Sizes Available: 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 (3 strut), 15 (3 strut), 17m (3 strut)
Sizes Tested: 5, 7m (1-strut)
The popularity of the Contra cannot be overstated. Its ability to extend any kite quiver well into the light wind arena is unmatched. This season we’ve expanded the Contra’s range to bring its legendary efficiency deep into the foil boarding realm. The single strut version of the Contra is built on its platform of efficiency and range while adding featherweight control. With its single strut, this kite is lighter and more nimble, allowing the use of much smaller sizes to maximize foilboarding’s true potential. The Contra 1 struts’ superior drift characteristics allow for low angles of attack while on foil, and the rear line tension increases steering impulse even when depowered. This dynamic kite design shift will put an optimized Contra light wind kite in your hands whether you ride a twin tip, surfboard, or a foil board.
Visit for more info: https://www.cabrinha.com/products/01-contra
Oh boy, where to start with the new direction the Contra has gone this year with its 1 strut sizes added to the Contra lineup? Often known as a big grunty low-wind twin tip weapon, the Cabrinha team has tweaked the Contra formula to provide perfect single-strut handling that embraces foilboarding’s new frontier. The contrast is huge, but if making the best of the lighter days is your goal, it makes sense that the Contra remains the platform for delivering intuitive and forgiving handling in much smaller kite sizes that will knock the socks off foilboarders of all levels.
Inflation Valve: Bayonet valve / no attachment required
Flying Line Attachments: Center Bridle: Larks head / Wingtip bridle: Knots
Centerline Split: Low-V
Front Bridle Options: Single setting / Fixed
Design and Features
The Contra is a single-strut platform with a low to medium aspect airframe with a sweptback leading edge that ends into solidly square wingtips which give you excellent steering control. The leading edge on the smaller sizes seems fairly narrow for low windage and efficiency. 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 distribution points to the single strut are molded rubber with no hard edges and the hose is larger, so you get minimal canopy wear and fast deflation at the end of your sessions, all small details that matter. The leading edge bridle is a single setting bridle that is fixed, which doesn’t use any pulleys or sliders to adjust its angle of attack. The center bridle ends in a larks head and the wingtip attachment point ends in a knot. Similarly, the wingtip attachment point has a single setting, which contributes to the design’s lightweight and impeccable handling. The wingtips have sparing use of Dacron and the trailing edge looks like a lighter Dacron was used that transitions into a double ripstop, with small reinforcements but no battens. Presumably, this construction is one of the ways in which the Contra gets good canopy control and less flapping with its minimal airframe.
The first thing we noticed out of the box was the overall lightweight feel of the package, with clear attention to eliminating bulky construction features, while still giving you tons of little quality details. On the water we immediately felt the nice and light bar pressure that combines with the kite’s agile and responsive turning, with our first foil tack off the beach feeling sporty yet comfortable with good power that is clearly tuned on the lighter side for foilboarding. Since the wind was a little squirrely on the inside, we immediately noticed the excellent zenith stability and drifting capabilities of the Contra in gusty conditions. One of the Contra’s key strengths was its ability to hover in lulls and climb out of deep window fades without stalling—this made freeride carving and middle of the window flying really easy on the lower end of the wind conditions. The power delivery across the throw felt progressive and intuitive and the light bar pressure comfortable on the arms, yet we always could feel where the kite was in the window and what it needed in terms of sheeting. At the end of the bar throw, there was tons of depower in the canopy and the squarer wingtips offered good turning response even when the kite was fully sheeted out. On the higher end, we could always depower the Contra to comfortably weather gusts and while there is some canopy movement when the bar is at the end of the throw, the airframe does a good job of not overwhelming the bar or the rider with flapping. The turning radius was tight, not quite like a pivot-style or delta shape, but tight that the kite was easy to loop and maintain position throughout aggressive foiling maneuvers. Having dumped the kite in windswell, the Contra relaunched super quick with minimal bar input, which despite user error, was key to keeping the session going. The Contra in the smaller foil sizes doesn’t have the low-end grunt of its predecessors, but its super intuitive steering and nimble flying make up for that and make this the perfect foil kite as well. While we peg the Contra directly as a foil kiter’s dream kite, many of these characteristics also make it a great progression kite or potential crossover for dabbling in the surf or freeride if you rig a size bigger.
Featured Control Bar
The Overdrive Quickloop 1X Trimlight is fresh off a redesign from last year, combining the benefits of an adjustable length bar with a much lighter chassis. 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 the 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 a travel guard. When you push on the quick release it remains cocked open, waiting for a reset. 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 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 adjustable bar length system 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. When you pull out the insert, you also get three knots to adjust the length of the outside lines. This feature is easy to use and creates a smaller, cleaner and lighter bar end.
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 Trimlight 1x has evolved into 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.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.cabrinha.com/collections/bars/products/overdrive-1x-with-trimlite
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