduces the complication and risk of ordering and stocking product for this new electrifying sport. We expect that the sport and its related products will go through a natural evolution and if the market is asking for multiple sizes of wings as it matures, we will surely be there to provide that to the community.
HOW DOES THE WING INTERMIX WITH YOUR CURRENT OFFERING OF FOIL WING AND FOILBOARD DESIGNS AND WHAT WILL BE YOUR FUTURE APPROACH TO BOARD SIZING, VOLUME AND FEATURES?
The Crosswing is instantly compatible with thousands of boards currently in use, from foilboards to SUPs to snowboards to skateboards. For foiling we recommend Cabrinha’s Varial Large wings and a board with plenty of volume. Once up and riding consistently, one will be able to size down to a smaller volume board and get up foiling/flying by waterstarting. This will open one up to many smaller boards like Cabrinha’s Autopilot board. We have some specific large volume board options to go with the Crosswing in the pipeline, so watch this space!