May 3, 2013
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Sizes tested: 8, 11 m
Sizes available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16 m
Design features: BOW hybrid, 5-strut, 4-line
The Switchblade has been the unrivalled flagship of the Cabrinha kite lineup for many years. For 2013, the SB received a major design overhaul, with the result of notable improvements in handling, direct steering, turn response and quick turning speed. Following on its refinement from last season, the Switchblade continues to improve on its accessible and instant depower, and offers an even more lively, kite-flying feel this year. The kite’s legendary, smooth power delivery combined with its solid, park-it-and-forget-it unhooked pull are still a cut above the pack, but the added nimble steering is a bonus that brings it closer to the top of the All-terrain Freeride category.
Testers were impressed with the new Switchblade, and most riders noted the more nimble and sporty handling. Kiters that use previous SB models should note the low-end power of each size of SB has been reduced, while its turning speed and reactivity have increased in the upper wind range. It’s a good trade-off for more nimble handling and lighter bar pressure through the turns. With these solid performance improvements, the Switchblade’s popularity is sure to continue in its appeal to a wide range of riders. Lower skilled riders can appreciate and grow with its smooth, predictable and steady pull, while advanced riders can push the limits of their freestyle and wakestyle development.
- Long bar
In the hands, the bar for each size seems long at first, but performance was well-matched with the kites.
+ What the SBC Test Team raved about:
“Solid feel, steady pull, not trim-sensitive, with amazing set-it-and-forget-it feel. Awesome graphics, very polished, rock solid kite that oozes Cabrinha quality and attention to detail.”
“It feels more sporty and reactive than last year’s SB, and rivals the adaptability of some of my favorite All-terrain models.”
Cool Tech Features
- Sprint inflation system with new Airlock
- Skeletal frame technology
- Line manager tool