At A Glance
The Switchblade has been a solid feature in the Cabrinha range for years now, twelve, if you want to be precise. That’s one massive chunk of research and development. For 2017 Cabrinha bring us an evolved version of the ‘classic’ Switchblade. For those only just touching base on the Switchblade it is a 5-strut hybrid design LEI and sits in the Cabrinha line up as their performance freeride/cross over model, renowned for its power, performance and smooth feel.
The Switchblade features Cabrinha’s new pure profile panels; put simply, the panels of the canopy have been cut in half, leading edge to trailing edge, to increase the performance of the kite in the sky. Riders will benefit from a solid feel, increased stability and efficiency. In terms of tech the Switchblade uses 2DR double ripstop, the sprint airlock valve, A-B wingtip settings, power control pigtails and Cabrinha’s skeletal frame construction method.
The Switchblade comes in three different colours for the 2017 season: orange/ yellow, red/blue and blue/yellow/green.
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
We headed out on the switchblade complete with the Overdrive 1x Trimlite bar with the quick loop connection system.
The set up is ultra clean, simple and packs some serious features. The 1X release system disconnects smoothly with effortless reconnection; this accompanies the front line re-ride seen across the Cabrinha control system range keeping us safe at all times. The Overdrive feature may be new to you, this gives us the ability to change the length of the bar with ease. While it's recommended to change the length while setting up, you can just as easily adjust in the water with the kite down.
The Trimlite also gives the rider the ability to adjust the kite to the nearest millimetre. We found this was great while tanking around and wanting to trim precisely for upwind ability. The Quickloop connection isn’t quite as space tech as the Fireball connection system, yet, it boasts a smooth, clean chicken loop system with a reliable safety release for those wanting to throw down unhooked. Not only do these bars come jammed with the above features they look slick, the grip is ultra comfortable and they deliver one hell of a precise, responsive feel to the rider.
There are a bundle of control systems out there from Cabrinha for 2017 so find the perfect set up for you. We have been incredibly impressed with the Fireball connection system. Bars are available in Overdrive 1x Recoil/Trimlite or the 1X Trimlite, all available with Fireball or Quickloop connection methods.
In The Air
Sending the Switchblade into the air you’ll soon feel a sense of security; it is solid and controlled in the sky. Just watch how hard you send it up as it has a lot of power, something it is renowned for. Don’t let this put you off, it’s a gradual delivery of power that’s very controllable from the bar. The more you get tuned into the Switchblade the more you notice just how direct and rapid the turning is. The kite turns responsively, yet should you find yourself in a pickle it will have your back so to speak. It offers a manageable level of response for most levels, you can switch off to enjoy the surroundings and feel the next movement through the bar.
“Shed loads of power… and very easy to use”
Being a kite that’s used by those fresh out of lessons (at times) to those pushing the boundaries of big air and even wakestyle, the Switchblade needs to not only perform well, but be easy to use and reliable. The stability of the Switchblade is fantastic, no matter how hard you push the limits of its flying capabilities, it recovers with ease. For a kite of this design the Switchblade gives a decent amount of pop and slack for unhooked moves, you’ll need to load it harder than a freestyle kite but you’re going to ping into your moves. Another big one for those wanting to push the boundaries is always a good relaunch, it’s easy with the Switchblade in a variety of conditions. The days of swimming towards a kite to relaunch it have definitely gone!
Boosting on the Switchblade is phenomenal, its rapid turns accompanied with the raw power will have your boosting feel like being propelled into space…maybe Cabrinha will rename it the ‘rocket’.
Solid Cabrinha quality, exceptional stability and complete ease of use with a shed load of power on tap when you want it.
The only downside to the Switchblade we came across was a slightly heavier bar pressure. However, the predictability of this kite was awesome, something that stems from that slight extra pressure at the bar.
The Switchblade is stable, direct, fast and has loads of power while still being manageable and friendly. Perfect for those wanting to boost big, dabble in the waves, play around with unhooked riding and pretty much anything you throw at it. A solid contender if you want one kite for everything.
This review was in Issue 61 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha