Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 8m
When it comes to a kite which represents the pinnacle of performance and versatility, the Switchblade has no equal.
The greatest achievements in the sport of kitesurfing have been accomplished with an ‘off the shelf’ Switchblade, using the exact same kite which can be bought in stores.
This is not only a testament to the Switchblade’s uncompromising high-end performance, but also to its reliability, predictability, durability and ease of use. In a commercial sense, it is a product offering rarely seen in any other professional sport and yet today, Cabrinha is still the only kite brand that has engineered such a feat.
Visit for more info: www.cabrinha.com/products/01-switchblade
When you start thinking about legacy kites, you know, the models that have been around since the golden days (whenever those were), the Switchblade is definitely one of those tried and true models that has thrived through the evolution of freeride kiteboarding. Today the Switchblade rings the bell on powered-up riding and big air with enough all-around freeride chops to cover most progressing riders along a wide swathe of riding types.
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
Design and Features
The Switchblade’s 5-strut frame with its medium aspect canopy and squarish wingtips gives you a solid well-built feel from the moment you pull it out of the bag. 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 one moving pulley on each side 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 three knots on the wingtip attachment pigtail with precision tags to inform the rider of the stock and alternate tuning settings. All rigging components are color-coded in a logical manner to assist safe rigging. The wingtips feature sparing use of Dacron along the wingtip, with a lighter grade Dacron ascending into a double ripstop trailing edge with additional ripstop patches to control flutter without the use of bulky battens. There are tons of little construction details, like the air distribution hardware between the struts and leading edge that are well thought out for durability and performance.
This year’s Switchblade doesn’t disappoint with punchy hard-hitting power that gives you boosty accelerative forces to push the limits of your biggest jumps and longest hangtimes. From the moment we launched our first air, we could feel the Switchblade’s robust leading edge and 5-strut airframe working together to translate every inch of power into vertical lift. The bar pressure on the soft setting rings in on the lighter side with much of the pulling power loading up on your center lines. The steering response felt solid with the airframe wanting a bit more input to initiate turns, but the steering speed is quick with the turning arc feeling fairly tight, just short of pivotal. The Switchblade makes it easy and intuitive to set up big air sends, its airframe confidently handling more power and lending to rigging a little bit bigger. The Switchblade felt like it could generate power from any part of the window with a somewhat sheet and go feeling, but the roaring lift came alive when you initiated a proper vertical send to the zenith. That’s the beautiful thing about this kite—you get a really aggressive pull when you want it. The Switchblade doesn’t have quite as much depower as the Contra 1strut or the Moto, but its real strength is how the Switchblade handles extra power. The relaunch was quick and easy with minimal bar input and the zenith stability was great in the gusty winds on the beach. While we’d choose the Switchblade for big air freeriding, it has plenty of user-friendly characteristics to crossover into the surf and boot-styled riding. If jumping is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the lift and hangtime performance that the Switchblade delivers.
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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