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Thanks everyone for the positive comments! I'm very pleased and excited to be part of the Cabrinha team and on the new gear. My choice has been influenced by several things but key among them are:
1. Quality and track record - Cabrinha has been a top-tier brand with solid products embraced by some of the sports most influential and notable riders for many years. Riders on Cabrinha tend to stay with Cabrinha.
2. Local representation - Ever since I entered the sport, Cabrinha's local rep, Mr. Gunn has been a very positive supporter of kiteboarding in the Bay Area and has always been professional and fair. It's nice to be able to feel like you're a part of something and local support is key.
Adam - same reason I never flew the Fuels, c-kites are great for certain things but personally I feel like you give up too much in other areas for the benefits in more finite and targeted areas. I ride the bay, coast and delta so I think for us the SB's are a much better overall choice.
So it's been a bit over a week since I've been able to get out but it was worth the wait. Last weeks weather was crappy and between the clouds/overcast and colder temps yesterday wasn't doing much for me.
I wanted to wait for clear blue skies, warm sun and solid winds. I wanted it to be special, my first time, you know?
No disappointment here, what can I say, went out today at Alameda in the afternoon in good 16-18NW winds, which are good readings for Alameda. On the inside, the wind came and went at first but then built up solid. Low tide was going out making for really nice butter in the inside.
Right out of the bag the 10m Switchblade is truly plug and play, steady, smooth, even power, smooth turning. I think most kites now come slightly detuned or "safety tuned", meaning if you rig it right out of the bag, set all lines on middle knots, you may generally find a little more front line tension, slacker rear lines and a tiny bit delay in turning and a more even-tempered feel. I came in after half an hour and bumped up the knots on the rear lines to tighten things up a bit and found it to be tuned to my liking. Great lofty jumps, upwind mobility high, overall very smooth and predictable. Loops were strong and even with minimal if any flapping. I need to work on my pull and timing a bit, but everything is within range and familiar. The bar is very clean and no dangly bits flying around as the power and depower straps are held downward and tight by a cool spring running around the sheeting line, so nothing loose. Very impressed over all. A majorly important aspect of a kite is how well is goes upwind and all expectations met here.
The Tronic board is a very welcome change. For years I've been riding low-rocker wider tip, and generally wider, decks which have their advantages with load and pop in flat water, but the reality is that in most conditions you give up some performance aspects trading them off for others, but the others aspects you're trading them off for may not be the most commonly appreciated ones. In todays normal bay chop, which is what you'd find anywhere on the bay or delta, it ends up being much more comfortable with no spray and water coming up in ones face and torso. Face and hair dry all afternoon.
I set mine up for the widest stance which is what I'm used to and I'm pretty cozy on it straight away.
I'm honored and really stoked to be on the new gear, today was an awesome day, everything was great right out of the bag/box.
The Tronic is bionic and the Switchblade for great kiting it made. At any time, if any of you guys see me at the beach (Alameda in Spring, Berkeley, Race Track, Marina Bay, Waddell, Dillon or OB and Sherman) and want to try the gear, it's available, don't hesitate to ask.
Thanks Cabrinha and Neil Pryde USA!
Great to hear you're loving the new gear, Ollie. My first session of the season was on Sunday at Alameda and I had such a blast it almost felt like a new sport again. My first tack out probably looked like it was new sport to me, crashing all over, haha.
Glad you are stoked on the gear. I'm loving my 2013 SB's too. Great slack compared to last year's makes it easier to land those flat 3's. Hopefully pick up a tronic soon too. Looks like a nice crossover from a flatter rocker to more aggressive rocker.
What sizes did you do? 10-7-5?
We got the 6m, 8m 10m quiver. I think you'd like the Tronic for sure. Other than the straps needing to break in, I found no fault with it. I've got the pads/straps at their widest setting as it's what I'm used to, but yes, no more flat, wide boards with big flat square tips for me, this is much more comfortable. Great for bay/river chop - dry face and hair too, no more water being thrown up from the front of the board all day long...they nailed it with this board, I like it a lot.
I've been riding the custom for the last couple years and it is great. great load and pop and great landings especially for landing blind, but I'm looking for something that can let me ride freestyle in a little lighter wind. That means flatter rocker, but not something too flat for the reasons you are saying.
You are going to love the 8m. That one has always been the optimum in the SB quiver.
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