Monthly Archives: March 2014

Review: 2014 Cabrinha Contra

We had a nice light westerly wind here in Hood River last weekend allowing for a perfect time to test the 2014 Cabrinha Contra 17m kite. The average wind was right around 12 mph, gusting to 15, lulls below 10. The Contra is a 3 strut kite, available in two sizes, 15m and 17m. The 2014 Overdrive Bar it is flown with is a 57-65cm adjustable control system, and the 17m test was flown on the 65cm setting.

2014 Cabrinha Contra

TJ under the Contra at the Event Site.

After watching the only other guy on the water come in on a 13m, having difficulties staying up wind, I launched the 17m and felt the immediate power this canopy provides. Within the first down stroke, I was moving, reaching forward to pull depower in the trim strap. The Contra is fast turning for its size, playful, easy to maneuver and quick to down loop. It may fit the freeride/freestyle category best — not a race kite — but a playful park and ride kite. There is plenty of power in this 17m. For that size canopy, it has a feather light feel due to the reduced diameter struts and light weight bladders.

2014 Cabrinha Contra

2014 Cabrinha Contra

Here in Hood River, it’s not essential to have a kite this big. The 15m Contra would be about as big as we need to go. For those outside of the Gorge, though, the Contra 17m is a great choice to get off the beach and out on the water. Coupled with a directional board, or light wind twin-tip, the Contra 17m will get you up and moving in the least amount of wind providing a fun filled session. If you’re taking a vacation to a lighter wind area of the world, the Contra 17m packs down small and light (15 lbs w/ bar and bag), offering a great guarantee to be on the water when many may be watching from the beach. It’s like buying wind insurance! Feel free to give us a call any time with questions regarding the 2014 Cabrinha Contra: 888-509-4210.

–TJ

www.bigwinds.com

A Secret to Strapless Airs

OK, let’s face it, some of the strapless airs we see kiters doing these days are mind boggling, as if they are attached to the board with Velcro. Well, there is a product out there that may come close: Sticky Bumps PUNT Wax. We love punt wax here in the Gorge and at Big Winds we simply can’t keep it in stock during the summer months. If you have ever waxed your kitesurf stick, you may already know the pros and cons. The cons are pretty simple: time consuming, messy, and, well, messy. But, if you know how to use the PUNT Wax, you will find the pros on the first punt!

We recommend not using PUNT Wax alone, use it sparingly on a primary coat of base wax. Rough up the base wax with a surf wax comb, and then apply the Punt Wax over the base coat. If you have pads on your board, you can apply the PUNT Wax directly onto the pad, but again, use it sparingly, as the wax can make for a messy disaster. With kiteboarding comes wind and with wind comes blowing sand. I’ve always taken my board to the water before applying the PUNT Wax on top of the base coat. This prevents any sand from adhering to the board and messing up your traction. After applying the PUNT wax, I keep it in a ziplock bag and put it in my board shorts. Within a half hour of booting strapless airs, you may find the PUNT Wax smears off to the edges of your board, and it may be time to reapply.

After a session of punting like Ian Alldridge, Patrick Rebstock or local favorites Matt Elsasser and Randy Orzeck, get used to packing your PUNT Wax away from the heat. Do not keep wax in your gear bag, nor on your car seat or dashboard. Use your PUNT Wax carefully and sparingly, and learn to love it like we do!

–TJ

888-509-4210
www.bigwinds.com

Get a Grip!

A new product made in Oregon with 100% natural ingredients has been recently introduced to us at Big Winds. Paddle Grip Wax is an essential addition to prevent the slip we get from water and sweat on the paddle shaft and handle. The rationale? It combats fatigue and reduces paddle rotation and hand displacement.

gripAfter trying Paddle Grip Wax for the first time, I’m hooked. It is now difficult to paddle without this wax. We offer it in three different formulas: Cold Water (below 64 degrees), Warm Water (above 64 degrees) and SUP Anti-Sweat (All-Temp/All Purpose). Not only does a little go a long way, but a light coating goes on clean and doesn’t attract debris. Another thing I noticed was the reduction in hand blisters. So, avoid paddle slippage and skin maceration, and get some paddle grip wax today!

–TJ

888-509-4210
www.bigwinds.com

Save the Rails!

You’ve just spent your last paycheck on your dream SUP. It’s worth spending a few extra dollars and a little time to prevent any damage to the rails. At Big Winds, we use Railsaver on all of our high-end race and surf SUP boards since the rails are typically the part of the board that gets hammered over time by your paddle. The rail tape is easy to install, doesn’t yellow over time and will certainly help the resale value of the board.

RailSaver Pro

We sell Railsaver in kits or by bulk. The kits we offer from Railsaver PRO come in clear or striped and are by far the best quality rail tape we have found. Railsaver PRO comes in two 6’3″ x 2.5″ lengths and retails for $59.99 for the clear and $65.00 for the striped.

RailSaver Pro

We also offer bulk Railsaver Pro in two widths: 2″ wide ($2.88/ft.) and 3″ wide ($4.32/ft). This rail tape is made by PukaPatch, and goes on smooth and clear. We have a formula that helps customers pick their length: 1/2 the length of your board per side. So, with a 14′ race board that has a moderate thickness, the 3″ wide tape at two 7′ lengths is optimal. For an 8′ surf SUP, all you need is the 2″ wide at two 4′ lengths. When we apply the rail tape, we start towards the nose of the board, and begin adhering where your maximum reach is. This will give you a bit of distance beyond your feet, in the case of a not so perfect exit of the blade at your toes.

Please give us a call to order yours today or place your order online.

–TJ

888-509-4210
www.bigwinds.com