2013 Cabrinha Switchblade Kiteboarding Kite: A review or a death wish…

Posted: January 28, 2013 by MACkiteboarding.com in Kiteboarding Kite Reviews, Nathan Patterson, Shop Culture & Shenanigans
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

NathanP-sq-250The week leading up to the first major storm of winter saw great anticipation of amazing conditions from those of us that favor the strongest winds with the largest waves. Tucker and I were on it – monitoring the weather throughout the week and especially the day before. We made the call the night before, planning on riding right when everything would be at its peak. The forecast called for gale force winds with 20′ significant wave heights – prime.

On Friday, I was woken up by my house shaking from the winds. Given the 20-degree temps outside and knowing the water would be in the sub-50 range, I began to shy away from the idea of heading out on such a nasty day. We made a call around noon to back off on riding, only to make a go of it around 4. Tucker and I headed for the beach with a 2013 Switchblade 7 and a 2012 Nomad 7, expecting winds in the mid-30kt range. We were very wrong.

I estimated the winds to be in the upper 40’s, with gusts over 50. We decided to put one kite up – the 2013 Switchblade from Cabrinha Kites. *Disclaimer – Even given my decent amount of exposure to extreme conditions, I was barely ready for what could happen. Take a hint – don’t go if you aren’t 100%; confident with your abilities and equipment. Things happen very fast in conditions such as this, and even the most experienced riders have accidents.

We rigged the 2013 Cabrinha Switchblade 7 on the leeward side of the pier in Grand Haven while dozens of confused spectators watched. Riding in the winter brings out a “special” type of person, especially in these conditions – people love it. Confident, I gave Tucker the thumbs up to launch my kite. Instantly, I was pulled about 50 yards down the beach even with the kite fully depowered. I had full control of the kite, it was just a large gust that dragged me away from the launch area. I lunged back upwind to grab my surfboard, only to have it fly out of my hands and down the beach. Tucker and I chatted for a minute about how immature and un-intelligent this was, and then I headed toward the water.

Once out on the water, I felt much more comfortable. I found a couple nice waves in the 5′ overhead range, and a few ramps to have a little fun on. Even with so much power in the kite, I was able to maintain complete control and find my way around the random sets coming through.

After landing the kite and packing up, Tucker and I decided that going out was not super intelligent, nor were the conditions worth the risk.

Moral of the story? I have complete trust in Cabrinha’s depower and safety systems, as well as the ability of the 2013 Cabrinha Switchblade to handle major variances in wind speed and temperature. There are only a select few kites that I would trust in those conditions, and the 2013 Cabrinha Switchblade is one.

Rider: Nathan Patterson
Age: 27
Weight: 190 lbs
Years Riding: 3.5
Preferred Gear: Cabrinha anything

  1. did u throw the QR? Curious if it works in that kind of wind.

    • Hey Eric, I was there when they landed the kite. Nathan had Tucker catch the kite. I will say that I have personally blown the QR in 30 plus. The kite flipped over and dropped to the beach. It was still pretty sketchy if the kite would have turned back over. I am really careful walking up the center line in high winds.

  2. ah that’s a shame, sure would like to see someone throw a cabrinha mini-5th QR in 40+

    I’ve thrown quite a few QR’s in 40+ some work some don’t

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