2023 Cabrinha Switchblade Review
The Cabrinha Switchblade has been one of Cabrinha’s flagship kites for over a decade. One distinct feature of the 2023 Cabrinha Switchblade is that it is a kite for any level kiteboarder. In other words, the Switchblade is a great kite from beginner to advanced riders. This is a kite we use for lessons, as well as ride for our own enjoyment.
Overview of the Cabrinha Switchblade
The Cabrinha Switchblade has been a staple in the kiteboarding community since its inception. It’s a 5-strut kite with a reputation for versatility, which means it performs well in a variety of conditions. Here’s what sets it apart:
- All-Level Friendliness: One of the standout features of the Switchblade is its user-friendly design. Whether you’re a beginner just getting started or an experienced rider looking to push your limits, this kite is suitable for all levels of kiteboarders.
- Stability: The Switchblade is known for its exceptional stability, thanks to its 5-strut design and well-thought-out construction. This stability is crucial for maintaining control, especially in gusty winds or choppy waters.
- Wind Range: This kite’s impressive wind range is another reason it’s so popular. It can handle a broad spectrum of wind conditions, making it an excellent choice for riders who don’t want to be limited by changing weather.
- Predictable Power: The Switchblade delivers consistent and predictable power, which is a must for performing tricks and maneuvers. Riders can confidently anticipate the kite’s behavior, allowing for precise control and execution.
- Reliability: Cabrinha is renowned for producing high-quality kites, and the Switchblade is no exception. Its durable construction and robust materials ensure that it can withstand the rigors of kiteboarding.
Upgrades to the 2023 Switchblade
One exciting upgrade to mention is the pulley-less bridle system. Pulleys have existed in the Switchblade since its conception in 2006. At the time, they were needed to provide a kite with a wide wind range. The downside to the pulleys were that it took away from the performance characteristics of the kite. Each year, the trend has been to reduce the pulleys while keeping the wind range and improving performance. The 2023 Cabrinha Switchblade is the first year that it has become a pulley-less bridle system.
The change to the bridle system is subtle but noticeable. We feel that the kite is more responsive to rider input. This results in a kite that loops quicker and flys faster through the air. It will benefit riders interested in jumping or kiteloops at an intermediate or advanced level.
Another upgrade we like is the trailing edge EVA rigidity battens. These battens should reduce flutter in the trailing edge, which decreases drag. In other words, the kite is more aerodynamically tuned. It will stay true to its shape and perform the way it was designed to perform.
Who Is This Kite For?
The Cabrinha Switchblade was one of the first “do everything” kites. It may not do every style of riding perfect, but it has amazing performance for every style of riding.
- Freeriding: The Switchblade’s predictability and stability make it an excellent choice for freeriding. Whether you’re cruising along the shoreline or launching big jumps, this kite provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
- Wave Riding: While the Switchblade is not a dedicated wave kite, it can handle wave riding exceptionally well. Its quick and responsive turning allows riders to navigate the surf with ease. If interested in freeriding and wave riding exclusively, then look at the Cabrinha Moto X.
- Big Air and Kiteloops: If you’re an adrenaline junkie chasing big air or craving the thrill of kiteloops, the Switchblade won’t disappoint. Its consistent power delivery and hangtime make it ideal for pulling off spectacular aerial maneuvers. The new pulley-less bridle pulls it through the loops quicker than before.
- Unhooked Tricks: Advanced riders who love unhooked tricks appreciate the Switchblade’s power and stability when unhooked. It’s a kite that provides the predictability needed to push the boundaries of freestyle kiteboarding. If interested in freestyle, also look at the Cabrinha FX2.
How Does It Compare In The Cabrinha Lineup?
Cabrinha has focused on designing more all-around kites that perform well for a variety of different styles. When choosing a kite this can get confusing. As a result, we dedicated a specific blog post about Cabrinha’s three most popular kites. Read more here.