At A Glance
Cabrinha have been producing the Drifter for what seems like forever, and it’s long been considered a fantastic wave kite. The weapon of choice for wave seeker Keahi de Aboitiz and the rest of the pro wave team it offers a dynamic flying experience with plenty of drift, the clue is in the name as it were.
This year, Cabrinha have a new Nano Ripstop fabric for the canopy material, this uses a 3mm weave that effectively doubles the number of cells compared to the standard double ripstop. Also, the coating is added using a plasma treatment that ensures it doesn’t come off. This means the material is not only stronger and more stretch resistant, but it will also last a lot longer too.
Another new feature for this year is the optimised Dacron layout which helps to reduce the weight of the kite even further. As usual, the Drifter comes as standard with Cabrinha’s high-end construction techniques and the kite feels exceedingly high quality when you take it out of the bag and pump it up.
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13m
In The Air
Stability is something you notice instantly with the Drifter; bending down to attach your board leash you’ll look back up and see the kite hasn’t moved when you go to grab the bar again. This stability is something the team have worked hard to create.
When you are riding in offshore conditions, its stability, you need more than anything. As you run down the wave, the kite needs to drift, and it can’t do that if it’s rolling from side to side in the window. Cabrinha have a name for this characteristic, Drift Stability; you’ll feel this as soon as you put the kite in the air.
This makes it an incredible kite for offshore conditions; you can use the power of the kite to tow you into the wave, then shut it off and ride the wave as the kite flies along by itself above you. In onshore conditions, though you need a kite that moves and the Drifter can handle this too.
There are two settings on the kite, one for onshore and one for offshore, two very different styles of wave riding that require different performance. By using this tuning feature, you get even more out of the kite that is already delivering a lot.
In onshore conditions, the kite turns on a dime and is happy to fly around the window on command. It does deliver a little more power through the turns than some wave kites, and if you are used to a different style, this might take a few moments to get used to. Riders who like power will have no issues here, and once you adjust your riding to accommodate the power, you can use it to your advantage on the wave.
With a hydrofoil the kite is magic, it floats so well and is so stable, the responsive nature means it will happily fly around above you even when gybing with slack lines. Wave kiters and foilers alike will get a lot out of the Drifter!
A real contender in the wave market, if stability is what you want, then this kite has more than most, perhaps the most. In onshore conditions, it excels as well and won’t disappoint anyone who chooses to fly it. Foils, waves, onshore-offshore the Drifter has you covered!
This review was in Issue 77 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!