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TheKiteMag 51 BIG PICTURE CABRING 03Drifter 1 1200x800 - The Big Picture: Cabrinha

The Big Picture: Cabrinha

Cabrinha’s 03 release heralds one of the most significant product launches from the brand for some time, with updates and new products across their full range of kites and boards. We spoke to Marketing Manager James Boulding to find out more.

PHOTOS: James Boulding

Let’s start with your new kites. You’ve developed three different airframe specifications this year with the HTD Lite Dacron, HTD Hybrid Frame and Ultra HT. Can you tell us why you’ve applied each of these to each kite model?

The design strategy for the 03 kite collection was to build each kite with whatever mix of materials perfectly suited the style of riding it will be used for.

HTD Lite is a new material developed specifically for inflated structures and takes the superior benefits of our proven High Tenacity Dacron and combines it with a superior reflex bias recovery and lighter weight construction. This is at the heart (frame) of the three key kites that use it: the Moto X, Drifter and Contra.

Ultra HT, unique to the Nitro kite, is a more expensive performance product and one that is perfectly suited to the rigors of Big Air, and it was THE material out of everything the design team tested that was decided is the best possible material for the Nitro’s leading edge and struts. This was the goal with the Nitro kite and having given it to our team and ambassadors the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Ultra HT reduces the weight of the leading edge and struts while boasting incredibly low elongation and response. This is specifically beneficial to the Nitro during kiteloops and boosting where the kite leading edge twists across the frame.

Was the Nitro a ground up redesign or an augmentation of one of Pat’s existing models?

The Nitro was designed specifically for Big Air and from the ground up. Pat Goodman, Cabrinha’s kite designer, was given a blank canvas to design the ultimate kite in this segment and use whatever materials thought necessary to help this kite perform. Given Pat’s background in designing multiple King of the Air winning kites, it was an exciting project and although a new project, he obviously takes aspects that work in previous designs and brings them forwards. This kite is unique due to its Ultra HT leading edge and struts material.

How important is the amount of twist in each inflatable section to the feeling of the kite? Is your average punter going to notice the difference?

The first thing users will notice is the reduction in weight but this is not the key reason that users will benefit and it’s certainly not at the heart of any marketing BS that is used. Riders will really feel the rigidity of the kite in the sky and how snappy it is to recover shape when it turns in the sky. A rigid, clean structure translates to an efficient, direct kite. Ultra HT has phenomenal warp and weft elongation strength, especially under load; the material keeps the kite in a stable arc, but the reactive bias movement allows the kite to turn even when under increased pressure allowing the kite to really fly and recover from loops.

Tell us about your proprietary ripstop material and its coatings?

We use Nano Ripstop exclusively due to its incredible performance and durability. We constantly test other materials but Nano Ripstop comes out top again and again and it’s a material we’ve been able to guarantee a constant quality over the past seasons, something which other material suppliers haven’t been able to. Covid certainly was a testing time for the manufacturing industry and being able to guarantee a high level of QC in the materials department is key.   

All the kites have been on a diet weight-wise! Can you tell us how you’ve achieved this across the range?

It’s all in the details! Other than the new HTD Lite and Ultra HT Dacron, when you take a closer look at the kites you’ll notice lots of changes that add up to create a lighter, more efficient flying structure. We’re using fractionally lighter bladders, HTD Lite in all struts (other than Nitro), and the kite’s trailing edge also integrates an updated materials construction.

Talk to us about the new inflation system, we’ve seen some super neat proprietary details this year.

The new Sprint 3.0 system increases airflow by around 15% through the bladder network. It is also a toolless system and can be changed very easily, handy for repairs. It’s also been streamlined to help with the airflow coming over the leading edge and down the canopy.  Small details but all adds to the efficiency of each kite. There’s also a new pinch clamp giving a one-click positive lock to keep air in the places you need it to be, and to release when required.

Lorenzo Casati uses both the Drifter and Nitro for Big Air. Can you tell us how a kite designed for wave use transfers so well into Big Air?

The Drifter has had an injection of performance this year which allows kitesurfers the ability to step up their strapless game whilst still having the surfing ‘drift’ its followers love it for. Lorenzo is keen to shake up the strapless tour and dominate the podium and so has been spending a lot of time riding the Drifter to merge his progressive Big Air tricks with strapless surfing maneuvers. While the Drifter might not boost as high as the Nitro, it has some properties in and off waves that help him perform. It’s going to be an interesting year watching him on both tours and seeing where he can take things.

Hannah Whiteley has a unique freeride style. What’s her weapon of choice?

Hannah loves the Moto X with its insane versatility and light bar pressure which matches her all-round riding style. It really is the standout kite in the range for 03 and we’d urge anyone to go give it a demo through their Cabrinha retailer or at one of the stops on the EU/US demo tours. The intuitive handling and forgiving predictable feel goes to the heart of what a leading freeride kite should offer riders of all levels.

