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The Switchblade is always one of the most hotly anticipated kites to be released each season. Now in its 12th year, we’re always excited to see the next chapter of the Switchblade which has a very secure space in the market and has dominated this sector for many years.
First impressions and – as always with Cabrinha – the attention to detail is impressive and the whole package, from bag to bar, is well thought out with no scrimping in any department. This year also sees the arrival of a new bar option – the Fireball – which has been getting a lot of press. We were genuinely impressed with the feeling of ‘connectivity’ you have with it. Providing your harness is well locked in you really do notice the smoother ‘pivot’ of the connection. It may not be for everyone but if you are looking for an improved connection to the standard chicken loop (providing you’re not unhooking) then this is it.
On to the kite and the Switchblade retains its ‘Switchblade’ feeling – you always know where the kite is and get fantastic feedback and stability from it. The Switchblade has always been the kind of kite that you know you can give to a rider of any level and they will come back smiling. It is intuitive, responsive and just an easy and very fun kite to fly.
For 2017 the Switchblade does feel smoother and livelier though, and – on the B setting – the kite has become even more nimble and responsive, moving it more in the direction of the FX. On either setting the Switchblade is still a kite that likes to boost and boosting is incredibly easy – it’s a pull and go kind of a kite and is perfect for mastering your first few jumps. We would say the biggest difference for 2017 is that the Switchblade feels smoother, and it is great to see that Cabrinha have spent time ensuring that the kite is well balanced and perfectly tuned on each setting at the bar. The 2017 Switchblade will keep die hard Switchblade riders happy, but also provides a livelier alter-ego to broaden its appeal.
In a sentence: As ever the new Switchblade offers continued refinement of a consistent top-of-class kite. Be sure to try the different settings to find the ones which work best for your style…