Cabrinha Switchblade 04

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Cabrinha Switchblade - Cabrinha Switchblade 04

The Switchblade is a true icon of the kite industry.  This year is its 17th consecutive year of development and it maintains a dedicated following of die-hard freeriders for good reason. For 2024 Pat Goodman has returned to the drawing board to create an impressive blend of familiar Switchblade predictability with a lighter, playful flare. The 04 Switchblade remains a solid choice for those getting into the sport, whilst also suiting riders looking to push high-performance tricks on the twintip.

Various significant design changes have been added this year, most notably with the new Lite series construction, utilizing a lighter but equally durable HTD Lite Dacron alongside Cabrinha’s proven Nano ripstop canopy. In keeping with the current trend in weight saving, the Integrated Structural Canopy abolishes layering of material across the kite, reducing material used and abrasion caused by sand stuck in between layers, thereby increasing longevity. Furthermore, a revised aerodynamic profile alongside more Pure Profile Panels smooths out the arc, resulting in a more efficient platform. These changes are immediately evident and near instantaneous steering on the 9m we tested could be initiated, with much less weight leading to a feeling akin to some current Big Air kites.

Steering customization is easy and effective. The lighter A setting is where most of the changes are apparent, with the lightest bar feel of any Switchblade to date, but the B setting still upholds the classic moderate pressure many have come to love. Overall, whichever setting is chosen, the kite maintains more bar pressure than most other modern three-strut all-round packages, allowing an unparalleled connection between the kite and kiter that gives confidence to send larger rotational maneuvers or board offs without losing kite positioning in the air. We found boosting is just about as simple as it gets, with a large sweet spot producing heaps of vertical lift, impressive time to enjoy the view, and a gentle landing. This year a much more confidence-inspiring loop with a strong yank and a pleasantly reliable catch that requires much lighter steering input ensures you will not outgrow this kite in terms of performance on the twintip.

Impressive stability has embodied the Switchblade from day one and the 04 collection is no exception. We felt that gusts were soaked up with trademark ease and little canopy flutter as the kite sits relatively deep in the window and surges forward with minimal fuss when necessary. This characteristic also lends it to be a forgiving platform for anyone looking to delve into the world of unhooked freestyle and handlepasses in lighter wind. In these conditions, the Switchblade remains impressively smooth and a consistent low-end drive will keep you cruising after everyone else has headed in. Combining this with much increased top-end comfort due to the lighter bar pressure leads to a stellar wind range that tops off an excellently well-rounded kite which holds its own in any conditions.

The 04 Switchblade has impressively maintained the ever popular characteristics of simple sheet-and-go cruising and all-round easy freeriding, but this year its larger wind range and sporty handling mean the sky is the limit in terms of performance on the twintip.

Cabrinha Switchblade 04 - Cabrinha Switchblade 04
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