Chris Martin from Agent 8 tells us about the 2014 Cabrinha Switchblade –
This year is the 10th anniversary of the bow kite, which means it is also a big year for the Cabrinha Switchblade.
The switchblade is the biggest selling kite on the market; it consistently sells over 16000 kites every year. Since the Switchblade hit the beach we have easily sold over 100,000 of this popular shape kite. So it has been a phenomenal product with a very strong following, with improvement year on year from the Cabrihna design team.
Back when the Bow kite was a new idea Cabrinha were approached by a guy who had a kite pattern that had not yet been adopted by any of the mainstream kite brands. Cabrinha decided to give it a go and see where this new bow shape would take us.
The bow kite pattern shows the leading edge as the same shape is the trailing edge, this keeps the canopy at the most optimum angle and the kite flies more efficiently. This new shape also gave the designers at Cabrinha the opportunity to create a supported leading edge. The new Cabrihna bow kite was so well thought out it became a success the moment it hit the market.
This year we wanted to produce the best Switchblade yet. We started by looking back at the best and also slightly less popular features of the previous kites. 2012 the kites were very grunty, they were aimed at our wakestyle/freeride rider who generally want a kite that can really pull you along. Saying this, The Switchblade is known for being a very stable kite, it sits quite far back in the window, not too far back that it’s going to surge forward in gusts but not too far forward that when it lulls the kite falls back. So with this perfect balance, it’s one of those kites that you can ride from day one and feel at home straight away.
The wider arc of the Switchblade means that there is always going have more positive bar pressure. This added pressure means that you can usually feel exactly where the kite is sitting in the window without looking at it. This feature that make it a great kite for beginners, intermediates and even the advanced guys who are focusing on developing their wakestyle riding.
The feedback from the 2012 Switchblade was that many people wanted a lighter pressure on the bar and for the kite to move quicker. The way we tackled this was to reduce the arc slightly, bring the edges in and change the bridle. So for the 2013 Switchblade we reduced the arc slightly, bringing the edges in and changing the bridle. We implemented these changes but by losing pressure from the bar we actually reduced the amount of low end power. So the kite went from quite a lot of grunt and power to slightly less power. The feedback we have had from the 2013 Switchblade is that many of our customers who were use to the earlier versions of this kite wanted the power back in the bar.
When developing the Switchblade for 2014 we wanted to taken the best of the 2012 and 2013 kites and create a kite with the power of the 2012 Switchblade and the lighter bar and quiker turning of the 2013 Switchblade.
This year we have moved away from the ids in the kite, previously the safety system was in the kite bridle, we have now changed to a flag in re-ride on one of the lines. To do that we had to bring the V of the middle lines right down towards the bar, before it was about 1.5 meters above the bar which also slowed the kite down. So by bringing the V down we had more direct steering so the kite became quicker, a little bit lighter, and with the new bridle it has the power of the 2012 Switchblade. So with the 2014 kite you have the same low end grunty feeling of the 2012 kite but you have the lighter bar pressure and the speed of the 2013 kite; the best of both years in the 2014 switchblade. Mixed with the new overdrive bar system as well as the double rip stop canopy we have just taken the switch blade another step further.
The mix of features in the 2014 Switchblade this year is definitely a winning combination, the best bits of two great years and bringing them in to one new kite. The riders who have used it and all of the magazines have all had great things to say about the kite and the sales have also reflected these shining reviews.