Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews

2009 Cabrinha Calibre, Custom and Underground FLX

Created by Rhys McClintock > 9 months ago, 4 Nov 2008
Rhys McClintock
NSW, 995 posts
4 Nov 2008 10:47PM
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Rider: 70kgs (Rhys)
Style: Wake, Freestyle
Weather: 15-18 knots
Build Quality: 9/10
Satisfaction: 8/10
Disclosure: I work for Kitepower
Test conditions: 1.5hr session - 2 runs on each board, swapping between them all.
Control Gear: Ozone 14m Light2 and 09 Underground FLX 132

Ok so heres the deal... We had some doubts about the Calibre this year, so we did a bit of a road test... Just to give you an idea; over the last 3 weeks I've ridden
2009 130cm Calibre (Cab)
2009 133cm Custom (Cab)
2009 138cm Prodigy (Cab)
2009 132 FLX (UG)
2009 135 FLX (UG)
2009 148 FLX (UG)
2009 130 Aura (LF)

But the boards in question were the Calibre and Custom from Cabrinha. The favorite board from the lot was the 132 Underground so for this test, this was my control board.

Calibre 130 - Is a decent all rounder, heavy rocker line limits upwind performance in light winds but maximizes pop. The sharp rails and heavily shaped board tips make for a good mix between a slippery and grippy board. Landings are soft and carves are smooth, as is riding through chop.
The board itself is light and very nice for high freestyle moves, its a bit slippery on the rails for grabbing (board off style) due to no recessed area but thats alright.
This board would be very well suited to freestyle riders who ride powered up, in moderate to heavy winds.

Custom 133 - Is the pick of the Cabrinhas. The extra size makes up for the rocker (which seems similar to the Calibre) and it rockets upwind with minimal power. The shaped tips make the board very very grippy when loading up unhooked, and make for a real weapon with the rockerline. This thing has an insane pop behind it... Same as the Calibre, Landings are soft and easy, its got straight rails to help it track straight and find its line in the water.
Huge downside to the board is its lack of Grab handle inserts, so it becomes useless for board off's because it too has no recessed areas on the rails. You physically can't take it off your feet without dropping it (or cutting your hands on the fins).
This board would be very well suited to wakestyle riders or freestylers who don't do board off's. Its really fantastic but the lack of grab handle spoils it for me...

FLX 132 - Was legendary... Rockets upwind, oodles of grip and has the shaped bottom for the butter smooth landings... Its does everything well and most things perfect; the only thing it wasn't the best at was loading and popping, both Cabrinha boards were a little better.
For me, I love it because it's light, has a comfy grab handle and you can throw it around for boardoffs.
This board would be good for the cruisers and the hardcore freestylers who need something feather light and easy to throw around in your hand...

So for my style of riding - Boardoffs with the occasional Wakestyle...Id take the FLX 32, then the Calibre 130, then the Custom

If anyone else wants a ride just come see us at the shop, we have demo's of all boards available - Kitepower QLD

Sorry to all who have been offended by this post and its multiple edits - You know who you are...

QLD, 1203 posts
5 Nov 2008 12:30PM
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Why the thumbs down? He disclosed that he is from Kitepower...the review seems pretty balanced showing which board suits which style of riding or conditions.

WA, 61 posts
5 Nov 2008 3:50PM
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I'd have to agree with what's posted above about the FLX and Calibre. Havn't ridden the Custom ass it's not my style board. Kited for 6 years, tried lots of different boards and tend to have a very specific feel i like.

Both ridden in both light and stong winds(same sizes 130 Calibre and 132 FLX). First time a little underpowered. Found the Calibre a little slidey and not so good upwind when riding with weight centered over the middle of the board.
Once powered tho had no probs with upwind performance. Good in the chop with lots of flex and the extra width helped when riding waves. Didnt have the tendancy to nosedive on steep waves as much as the FLX. Felt jump landings were a bit skatey and took a bit more time to settle the board and grab an edge.

FLX 132 got going a bit easier in light winds due to less rocker. Also felt smoother through the chop than the calibre(i think the concave in the middle rather than the tips and on the outer edge closer to the rail definitely helps). Slightly less flex and rocker meant tendancy to nosedive was more pronounced on steep waves(just means you have to learn to lean back more). Felt that landings on jumps were more controlled as well with the board taking an edge sooner.

Couldn;t really distinguish much between pop on both but conditions were more suited to waveriding/freestyle than wakestyle(open ocean with small 3-4ft waves).

So Summary agree with above: Calibre better for more powered riding and slightly better for waveriding(really who waverides properly on a TT anyway, go get a surfboard). FLX better for lightwind and slightly more suited to flatwater. Compared to last years is slightly more edgy, but only very slightly and is a bit better at avoiding spray in the face due to the tip design.
Both good boards. Just a matter of what style you prefer.

QLD, 10 posts
15 Nov 2008 8:30PM
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So accurate with the board reviews.

Tried a best, caliber and flx 32, ended up getting the flex. then i put sync bindings on it. Excellent upwind. just a joy to ride.

WA, 265 posts
17 Nov 2008 3:31PM
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i agree with the review i have tried a number of boards and found i have a strong liking for the Underground FLX 132 the only other board i am going to get to add to the collection is a 144 Hammer for the choppy conditions we ride in, i tried my mates 138 hammer & found it a very smooth board to get on ,,,saves the knees a little in the chop !!!


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"2009 Cabrinha Calibre, Custom and Underground FLX" started by Rhys McClintock