Looks like a C kite to us!
Back when the high depower kites ruled the headlines, Mr Cabrinha said they'd never make another C kite again. Could the man eat his own words in 2013?
In 2006 the Cabrinha Crossbow changed the sport of kiteboarding as we knew it. All of a sudden kites became 'safe' and easier to relaunch, and the resulting boom in the sports popularity was incredible. Fast forward to now, and equipment is easier than ever to use, and the diversity in the sports participants spans beyond what anyone imagined.
Since then however, the high depower kites have always been labelled as the 'easy' option with little in the way of performance. Not unique to Cabrinha, other manufacturers also struggled when their hybrids simply weren't cutting the mustard in the competitions. Riders claimed both sub-standard performance at elite riding levels, and that they lacked the 'cool' factor of a true C kite. In recent years, the C hybrids emerged and have now managed to gain the cool factor while still being safe and easy to use. Kites like the Ozone C4, North Vegas and Slingshot RPM became the weapon of choice in the competitions and intermediate riders could still hook up to a high performance kite, without being intimidated by it's lack of instant depower.
This year, you can expect most kite companies to release some kind of C hybrid in their lineup. But the huge news is that Cabrinha have also been spotted testing a new hybrid, and it's certainly not a Nomad.
Pete Cabrinha was once famously interviewed by SBC kiteboarding magazine just after the bow kite revolution settled in. He made a massive call by saying:
"There is no reason for us to go back to making traditional C kites ever again; even if they depower."
Well, in the latest PKRA heats, Cabrinha riders have been spotted by Kitehigh .nl testing a new freestyle kite. This looks like a C kite to us! It's got a mini bridle, and in fact it looks almost identical to the Ozone C4 is almost every way. Even the bar is different, there's no IDS system and a shorter depower throw. All very C kite like attributes.
Check out the pictures below, and decide for yourself whether this kite will make it into production for 2013. We'll know for sure in May, when the Cabrinha dealers head to China for the 2013 Cabrinha Conference. Until then, we'll bring you all the spy shots of new gear as they're published.