At A Glance
Another new wing in the Cabrinha line up this year is the Varial range, available in small, medium and large, these wings are crossovers. Designed to work as freeride and wave riding wings for kites they can also be used for surfing. Finished using aluminium and the new wing construction technology that Cabrinha have been championing, the focus is on durability rather than lightweight.
The front wing is made of a Paulownia wood core with volcanic triple-layer basalt fibre construction, and the rear wing is a forged composite material. When you start to ride waves with a foil, you want something that will handle the inevitable grounding, and this new construction is incredibly durable.
The whole setup goes together really smoothly with no gaps or signs of poor workmanship. Quality oozes from the whole product, and the wing itself is bang up-to-date in terms of its design. It is a thinner profile than the Carve, which we have also tested, and a little longer. If you are a good surfer, then the wing will double up as a surf foil wing too, and you should be able to use it with a wing as well. The larger size would be the choice if you are new to surfing, and the smaller one will work well for expert riders. All of them are designed to be great freeride wings with a kite.
On The Water
Smooth and stable spring to mind with the Hi:Rise Varial Medium. It’s a wide, reasonably high profile wing, and that creates a very stable platform underfoot. It’s got a good turn of speed too, and it’s surprisingly manoeuvrable for such a wide wing.
With plenty of lift, it’s easy to get going with a small kite in light winds; it’s also really fun to dump the power from the kite and pump the wing around on the water too. In the waves it’s a really enjoyable wing to ride, it catches them easily and can carve smoothly along the faces. Freeriders and wave riders will enjoy this wing; it’s a great platform for cruising and carving.
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The stall speed is reasonably low, once it does stall though it loses that lift, unlike the Carve wing, which is almost impossible to stall. Forgiving and easy to ride, there is a lot to like with this setup. Perhaps at this size, it’s the weight that lets it down, but that’s only an issue getting into the water. Plus, the fact this wing can hit the bottom and come up smelling of roses is a worthy pay-off, especially if you are going to surf with it.
A dynamic and fun wing to ride the Hi:Rise Varial Medium will suit freeriders and wave riders looking for a setup that can handle both the kite and the surf and even a wing. It’s really fun and engaging to use with the kite, and that makes it a great base point for a crossover setup. Lots of lift, very forgiving and surprisingly nimble too!
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!