Here in the Gorge, we are fortunate enough to see and test the newest gear to hit the market. The 2013 Switchblade has been highly anticipated due to the improvements in turning speed and bar pressure. Pumping the 2013 Cabrinha kites is a cinch with the new Airlock allowing for a higher volume of air to pass through the one way valve. It doesn’t require an adapter either, and attaches directly onto the valve. The ultra durable dacron frame is noticeably stiff and ridged right out of the bag, helping lock in the kite’s intended shape.
The 2013 Switchblade has a bit of a wider looking wingtip, which probably helps in the faster turning speed (quite noticeable in the bigger sizes). This probably adds to the improved relaunch too! Once in flight, I noticed how much lighter the bar pressure was from the previous models. Out of the bag, the Switchblade is set on the “lighter steering impulse” setting. If you want heavier pressure in the bar, there is a slight adjustment on the trailing edge bridle (shift the bridle from A to B).
One more huge improvement is on the 2013 Quicklink Control System. First off, the quick-release has been improved for reconnecting on the water. To reconnect, you push the quick-release up until it catches on the hook (new for 2013). The new flying lines are thick, like cables! They have an improved finish reducing stretch over time, and making running out the lines easier.
The 2013 Switchblade works in a wide range of conditions, making it a very versatile kite. We have had a chance now to fly the new 5m (28-38 mph), the 7m, 8m, and 9m.
New for the ladies this year is the Switchblade offered in the Siren collection (sizes 6/8/10/12). The Siren colorway was inspired by the ever talented Suzi Mai. The Siren Quicklink Bar has a longer, easy to reach trim adjuster, and smaller harness loop. This makes reaching maximum depower much easier for the ladies!