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It’s all change in the Cabrinha surf lineup for 2017 with the range having been simplified and trimmed down. So there are now three pure surfboards, the S-Quad (quality waves) the Squid Launcher (freestyle and mushier conditions) and the Spade which we had on test.
The Spade is a crossover ‘do it all board’, and also the board that you will see Keahi and the rest of the team riding when they aren’t charging Pipeline… Construction wise and there’s an EPS core wrapped up with bamboo and cork reinforcement. The Spade has a thruster set up and ships with Cabrinha’s Hex Core RTM fins which are a well thought out kite-specific fin. In terms of the outline, this is a pretty wide board (the 5’6 comes in at almost 20 inches). The entry point is wide and the board then holds this width throughout before the wings pull it in towards a more high performance swallow tail. The Spade also has a step rail enabling the board to have the higher volume and float but to still offer hold and performance characteristics in the rail department, and it also has a deck concave to really give your feet something to grip on to and to keep you stuck to your board…
On the water and the Spade is a truly great board to cruise around on. The width and volume mean that you are easily up on the plane and can hold your speed nicely even when the wind is marginal. For riding in sloppy surf this also pays dividends as you are able to maintain plenty of speed through weaker sections. Where the Spade’s outline really works for you though is when you put it into a turn. You can feel the transition from rail to rail and the tighter tail means that you can really snap the board round tightly and keep it in the pocket. In more high performance waves the stepped rails engage nicely for plenty of grip, and the tail and fin configuration give you what you need to fully commit to your turns.
In a sentence: The Spade is a true ‘one board quiver’ which gets the balance between ‘versatility’ and ‘performance’ just right…