Awards—Top Low-End Power
Size tested: 11m Suggested retail: $1,489 (kite only)
Sizes available: 4.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
Test Team Report
For years now, the Switchblade has been pillar of the Cabrinha lineup, and consistently delivers its distinct power ban and smooth control that provides the ability to fuse freestyle and freeride performance. Last season the low-end grunt and truck-like pull of the Switchblade was slightly tuned out of the kite, but the steering was more nimble and fast with lighter touch from the back lines. For 2014, the extra grunt is back, along with most of the light-touch steering and faster turning it had last year. Riders on the Test Team found that the 11m had close to as much as, or even more, low-end pull as some of the 12-meters in the test, and the power is just easy to find and use because the Switchblade’s power is so constant and smooth.
For the heavyweight test riders who love to ride with their wakeboard boots, the Switchblade was their favorite kite. It is arguably one of the best kites at being comfortable to jump both hooked and unhooked; you don’t need trim the kite to get the huge pop like most bridled kites. Smooth and consistent in its pop and drift, the Switchblade doesn’t react to miscalculated bar input until you really need it to. This makes the Switchblade ideal for park-style riding and unhooked passes and maneuvers. The steering is lighter touch than ever, and it feels more high-performance in its lift and jumps than the more versatile Vector. It also has more glide and loft than the Vector, and is as nimble and forgiving as a high-performance freestyle kite can or should be.
With such smooth, unhooked pull and prowess, it takes some extra effort to make the kite pivot fast.
Unhooked freestyle riders who want the ultimate in huge pop and smooth, consistent pull for throwing down your best pass.
Designer Notes: Pat Goodman
This year we focused on getting the Switchblade’s power back. We wanted to make sure it would deliver the low end power Switchblade owners are accustom to, yet maintain the nimble handling and control on the top end. We shortened the bridle and reduced pulleys to give it a direct and pivot-ty feel. Additionally we opened up the arc shape some and tuned the pro%les for more overall power. The aspect ratio on the SB is higher than most, which contributes to it’s insane boost and hang time.