At a Glance
The Crossbow kite from Cabrinha has a long history in the pedigree of the bow kite. It was one of the first bow kites launched back in 2005 and over the last few years the design has been tweaked and the Crossbow has built a strong fan base. This year however the Crossbow has been taken back to the drawing board and had a complete redesign. So much has changed in fact it is hard to know where to start! First up the IDS bar is totally different, a simple 121 affair with no pulleys. It has fully moulded EVA bar ends that are easy on the hands and also perfect for winding lines around. The set up utilises the Intelligent Depower System or IDS for short. This starts at the bar where a short IDS line is attached to the chicken loop. When you release the chicken loop, you are still connected by the IDS line, which runs just a few meters up the front lines. There is a secondary release to completely ditch the kite. There is more to the IDS than just an extra line though. The bridle on the Crossbow has been completely redesigned as well. Not only is it much shorter and simpler than before, but it incorporates two extra pulleys. These are part of the IDS and when it is engaged the bridle pulls on the kite from a more central point, similar to how a 5th line works. The result is total depower when you need it and you can also use the system to self-land. The kite is still a bow kite, but it isn’t as flat as the previous year, in fact the profile changes with the sizes, the larger sizes having a flatter arc for better low end and extra efficiency and the smaller sizes having a rounder arc to aid control in high winds. Cabrinha call this the Dynamic Arc Progression and it means that every kite has been individually designed with the exact conditions in mind that you would expect to use that kite in.
In the Air
Be prepared, the Corssbow IDS is a very different kite to the model the year before. Get excited though as it is different in a very good way. The Crossbow of old was always associated with a heavier bar pressure than most and while it was super stable and generated loads of power it wasn’t the fastest kite though the turns. This year the simpler bridle allows for a near direct connection to the back of the kite which has livened up the steering considerably, add to that the 121 bar set up and you have a recipe for something altogether more exciting! Through the air the kite is very fast indeed and small movements on the bar will generate an instant response with the steering of the kite. This extra agility allows you to really move the kite aggressively around the window. This adds up to one thing that loads of free riders out there will love. Hangtime. The IDS is impressive to say the least and when it is powered it will rip you off the water with some force. That said the timings in the jumps take a little getting used to. Don’t be surprised if you get unceremoniously dumped on the first few attempts from a great height. Once dialled in the kite has some awesome big air potential. In gusty conditions it handles very well, although the depower throw is now longer as the pulley bar has been dispensed with. So some of that finger tip control on the previous models has gone, but there is still plenty of control to be had. The IDS system works well too, simply activate the chicken loop and the kite comes down with no power. One thing that we noticed was the absence of a stopper ball, in previous years the Cabrinha system has been one of our favourites. We were surprised to see it missing this year and with such a long bar throw it was missed. But upon speaking to the guys at the head office the stopper is on the way and will be available to retrofit if you have one of the early kites.
A completely different kite from last year, and one that is much improved. Loads of performance, fast to turn and guaranteed to excite you. The IDS system also makes the set up extremely safe.
Not having a stopper on such a long bar throw was an issue, but this is being fixed as we speak. With 6 pulleys on the bridle you’ll want to ensure you keep them clean and sand free to stop them from seizing up.
One of the best kites Cabrinha have put onto the market, completely different to the Crossbows of old, which were all great kites, but the new kite is faster smoother and altogether more exciting to ride!
This review was in Issue 10 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!