At A Glance
When Cabrinha released the 02 Collection at the start of the year, we were excited to see the brand's continued evolution. With some star-studded additions to the team (Hello Hannah!), a change of ownership in 2020, and the recent return of legendary designer Pat Goodman, this might be the most exciting Cabrinha era yet!
We got our hands on the new FX2 on a few occasions, and this is one of the kites in the Cabrinha lineup we were most interested in testing. A central theme of its product marketing is the two sides of a coin, and that's something that has been cleverly incorporated into the FX2.
The original Cabrinha FX was a megaloop machine, while the now discontinued C-shaped Chaos was the choice for hardcore freestyle. With this gap in the lineup, Cabrinha has taken the Freestyle Crossover concept, which earned the FX its name, even further. This kite has a completely new design with two very different sides, one for extreme big air and the other for high-performance freestyle.
With our 8m demo of the Cabrinha FX2, straight out of the bag and pumped up, you can see that Cabrinha has put a lot of time into the end product, finely tuning a kite that has high performance in two very different disciplines.
The new canopy material that Cabrinha is using, the Nano Ripstop Canopy, looks nice and feels great in hand, and it looks different from most of the ripstop on the market. The kite has been built in true Cabrinha fashion, with durability in mind. With High Tenacity Dacron on the leading edge and reinforcements in areas of the canopy that endure the most stress, this kite looks like it will take a beating.
When you take this kite out of the bag, it comes with a pulley-less bridle that makes the FX2 a looping and big air machine. Our demo included a second 6-line setup (which is sold separately) that converts the kite into a freestyle beast. It's insane to see how a kite can offer high performance in two completely different disciplines.
In The Air
Over the past few months, we've had the chance to try out the FX2 in very different conditions, from pumping 35-40 knot wind to lighter 15-20 knot freestyle days.
In the stronger winds, our testers sent some big airs and pulled some solid loops. Trying a new kite always comes with an adjustment period, and it took a moment to get used to the looping characteristics of the FX2, but once we had it dialled in, it knocked our socks off! Our testers were super stoked about how fast the kite looped and accelerated upwards after the loop. One thing we noticed, which is personal preference, is that the kite has a bit more pull from the harness than we are used to, but it's nothing too crazy.
We really enjoyed the looping aspect and fast turning of the kite, and while it offered respectable hangtime, it is hard to find a 3-strut kite that loops like a monster AND lifts you to the moon - there has to be a compromise. For that extra float, we would go up a size or even switch to the Switchblade. We were pretty impressed by the Switchblade's boosting ability.
When you're testing a kite with two personalities, you've got to see it in all conditions, so we whipped on the freestyle bridle and headed to Langebaan to enjoy some more relaxed freestyle fun. We were greeted with a nice 15-20 knots and an incoming tide which kept it butter flat on the sand spit.
Changing over a bridle requires a bit of patience, and while it took a few minutes, it wasn't complicated - just keep the manual and don't be afraid to refer to the instructions!
Once we got the kite up, we were amazed at the change of performance; it was like having two completely different kites but in the best of ways. The pop and slack for a bridled C, as we would describe the kite as the kite takes on a more closed shape with the 6-line setup, was insane. This kite did everything and more and felt much more rigid with the freestyle kit, allowing for nice slack during handle pass tricks.
One kite with two sides to it, the FX2 is a high-performance kite loop and freestyle machine. With the two bridle setups, this kite can send massive kite loops, but with a few minutes of fiddling, it becomes a kite you can throw down some solid freestyle on! If kite loops and freestyle are your things, or you're an advanced kiter that likes a bit of everything but doesn't want to commit to a 10-kite quiver, the Cabrinha FX2 is well worth a look.
It's not what we'd recommend for freeride, however, and the Switchblade is the more all-around, user-friendly kite that still has super strong performance, even when it comes to jumping. But, if you like a bit of extremity in your kiting, you should definitely give the FX2 a bash!
This review was in Issue 95 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha
By Crystal VenessEditor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.