At A Glance
Here we have it, the new 2021 Cabrinha Contra, a light wind foil machine! The Contra is a primary kite within the range and has been now for quite some time. For 2021 Cabrinha have added an all new 1 strut size in the smaller kites, and kept the Contra 3 strut design in the larger sizes. You’ll see from the images attached we had the chance to test the new 11m single strut kite. It’s one strut build gives the kite an extremely light feel and open canopy – an ideal design for lighter winds which is what this kite’s main focus is about. It’s important to understand that these smaller sizes focus more down the foil route which is great news for those foil junkies out there.
The new 1 strut hybrid design is available in sizes 3,4,5,7,9 & 11m whilst the 13,15 & 17m continue with the original 3 strut design. There are 3 colours to choose from across all sizes.
As you would expect from a kite like this there are no extra reinforcements that you might find on other models, reason being, this helps maintain the light feel whilst keeping its quality and pure purpose of producing in wind speeds from as a little as 10 knots.
Cabrinha have continued to stick with their nano ripstop canopy material which is both durable and stable whilst holding a fluid level of response. High Tenacity Dacron is placed around the kite which has a positive influence on the handling characteristics whilst protecting the sensitive areas of the kite. With its single strut, not only is the kite lighter, but its vastly more nimble which will allow those smaller sizes to really come to life when riding a foil.
On The Water
At the time of testing, I rode both a twintip and surfboard with this kite and the wind was ranging from 14-16 knots. I was apprehensive if the kite would generate enough power for me to get going to begin with, however, I had no trouble blasting along nicely.
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I was very impressed with how well the kite sat in the wind window. As soon as you launch, you’ll feel how much power this kite can generate in the light winds and it will sit at 12 comfortably for some time before you even have to think about looking up. In regards to re-launching… it’s effortless. The lightness of the kite mixed with its design and build characterises make relaunching simple for any level of rider, ideal if you’re foiling or teaching with this kite.
With its high aspect design the Contra is an upwind machine, you’ll charge upwind like a bull. With an exceptional open canopy, the kite allows you to jump high but also provide incredible hangtime for a single strut. It’s wild to think that in marginal winds you can still have a kite that provides endless fun yet still allowing you to do jumps and tricks! Obviously moves like looping aren’t the best as it’s not what this kite is made for, but the kite will still allow you to throw down some gnarly manoeuvres.
The turning speed of this kite is satisfactory whilst the bar pressure is very light. I paired it with the new Overdrive Quickloop Recoil Bar and although it was nice on the turns in light winds it won’t move as sharp as other kites in the range such as the Switchblade. You may not want to take this kite down some barrelling waves or go ripping when its 30 knots, but for those days when you’ve been questioning whether or not to rig up and head out, this kite is one that you’ll want to have in your quiver.
I can see this kite doing wonders for schools when teaching! It’s easy to control and doesn’t have an aggressive feel to it, allowing the less experienced riders to build up confidence and thrive in the sport which we all love.
Understandably, we have to speak about its wind range. It’s important to iterate that Cabrinha have brought this new design to market to cater predominantly for foiling/light winds. This kite is great at getting you out in 10+ knots, but you wouldn’t want to be taking it out in anything too hectic. It would start to lose its characterises and due to its structure, would be a less enjoyable ride. That’s where you’d need something with a little more stability. In stronger conditions, you’d be looking at the Switchblade or FX to provide the best performance. You could choose to ride the 3m or 4m if you want to get out in stronger conditions, but we would highly recommend you are a very confident foiler in those wind speeds.
If foiling is your go to discipline within kiting, then this featherweight kite is a no brainer. It will get you riding in the lightest winds and Cabrinha have really put a lot of thought into this new build, giving foilers an even better reason to go out in the slightest breeze. As tested by me this kite also rips on a twintip and surfboard in the light winds! And, if foiling isn’t for you then it’s still a great kite for beginner-intermediate riders.
For the more advanced rider who is maybe more into big air or freestyle, you’d look at choosing another kite in the range such as the FX.
The new Contra is a vibrant and progressive kite that benefits from its great design, an enjoyable ride in which I highly recommend, the perfect foil made kite which also performs well in other disciplines of the sport. Be sure to test this one if you’re looking for another toy!
This review was in Issue 86 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha
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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!