At A Glance
The Cabrinha Contra has been a stalwart of the range for a long time now, it’s a behemoth of a light wind weapon and has saved many a session over the years. Available in four sizes (13, 15, 17 and 19m), there should be a kite for just about everyone in the range. The kite is aimed at getting you on the water in sub 10 knots, and the 15m should be able to do that for most riders.
If you are packing a bit more bulk, then the 17m and 19m versions are there for you. It’s a three-strut design that features a hybrid shape with swept-back wingtips and lots of power in the front of the kite. New for 2020 is the Nano Ripstop canopy material from Cabrinha that packs far more threads into the canopy in a smaller grid than any other material on the market. Think twice the strength and durability for the same weight.
The kite, as you would expect, has been built to be light, there are no extra reinforcements unless totally necessary. However, it is built to Cabrinha’s exacting standards, and the overall look and feel are one of quality.
Sizes 13, 15, 17, 19m
In The Air
The moment you launch the Contra, you feel the power. Even in 7-10 knots, there is a huge amount of muscle in the canopy. The kite is quite a high aspect design, and the profile allows it to fly forward in the window, this makes riding upwind easy. Often low wind kites sit further back and make upwind riding hard, yet the Contra pulls you upwind like a train.
This characteristic is important, in light winds, we don’t just want to mow the lawn, we want to be jumping and popping tricks. The Contra allows you to do all of this and get back upwind quickly. Talking of jumps, when powered the 15m is a hang-time machine, it’s crazy how much airtime you can get with this kite. Don’t expect a violent take-off, but do expect a steady pull up and near parachute-like airtime.
The bar pressure has been reduced this year and while plenty of pull is generated, even in low winds, steering the kite couldn’t be easier. The kite reacts pretty quickly for a 15m, and the flying experience is smooth and pleasurable. It’s a far cry from larger kites back in the day and a good example of just how far kite design and manufacture has come in recent years.
The turning speed is good, sure it’s not a 5m whipper-snapper, but it moves around the window with purpose and any input from the rider is quickly rewarded. It’s not going to turn the heads of any serious wave riders, but on a light wind day, if you need a park-and-ride kite to tow you into some bombs, it will handle it. Freeriders and freestylers, however, will love the opportunities this kite provides. Suddenly a whole world of wind speeds are opened up and become fun. We would highly recommend this kite to anyone not wanting to go down the hydrofoil route, that still wants to pop tricks on a twin tip in light winds.
The wind range is worth a mention, while it will get you out early, the top end does reach a limit. That being said, due to the nature of the kite and it’s forward flying characteristics a good rider will be able to hold it down in slightly more wind. By edging hard and forcing the kite forwards, it can handle over 15 knots with ease, and when you boost in these conditions, it is really impressive.
A dynamic and progressive light wind kite that benefits from the new Nano Ripstop material Cabrinha have brought to the market. Fast (for a 15m), and powerful, the Contra is the session saver everyone needs in their quiver if twin tips are the board of choice for them!
This review was in Issue 78 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha
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!