Which kites are Camdyn Kellett and Stijn Mul favoring?

They’re using a mixture of the Nitro and the Moto X. The Moto is slightly favored in the small sizes for the double loops and S-loops whereas the Nitro is the go-to for general Big Air and powerful kiteloops. We’ve seen the everyday kiter blown away when they try the Moto X. It is an incredibly versatile kite and its amazing stability allows riders to really progress their level of riding, especially in the Big Air arena. Camdyn has always had a love affair with the FX so don’t be surprised seeing some wild tricks on that, but its freestyle capabilities really shine through on the new 03 model, so you’ll see Deury Corniel competing on the Freestyle tour with it and being a big proponent of it.

The Overdrive Trimlite control system is all new for ‘03. Take us through the highlights.

The COS is a complete redesign of the control and safety system. The first key difference here is the safety system redesign, which consists of a simple push-away release followed by an exceptionally easy push-in-and-click reload. The loop can also be easily interchanged toollessly by pushing a lever on the side of the system. Different sized loops can be used as well as a slider. We found that the general trend of both our trim options was heading towards the more popular Trimlite system and actually one of the key reasons people liked the alternative recoil was because the distance between connection and bar away position was a lot closer. The new COS system actually cuts this distance down anyway due to the new reduced length release system, so with this feature being incorporated into the new design we’ve catered for both and put the best of each bar together into one, with two different bar size options.

Your foil range has had a big update. Which are most suitable for kite foiling?

The new H-Series MkII range of foils sees a redesigned set of five high-aspect front wings ranging from 550 to 1300. They are slightly leaner than the MkI foils which ups the speed range, helping freestyle tricks or on the race field. The tip shape has been worked on studiously through Cabrinha’s working collaboration with SINTEF and their access to the biggest water testing tank in Europe. This allows the wing tips to breach and re-enter without cavitation, something we’ve seen as very important with progressive riding. For kite foiling the 550 will be a firm favorite for the top end speed and performance whereas the H700 will offer more glide.

The new Carbon Hollow Mast will also be a head turner, especially in the new 94cm size. This bladder molded construction pushes the carbon layers to the outside of the mast increasing the stiffness.

The Ace twintip has a new design and two new constructions. Talk us through the redesign and tell us who are these are aimed at?

The Ace Wood and Hybrid board design has undergone a modern face lift. The thin rails make the board really grippy and the new double concave bottom helps a lot in landing softly with a nice locked-in feel. The new shaping on the deck is perfect to do the craziest board off without using a handle which nods to the progression in freeride tricks. The Hybrid model core gives the board a really lively feel under your feet, keeping the board light and with plenty of pop.

Your surfboard range has had a shake-up. Talk us through the shapes and construction. Who’s taken over shaping after Pete hung up his planer?

We aimed to try and simplify the range to make the boards perfectly suited for three key kitesurfing styles. We’ve been able to shave off so much weight thanks to our new Isoflex technology where strategically placed materials are fused within a lightweight fiberglass construction. These are the orange sections that can be seen on the board where, especially under the feet, the board can flex when riding and through turns but remains durable. This construction gives the feeling of a classic springy and lively epoxy board but with exceptional strength and durability. The entire Cab Design Works team have been working on these, spearheaded by Dean Freedburg, our board designer/shaper, who is situated in Cape Town and is a killer surfer too.

The Method is an incredibly fun and fast riding board perfectly suited to strapless freestyle.  It has a wide tail with channels that help when loading up prior to jumps. It comes in lighter than pretty much every other board on the market making it ideal for airtime, rotations and board spins. In small waves you can also have a hell of a lot of fun.

The Flare is the perfect all-rounder and a board that helps you maximize less-than-perfect waves. The fish outline makes this board an exceptionally fun and forgiving board and turns any wave into a playground. For lots of European kitesurf locations this will be a firm favorite.

The Phantom is all about high-performance surfing. When the waves are cleaner and bigger the Phantom excels. It has a classic round pin tail and a five-fin box so you can decide whether you want to ride it as a thruster or quad, something that adds incredible versatility.

Keahi and Moona recently headed to Cape Verde and Moona bagged this issue’s awesome cover shot. Which of the new surfboard range got a workout?

Keahi and Moona’s go-to board is the Phantom, especially when the waves are pumping.  Retiring the S:Quad and producing the Phantom has given them even more versatility due to the five-fin setup. On the big powerful days you’ll see them riding it as a quad, versus the more playful days where they free the fins a lot more and use the thruster setup. For the mellower days Keahi mixes aerials and rail-to-rail surfing on the Flare, this thing is such a lively board and under his feet there’s always fireworks.

You’ve just had a massive dealer meeting in Mexico… how did that play out? Any gossip from the Lazy River?!

It was amazing, we welcomed some new team riders there and spent four awesome days with around 250 dealers, staff and team. It was a melting pot for feedback, ideas, content creation and one hell of a good time.

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