June 2014 West End, Grand Bahama Island-
I was fortunate to attend and shoot the annual dealer meeting and 2015 product presentation of Pryde Group Americas (PGA).
It was held at Old Bahama Bay, a resort at the extreme northwest tip of Grand Bahama Island. Not only did we have a remarkable
amount of gear to try, we even had some nice wind to use it in.
PGA presented products from the following brands are at the event:
There is a new day dawning to get into some hot new riding gear.
The venue for this great meeting, West End, GBI way in the upper left of this chart.
A classic water color of Grand Bahama Island by Wm. Johnson, JR.
This post follows two life style posts that explore the event, the island and a bit of the history of the area. These interesting threads can be found at:
2015 Water Gear, Wind & Great Times In An Island Paradise - Part I and
2015 Water Gear, Wind & Great Times In An Island Paradise - Part II
This post is devoted to exploring the 2015 kiteboarding gear offered by Cabrinha. There was an in depth product presentation provided
by Pete Cabrinha himself with interjections from other key team members including Michael Raper out of Hong Kong, the International
Division Manager at Cabrinha. We even heard from the design team via video. You will have a chance to view those comments in this article.
An overhead view of all the people who attended the dealer meeting and made it such a great success.
"Providing progressive kiteboading solutions for all areas of our unique sport is the driving force behind our 2015 program. Here is a little taste
of what's to come in 2015. Filmed and produced in the Hawaiian Islands, the birth place of Cabrinha kites." The second film is here
to help build the stoke, mood. As incredible as West End is in so many ways, this time of year there are typically few waves. Cabrinha has
graciously served some up from Hawaii. Enjoy, then more from the sunny, flat over white sand blue water paradise of GBI.
So, let's start with an overview of the Cabrinha kites for 2015.
All the kites for 2015 shown here ripping offshore in Maui.
They have six kites for the model year as shown above. Some model names like the Switchblade have been out previously while
others like the Radar are brand new this year. Cabrinha covers the spectrum of riding styles with these kites, each with both general
and specific ranges of applicability.
The kites vary in the degree to which they are swept back, with the Velocity BOW kite on the left having the most, with a lessening
gradation through the Hybrid kites, Radar through Drifter, ending with the least in the Chaos C-shape. Properties are described
above for the various shapes.
A comparison of various kite attributes.
Let's look at the Radar, new for 2015.
Jump to Cabrinha website: http://www.cabrinhakites.com/kite/radar.html
The Radar is an easy going, all around free style kite with remarkable ease of water relaunching.
An overview of and designer notes for the Radar kite
A Cabrinha promotional image from Maui of a formation of Radar's in action.
Paula and Conchy point out the abundant attractions of Old Bahama Bay and all the great gear ripping around.
Let's examine the control bar systems for 2015, things have become even simpler and faster!
Link to control bars on Cabrinha website at http://www.cabrinhakites.com/control.../overview.html
The QuickLoop Bar with adjustable length on the fly
Cabrinha has rolled out for this year what may be the easiest and fastest quick release rearming system (with one hand),
the QuickLoop quick release system.
Pete Cabrinha from the beach in the Bahamas, will show just how quick and easy the system works. Also, an overview of the Cabrinha Overdrive control bar from Kittyhawk Kites.
Cabrinha has also brought a good short leash to market. Guess how many riders actually ride unhooked? I understand it is about 20%.
So the rest kiting with a suicide leash configuration aren't do themselves any favors whatsoever. It tangles more easily, gets in
the way and if you use it, you might go for a ride, backwards!? Things just got better for that 80 % of riders out there. A short, functional
leash that stays out of the way, in front of you.
Michael Raper shows off the system including the leash during the product presentation in the Bahamas.
The Race Quick Link bar developed for use with the Velocity kite. I understand the bar will work with all the 2015 Cabrinha kites however.
Jan Lucas Gianello walks out with the Quick Link.
Wait until you get to try some of this great new gear on the water, fun times!
Stay tuned, more to come on the 2015 Cabrinha Kiteboarding gear lineup in the next installment.
Last edited by RickI; Yesterday at 12:23 PM.
Let's move to the Switchblade, a personal favorite and a standard of excellence in kiting for ten years.
Waves, flat water, free riding, wakestyle, boosting big, light to nuking winds, this kite does it all. This shows the Switchblade color schemes for 2015.
It is well worth celebrating, the kite that launched thousands of hours of amazing sessions around the world.
Cabrinha rider Damo LeRoy helps out.
This is what Cabrinha says about the 2015 model:
"After ten years of refinement, the Switchblade kite from Cabrinha is held as the benchmark for which all crossover/freeride
kites must aspire to. Its success lies in its uncommon blend of high performance and ease of use. The Switchblade will easily crossover
from freeriding to freestyle to surf on any given day. The common element in each of these riding styles is precise handling; and
this is where the Switchblade shines. The Switchblade provides maximum control with a light bar touch. The SB’s high performance
profiles deliver the power needed in light winds and the ability to dump the power in strong winds. This gives the SB the type of range
needed to extend your sessions when the winds are up and down. The five strut design holds the canopy true to its shape regardless
of the wind condition or angle of attack."
Steve Negen of MacKites who also attended the dealer meeting described things well:
"The Switchblade is the ultimate freeride / crossover kite that all freeride kiteboarding kites aspire to. The Cabrinha Switchblade
offers the best of both worlds – High performance and ease of use for all levels of riders. The ability to jump from one discipline to
another makes it the perfect kite for almost any rider. Go kite surfing, boost big or throw down technical pro style moves – the
Swithclbade will get you there. How does the Swithcblade do this? Precise handling – this is the key feature in the 2015 Cabrinha
Switchblade that allows you to ride all styles of riding from freeride to free style to surf. The 2015 will give you maximum control
with only a light touch of the bar. The Switchblades profile provides that low end grunt you want in light winds but still gives you
incredible ability to release power when the winds increase. One Switchblade kite often has the wind range of 2 other kites because
of it unique ability to get you going in light winds and still depower into the high winds. We love the five strut design for the rock
solid stability of the canopy in all winds and whether the kite is powered up or not.
What we love
Largest wind range of any kite we carry
Ease of use – from beginner to advanced – you just can’t miss
Big hang time – boost it up and stay up
Low end power – get going when everyone else is watching.
Best new bar for 2015 – totally revamped chicken loop for ease of use"
When you go exploring, you want something you're both familiar and comfortable with, that can cover a wide range of conditions.
It is my favorite swamp-going kite.
A ten year look back at the amazing Switchblade kite followed by designer notes.
Life isn't all about wind, no seriously, someone told me that once?
… or gold coins, even shiny plastic ones. There are many things that go into a well rounded life. Still, fine kiting gear is
near the top for some of us.
Be sure to checkout the two lifestyle posts about this excellent event. Lots of local color, rum tales and fun things down in the islands.
More at: http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=12154 and http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=12155
Moving on to an excellent kite for surfing and surf free style, the Drifter.
Pete Cabrinha shows what this kite can do in the waves.
This is what Cabrinha Kites has to say about the drifter:
"The Drifter surf kite is a kite with a purpose. This kite is dead set on being there for you when you need it and getting out of the way
when you don’t. You see, kite surfing is an act of taking power from the kite when you need it and dumping the power altogether
when you don’t. This high depower kite allows the rider to drop in, accelerate, then dump the power completely to snap or carve their
turns. It delivers a perfect blend of the best elements of surfing and kitesurfing. The Drifter’s special design allows it to drift downwind
and stay aloft even when the lines are slackened. This phenomenon, first developed by Cabrinha is known as drift stability."
No waves off Old Bahama Bay but Pete makes it all look mighty fine anyway.
The Drifter allows this marvelous slack line drift, taking the kite force temporarily out of action nicely parked, until you need it again.
Pete pops a nice strapless jump off Maui in monochrome.
An overview of the Drifter followed by designer notes.
It was excellent to spend time with Pete Cabrinha, designers and staff in a great water setting to learn about the new kiting equipment.
Still more new things to come from Cabrinha for 2015 … (click twice!)