Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 12m

Cabrinha Says:

Designed for the discerning rider who values unrivaled predictability and uncompromising high-end performance, the Switchblade is made for those that want style, power, performance and craftsmanship. The Switchblade’s reputation for being the world’s highest performance freeride kite not only comes from the thousands of customers who hail its praise but from its countless world titles including the fastest sailing craft in the world (2010). King of the Air (2017). and the world’s highest tow-up jump (2018).

What’s most amazing about the Switchblade is that all this performance comes in one of the easiest to use packages. Its balance and power delivery make this kite light to the touch and simple to fly. This year the Switchblade is built with our new Nano Ripstop canopy, which will be the new benchmark in durability, stability & responsiveness. Double strength, same weight. Whether you are working on your freestyle game or testing your limits in boosting incredible air, the Switchblade will deliver with a class of predictability and reliability that can not be found anywhere else.

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Our Testers Say:

“The Switchblade is a powerful tool perfect for the pockets of beginner riders with great stability during misfires, aka anti-Hindenberg properties with great relaunching.” // Ray Borg

“Delivered stable performance with lofty hangtime and great upwind performance you can take everywhere.” // Dan Lerer

“Stable predictable kite, a solid steady companion with great upwind ability and comfortable bar and clean design.” // Marko Bartscherer

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

This year the Switchblade returns as the utility knife you will want to take into a hangtime battle with its 5-strut rock-solid airframe, flatter medium aspect canopy and user-friendly handling that you can send into the stratosphere. The Switchblade is now built with Cabrinha’s Nano ripstop canopy material which offers stronger and stiffer canopy control with a micro reinforcement pattern that gives you both better performance and more durability. The large diameter bayonet-style inflation valve requires no nozzle on the end of your standard pump hose and offers up a quick and easy pump up. It features a single setting front bridle that utilizes two moving pulleys and comes with two wingtip attachment points, clearly labeled for choosing between light impulse/increased depower travel and direct impulse/shorter depower travel. The factory setting comes attached to the light impulse connection closest to the wingtip. The kite’s connection points feature larks head loops on the front bridle and there are multiple knots on the wingtip attachment pigtail with precision tags to inform the rider of the stock setting. All rigging components are color-coded in a logical manner to assist safe rigging. The wingtips feature a bit of dacron along the edges and the trailing edge is double ripstop with additional ripstop patches to control flutter without the use of bulky battens.

Tested on the lighter impulse setting, this year the test team attributed the Switchblade with light to medium bar pressure. The Switchblade’s steering response is good while the steering speed seems to increase throughout the turn. With some windup, the kite ultimately spools up into fast turning the longer you steer the kite, and the turning arc is fairly tight and pivotal. The new Nano ripstop material makes the canopy feel extra crisp, and although it doesn’t lower the weight of the material, it does offer stiffness that longtime Switchblade riders might be able to feel in their hands. The Switchblade flies a little forward of the middle of the window, which translates to good upwind ability and user-friendly upwind rides. Overall the steering and sheeting on the Switchblade are user-friendly and predictable, although it seems that the Switchblade doesn’t have quite as much depower at the end of the stroke as say the Moto, but this is to be expected from a kite that will take you into outer orbit.

The Switchblade offers you some tremendous and constant pulling power through the range and excelled in boosting big airs, notably providing our test team with some of their longest hangtimes. The 5-strut canopy gave us the confidence to harness the beast’s impressive vertical accelerative powers in overpowered conditions and the efficiency of the canopy proved solid for fun jumps, even in the lighter underpowered sessions. When things went sour, the relaunch on the Switchblade proved to be almost instantaneous. With the kite crashed dead downwind on its nose, pulling on one side of the bar caused the kite to immediately rotate from nose to wingtip and release into the air for a very reliable and fast relaunch every time. Ultimately, the Switchblade returns once again at the top of the progressive freeride category with big air performance and user-friendly controls that makes just about every type of riding on a twin tip seem fun, effortless and exciting.

Our Switchblade came with two options to choose from in the control bar department. The Overdrive Quickloop 1X Trimlight and the Overdrive Quickloop 1X Recoil. The primary difference between the two bars is the Trimlight option offers spectra power tuning with a cleat and the Recoil system offers a power strap with spring-mounted extension handles. It’s also worth noting that the ‘Quickloop’ label is Cabrinha’s standard push away release with a chicken loop, but you can also get these bar configured with the “Modular” quick release option which is a broader system based on Cabrinha’s Fireball connection system which has been expanded to offer a couple of different connection points to your kite (see their website for details on Modular/Fireball system).

The Overdrive Quickloop 1X Trimlight features a new bar chassis this year that offers the benefits of an adjustable length bar by a different means than the Overdrive system that was used in the past. If you recall, the Overdrive allowed you to adjust bar length on the water by pulling a tab and releasing a locking mechanism that would cock the bar end in either direction, but that convenience feature came with extra weight. This year the Overdrive is being offered as an adjustable length system that can be changed on the beach by pulling out a plastic insert from the bottom of the bar end and rotating it to change the effective length of the bar. This feature is easy to use and creates a smaller, cleaner and lighter bar end. The Overdrive comes with a low V in the center lines and the Trimlight system above the bar uses a power tuning cleat with a bungee built into spectra line to keep the excess slack from getting in the way. The center lines end in knots and the outside lines end in a larks head loop. The kite safety system depowers along a single centerline safety depower that runs down the PVC coated throw line, through the bar and out through the center of the quick release, for a cleanly routed safety system that is well designed and highlights safety. The quick release features a red push away handle along with a hand swivel that doubles as travel guard. When you push on the quick release it remains cocked open, waiting for a reset. This is a really nice feature if you’re trying to reset in the water. Since the gate remains open, you just stick the end of the chicken loop back in and shift the release so it slides back down. The standards for quick release reconnection are higher these days and the Quickloop’s cocking feature definitely makes that reconnection process easy. The center of the bar is aluminum and features a Cabrinha logo etched into the metal on one side so that the rider can tell when the bar is being held the correct way. The chicken finger is a molded plastic piece and is removable with an Allen screw for those that are doing freestyle. The bar ends feature integrated molded foam floats, ample space for cleanly wrapping your lines and a bungee for keeping your lines cleanly stowed.

The ergonomics of the bar grip feature asymmetrical bumps that nestle between your fingers with firm EVA that has the right balance between plush comfort and firmness with small textured indentations. The rubbery bumps on the top make the bar feel grippy, so it feels like your hand is pretty well planted on this nice comfy grip. Overall, the changes made to the Cabrinha bar this year offer a streamlined design with lower weight while keeping a key mix of functional and safety-oriented features for a very comfortable but versatile control experience.

The Recoil version of the Overdrive Quickloop 1X sports the same streamlined bar chassis with the smaller bar ends. The main difference with the Recoil version bar is that the depower system uses a power tuning strap coupled with two extensions that put the controls well within your reach. There’s a powerup knob and a depower knob, both held in place by a spring system. The Recoil gives you extra throw distance while keeping the controls within reach. For those that don’t like cleat systems, the Recoil is the answer with its color-coded knobs that allow you to easily tune the kite with small or large adjustments. Some find the Recoil to be bulky compared to the Trimlite, most notably when wrapping up the bar, and some riders commented on having to push against the spring-mounted controls to get the full access to the bar’s depower, yet others highlighted the ease of tuning and the convenience of having the controls so close.

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