Cabrinha Contra 13m 2017 Kitesurfing Review

Cabrinha Contra 13m 2017

Reviews / Kites

Cabrinha 56,118

At A Glance

The Contra has been in the Cabrinha lineup for a quite a while now, it has changed a lot over the years with improvements being made every step of the way! The 2017 Contra is a three-strut high aspect ratio light wind kite. Designed to give the rider an easy to use, yet high-performance light wind riding experience.

Cabrinha have jammed a lot of features into the 2017 version of the Contra, many we can see across their range. On the Contra we see Pure Profile Panels, Cabrinha’s Skeletal Frame, Sprint Airlock, a variety of wingtip and line adjustments and best of all the Contra is built using Volae fabrics and 2DR ripstop so you're going to get plenty of sessions in before it even starts to look tired.

The Contra can be used with any of Cabrinha’s control systems, such as the Overdrive 1x Trimlite with Fireball or the 1x Trimlite Quickloop set up.

Available in two colours: Blue/Red and Yellow/Blue

Sizes: 13m, 15m, 17m, 19m.

The Bar

We headed out on the Contra complete with the Overdrive 1x Trimlite bar with the quick loop connection system.

The set up is ultra clean, simple packing some serious features. The 1X release system disconnects smoothly with effortless reconnection; this accompanies the front line re-ride seen across the Cabrinha control system range keeping us safe at all times. The Overdrive feature may be new to you; this gives us the ability to change the length of our bar with ease. While it's recommended to change the length while setting up, you can just as easily adjust in the water with the kite down. The Trimlite also gives the rider the ability to adjust the kite to the nearest millimetre. We found this was great while tanking around and wanting to trim precisely for upwind ability.

The Quickloop connection isn’t quite as space tech as the Fireball connection system. Yet, it boasts a smooth, clean chicken loop system with a reliable safety release for those wanting to throw down unhooked. Not only do these bars come jammed with the above features they look slick, the grip is ultra comfortable and the deliver one hell of a precise, responsive feel to the rider.

There are a lot of control systems out there from Cabrinha so find the perfect set up for you. We have been incredibly impressed with the Fireball connection system. Bars are available in Overdrive 1x Recoil / Trimlite or the 1X Trimlite all available with Fireball or Quickloop connection methods.

In The Air

No matter what level you ride at, whether you’re a complete newbie or professional you will instantly feel confident when the Contra goes up. In light winds the Contra is incredibly stable in the sky and very easy to use. It has a light bar pressure and turning is light on the arms, no more tricep strain, awesome! The feedback from the Contra through the bar is very direct and you can feel every adjustment you make.

Due to the Contra being slightly higher aspect than some light wind kites correct trimming of the kite is sometimes needed to ensure you get the most out of it. However, it is exceptionally good in light winds and very little back stalling was noticed. For a 13m the Contra was pretty quick, now we're not talking 8m kite turning here but for a large kite it’s responsive and performs.

“One of the best kites for light wind freestyle”

Relaunching the Contra was super easy, as with most of the Cabrinha range we have tested.

The Contra isn't going to be the epic race kite for light winds or a huge booster, but when it comes to your everyday freeride through to freestyle and wakestyle it really fits the bill. You can often see Cabrinha’s team riders such as Liam Whaley and James Boulding maxing its potential in light winds.

Jumping the Contra was effortless and manageable. A steady yet exhilarating boost comes from the Contra, even if your eyes are closed or you are back to front you know where it’s going to be.
Turning up the tempo on the water you will be pushed to outdo the Contra’s performance. Its steady pull provides a solid basis for a range of moves, hooked, unhooked it’s really up to you. Most large light wind kites pull like a train, however, the Contra has great unhooked “freestyle” characteristics, pop and slack are present on this light wind machine. The Contra isn't going to be a kite you outgrow as far as riding level is concerned.


Solid build quality, fantastic light wind performance for all levels of rider.


No major issues to be found with the Contra.


The Contra is a superb addition to anyone’s quiver whether you are a Cabrinha kite owner or not, beginner or professional. It looks stylish in the sky, it’s built to last, you won't find many kites that are as light on the bar and user-friendly in light winds. It’s light and easy to use, the Contra performs exceedingly well on the water. It creates insane amounts of pop from the water when loaded and provides usable slack and freestyle characteristics we don't often see on large kites. It’s one of the best light wind kites for light wind freestyle.

This review was in Issue 62 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit Cabrinha


By Robin and Sukie
With years of kite sport experience combined, you can be sure you’ll be receiving the highest quality of knowledge on the best equipment the industry has to offer.

Tried this? What did you think?