At A Glance
Cabrinha’s long standing freestyle all-rounder is back again in 2019. So good is its reputation and high end performance, Cabrinha decided their dedicated freestyle kite, the Chaos, was redundant and put all their focus into the FX: their freestyle crossover.
A 3-strut kite, it has a modified C shape arc for explosive power, a larger wingtip area for power through the turn, and a moderate aspect ratio for forward drive. The bridle for 2019 now features three different turning options to suit how you ride, with dedicated settings for freeride, freestyle and kiteloops. The short bridle system is pulley free for a direct feel and the back line pig tails have three attachment points for further personalisation.
As you’d expect in 2019, there is a large inflation valve and a one-pump system in play. Reinforcements feature in the style of both bumper pads and heavier duty material in key wear and stress areas, and Cabrinha uses the 2DR double RipStop material for added strength in the canopy. The leading edge and struts are made with specially designed High Tenacity Dacron to combat elongation and warp through powered moves.
Cabrinha have worked on the strength and longevity of the kite to ensure it can stand up to what ever you wish to throw at it.
Sizes: 5,6,7,8,9,10,12 and 14 meters
The Cabrinha control system line up had undergone some major work last time we reviewed them. New for 2019 we see a fresh colourway to the Quickloop options. The grip across the range is super comfortable in the hand and very grippy. The 1X Trimlite bars have a small diameter and streamlined bar-end, soft and comfortable with built-in hidden back line adjusters for those who like to tweak their ride. The bar is simple and aesthetically pleasing.
The Trimlite cleat is smooth and easy to use with a great range of trim available. The bungeed Trimlite cord keeps the tail tidy and out of the way whilst riding. Slightly more flap than systems with both bungee and magnets, but that's being ultra-critical – it’s neat enough and works well.
Using the on-the-fly centre line depower is again extensive with a huge amount of depower range available to the rider. The new larger centre fitting does allow for a smoother experience when adjusting power and turning at the same time. The 1X safety system works well and with the Quickloop, Cabrinha has one of the easiest, simple release systems out there. It’s super quick and straightforward to reset it again too.
"An all-round usable kite for both aspiring and accomplished freestylers"
In The Air
The FX is a kite you instantly feel comfortable on. There is a definite racier feel when compared with the 2018 version, and this will of course be due to the elimination of the Chaos. That is not to say it is out of reach to the many, however, the user friendliness can be felt from the get go and certainly will be suitable for those who are thinking of starting their unhooked journeys right up to those competing at a world tour level.
The low end of the kite has been increased on the 2019 FX. Far gruntier in feel, it has a much more usable range, with that low end performance a clear focus. The top end is still very good, and factor in the usable depower through the bar you have an impressive range from one kite. The feedback through the bar is direct, and it is worth playing around with the settings as certainly could be described as heavy on a few!
Basic riding is comfortable, an easy upwind angle, and agile through the sky on turns and transitions. Start to really fly the kite, and it will match you point for point in terms of energy and aggression. There is a fast flight speed which translates to fast riding and explosive boosts and float. Cabrinha have worked on the vertical acceleration in the jump and it has paid off with the energy being used to get the height as well as the coverage through the sky. Through the air the crisp steering feel is maintained with constant feedback. The FX is a definite looper and encourages you from the get-go to start pulling into some big sends. Fly fast and hard enough and you will pull some loops to rival those who flock to Cape Town for the King Of The Air, or, like the rest of us mere mortals, simply chuck some loops into your riding and feel the grin spread across your face as the kite catches you each and every time.
Unhooked freestyle riders will have a ball on the FX as its fast drivey attitude shoots the kite forward to create the desired slack effect for easier passing. The fast speed of the kite allows for some pretty exceptional pops in the right conditions. Interestingly, there is still some usable performance right at the bottom end of the range in the FX, likewise at snail pace you are still able to produce enough height for some small tricks.
Relaunch is as we would again expect from this style of kite. Not an instant roll over and go, it does require a little input but nothing a more intermediate rider wont be able to cope with.
The FX has accessible performance for a range of kiters. Huge boosts, extra fun loops, and powerful freestyle potential.
The FX is slightly heavier than lots of other kites in its class. Though fine once you are used to it, there are certainly lighter kites available if that is your preference.
Another classic from Cabrinha. The FX has increased its low end from previous years and the result is a far more all-round usable kite for both aspiring and accomplished freestylers. This years kite has the ability to be tuned on the bridle to your personal preference and riding style with dedicated options for freestyle or loops. The FX is a sound choice for the aspiring advanced freestyle kiter.
This review was in Issue 76 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha