At A Glance
Back in 2006, the first Cabrinha Switchblade was launched. Fast forward to today, when, after 16 years of progression, research and development, the 02 Switchblade has been released. This kite has helped riders achieve world records, world championships and push the limit of the sport. For instance, in 2017, Nick Jacobsen jumped 210M off the Burj al-Arab in Dubai on a Switchblade. If that doesn't tell you that the kite is trusted by the upper echelons of the sport, nothing will…
For the 2022 Switchblade, Cabrinha has made two major changes to the kite: the first is introducing new ceramic pulleys made from Zirconia, a tough material that is also used in teeth restoration! Back to kiting, though, the new pulleys are a much more impact and wear-resistant product.
Secondly, the bridle has been completely restructured. The new configuration gives more balance overall to the kite and offers quicker turning and lighter bar pressure. Cabrinha has implemented this change to open the kite up to even more riders. But this comes at no loss to the performance; the kite really comes into its own when it's nuking.
The kite construction is to the same excellent standard that Cabrinha has been renowned for years. The Dacron used in the leading edge is exclusive to Cabrinha, and has a high thread count that helps extend the lifespan of the kites. Additional durability features include heavy-duty seam construction and a Nano Ripstop Canopy.
The 02 Switchblade comes in four colourways, and, in my opinion, like all the other kites in their lineup, Cabrinha has really knocked the graphics out of the park this year. The size range is very comprehensive, with all the sizes you could possibly need to complete your quiver.
Sizes: 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 14
In The Air
Taking the kite out on the water was a blast! Having previously ridden the 01 Switchblade, I knew that this kite was made for freeride and big air performance. The 02 Switchblade improves on the already crazy hangtime and huge boosts that previous versions offered.
The thin bridles allow for crazy quick loops with a small turn radius. The 5-strut exo-skeleton holds down those gusts and then lets loose once you send the kite up to 12 and sheet in. Once in the air, the kite holds you up there for ages. On the wing tips, there are two connection points: "A and B", that drastically change the kite feel. If you use the "A" setting, the bar pressure is noticeably lighter.
One of the key things in kites these days is their enhanced safety features. Like with all their kites, Cabrinha has implemented the 1X security system into the 02 Switchblade. All riders want a reliable safety system. I can tell you, from experience, that this system works well! When the safety is pulled, all the power goes out of the kite and onto the flag-out line.
For such an aggressive kite, the Switchblade rockets upwind. The profile of the kite facilitates this by having unique panel placements, which helps encourage clean airflow. Relaunching a 5-strut kite can be difficult at the best of times, but I found that the 02 Switchblade glides out of the water with ease, even during a lull. The swept back wing tips allow this to happen. Additionally, the swept back nature of the Switchblade's design encourages the kite to be better in lighter winds. These all culminate in a more well-rounded kite for Switchblade riders.
Cabrinha is hitting the mark this year with their 02 collection, and the new Switchblade is no exception. The Switchblade model, already a top performer in the lineup, has had a few minor, but important improvements, specifically to the bridles and the pulleys. These may look small, but they make the kite more accessible without compromising any top-end performance. The kite boosts high and has out of this world hangtime. What more could you want from a 5-strut big air machine?!
This review was in Issue 92 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Cabrinha
By Liam DredgeLiam fell in love with all Watersports after completing numerous seasons aboard, he then picked up kiting whilst in the warm tropics of the Carribean and has been obsessed ever since! Anyone that knows him would say it's near the only thing he talks about (which drives some crazy), and he loves to keep up to date with all the latest news, equipment and events that kiting has to offer. Liam also runs his own Watersports Centre along the south coast of the UK, LOOP Watersports, which is where our IKSURFMAG Test Centre is located!