At A Glance
The Cabrinha FX is a totally new kite for 2015. Designed to bridge the gap between freestyle and freeride, it is another addition to the continuing trend of 3 strut do-it-all kites. The FX seemed to come out of nowhere. Cabrinha traditionally release their kites in August, so when the hype began about a new kite for 1st March release we got rather excited.
The FX has been designed for those of us who want to go out and try all the latest tricks, boost their highest jumps and throw some powerful loops, whilst still being user friendly enough for those who are just starting on their path to these things. In terms of the Cabrinha line up it sits between the Switchblade and the Chaos. It’s a 3-strut design with fairly square tips Pat Goodman designed the kite with the help of Nick Jacobsen who has been heavily involved in the marketing campaign.
If you know how Nick rides you will be fully aware of how this kite is designed to perform, he rides aggressively and is famous for his huge kiteloops. The team spent a lot of time working on the profile of this kite to ensure it flies quickly back to catch you when looping. They also injected all their collective know how in kite construction to ensure the FX is designed to handle the abuse you decide to throw at it.
There is a fast inflation point as standard, this makes pumping easy and you won’t ever lose the valve as it is attached to the kite. Just attach the hose and away you go! The special 2DR Ripstop canopy material has also been used extensively along with Dacron reinforcements to create a light but strong kite.
Sizes: 6m, 7m, 8m, 9m, 10m, 12m, 14m
The Overdrive 1X Control System is an incredibly innovative bar, which works very well. A super clean bar with all the centre lines going through a PVC core keeping everything neat and tidy and prolonging the life with less wear.
The chicken loop has been revamped with one of the best quick release (QR) mechanisms we have seen this year. As with many kites, your leash is attached to one front line coming through the QR. A simple push away is all that’s needed to activate your safety where the kite instantly falls to the ground with no power. Once the safety is activated the design of the quick release really excels. Having pushed your release up on the chicken loop, the release stays elevated above the latch enabling you to very easily put it all back together one handed. Once in position simply nudge the release and it pops back into position securing everything back together. Though many other brands have the same style of QR, this is the first we have seen where the release stays lifted in order to re assemble.
The Overdrive 1X Bar also features an excellent on-the-go length adjustment, meaning you can extend the width between the two rear lines. Perhaps not the easiest thing to do whilst riding if you are not overly confident, but with your kite even sat in the water you simply pull a tag from the bottom of each bar end and pull both floats outwards (or inwards) to change the bar length by up to 8cm. Very simple and very effective this means you can now use the same size bar on both the 6m and also the 14m kite.
The Recoil feature, though perhaps not the most attractive, works very well with the FX. During gusts the bar will travel up the centre line de-powering the kite, then automatically the spring will push the bar back into the perfect position once the gust has passed through. Not only this, it keeps the power-up/de-power adjusters within easy reach even for those with shorter arms.
In A Air
The FX arrives in a wonderfully simple bag, which rather beautifully echoes the entire package. As soon as we launched this kite, the solid direct feel really made itself known. There is a constant pressure through the bar which keeps you reassured as to where the kite is at all times. We were a little worried the bar may feel cumbersome in the air with it being larger than some others, but all our worries soon vanished and the solid bar made the kite feel very robust and direct.
The FX flies up wind with ease, and should you crash relaunch is a doddle. In fact, such is the user friendliness of this kite, we are inclined to say it would also work well for the enthusiastic beginners out there. However, it is in the more aggressive fliers hands that this kite really comes alive. The FX really does beg to be looped, and it does not disappoint. Incredibly smooth the whole way round and the kite shoots back up in the window to ensure a feather light landing.
For freestyle, both hooked and unhooked, the FX is impeccable. It stays in exactly the same place you left it, and produces such a constant steady pull that even your best moves become that much easier. Even in the waves the FX did not disappoint, yes it is not a dedicated wave kite, but for those riders who just want to hit a few lips from time to time this is a great kite to satisfy those needs.
It is the direct and precise handling that really shines through with the FX though, it is a confidence inspiring kite make no mistake. We pulled countless loops and the FX was always there to catch us, even when the wind was gusty. Its ability to boost big airs will put a huge smile on your face and the unhooked riders will enjoy it’s impeccable well behaved nature!
For freestyle, both hooked and unhooked, the FX is as exciting as it is impeccable!
Solid, stable and predictable with excellent high end performance.
The bag is simple, the kite is simple and the bar is quite the opposite, it is brilliantly effective and does everything you need it to and more, but the recoil system may be a little bit too much for riders who prefer a clean look.
The FX really is the kite to get you throwing your best tricks, launching into the sky, slashing a few waves and ultimately having an absolute blast without having to worry about being so beaten up by your kite you wont be able to walk back into work on Monday morning. This is a true high performance do-it-all machine with almost near natural handling, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear under the FX!
This review was in Issue 50 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha