2012 Cabrinha: Switchblade vs. Drifter

One of the most common questions I’ve been hearing from Cabrinha kiters is which kite should I choose for 2012, the new Drifter, or the flagship Switchblade?

I have had the fortunate opportunity to fly both of these kites, in almost all sizes, and have some answers to these questions. The new Drifter is a simple, lightweight, 3-strut design which is being marketed as the ultimate surf kite. If you are riding primarily a directional board, there is no doubt in my mind you will be impressed with the Drifter’s slack line drift ability. This is the kite’s ability to stay aloft even when the lines go slack from either depowering, or chasing the kite with speed down the line in both surf and swell. There are some advantages to a simple 3-strut design when talking about turning speed too. The Drifter will not disappoint the kiter who likes to pilot the kite aggressively, and certainly won’t disappoint the kite looper! Available in sizes 5.5m through 11m, the Drifter comes highly recommended by the Big Winds staff. Come demo one from us this summer, and see for yourself what the hype is all about.

Now let’s talk about the Switchblade, our number one selling Cabrinha kite over the past couple of years here at Big Winds. The Switchblade has passed the test of time, with the 2012 still shining as a wakestyle / free-ride kite. Up on the leading edge bridle, Cabrinha has added the option for tuning the kite between these two disciplines. The wakestyle setting really allows the kite to sit back a bit in the window for better unhooked performance, whereas the free-ride setting offers the ultimate depower and range. The Switchblade’s bow shape has a reliable and predictable feel to it either when riding in gusty conditions or jumping (and boy does it jump!). The 5-strut canopy not only offers wonderful lift when jumping, but also sets you down softly. We have found the smaller sizes to offer tremendous range in the gusty conditions, and the bigger kites to have a very satisfactory low-end to it. If you haven’t flown a Switchblade, come demo one from us here at Big Winds this summer!

Available at Big Winds: Drifter | Switchblade

–TJ