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The Switchblade arrives for 2018 with a bit of a swagger in its step. It had a pretty remarkable year in 2017 thanks to its pairing with Nick Jacobsen – so it has a KOTA title under its belt as well as a 28.6 meter WOO jump and a few of Nick Jacobsen’s jaw dropping stunts to finish. Not bad for the ‘steady’ kite in the Cabrinha range… But how does this translate for regular riders? Well, for 2018 the first thing you’ll notice is the new graphics which are cleaner and pretty easy on the eye, with three pretty appealing colorways to choose from. Construction wise and Cabrinha have introduced a new High Tenacity Dacron across the range and for 2018 they have tweaked the profile to improve overall performance.
In the air and – we say it a lot but it is a real plus – you always get that same ‘feel’ from year-to-year. It is hard to put your finger on, but if you had your eyes closed and were handed the kite you would know it was a Cabrinha! For 2018 that ‘feel’ has been refined further, for a smoother power stroke and more progressive depower. You always know where the Switchblade is in the window, and it delivers a mighty punch. We rode the 12m and there are very few other kites on the market that create the amount of power that it does.
When it comes to jumping with the Switchblade, it is an absolute joy. It’s got so much lift, and you realize why Nick Jacobsen has decided to move to the Switchblade for boosting! When you send it you get this amazing secondary lift once the bar has been pulled in, giving you a whole new realm of power to tap in to. It’s a great kite for finding your feet for your first few jumps, but equally it will send you as high as you want once you get a feel for things.
When it comes to freestyle, the Switchblade is equally at home hooked or unhooked and for boosted freestyle it really excels. It stays above your head while you throw rotations and gives the newbie the confidence to throw their first tricks. Upwind performance of the Switchblade is always good and you can get some awesome angles, so coupled with a surfboard or foil you can cover plenty of ground.
In a sentence: The Switchblade is a refined product that will suit an incredibly broad range of riders and continues to deliver raw but controllable power.