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Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

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rleshem
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Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby rleshem » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:24 am

Hi All,

My quiver of switchblades (2013 8m, 2014 10M, and 2016 12M) was stolen out of my car last night.
So I need a replacement - I can stay with the cabrinha switchblades which I know and like or try something new.
I was thinking about the switch nitros or elements.
Has anybody flown the latest version of the switchblade and switch nitro/element? what are the tradeoffs (except for price)?
What does the open c design achieve for the switch kites versus the switchblade's design?

I ride twin tip (boosting, rolls etc.) 80-90% of the time and spend 10%-20% of the time on the surf (although I want to get more into the surf. I live in San Francisco bay area so the winds are generally high (20-30mph) and can be gusty.

Thanks

felixp
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Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby felixp » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:30 am

Hello Rieshem,
As I'm associated with Switch and have flown both kites (2015 Switchblade and a Nitro5 )
All I can give you is some honest feed back and hopefully not be judged as bias .

The Match up here against Switchblade and Nitro5 is a fair comparison . The Element is more pivotal and more suited to waves than boost.
Twin tip riding ,big boost and a bit of bump and jump in the surf is a perfect platform for these kites.
Both kites are a great cruising kite that give you ease of use.
The Nitro5 I found to be a little lighter on the bar and slightly more reactive to response.
The Switchblade has a slightly different turn with slightly less power.
The low end on both kites are great getting you thru the lulls.
Ease of boost I would have to say the nitro takes honors.
The 2 kites are super close in performance. The best would be to judge for your self.
If you are interested in a demo please contact Switch directly. info@switchkites.com
Regards
Felix.
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Lanc
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Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:13 am
Kiting since: 2002
Local Beach: Kite Beach, Cape Town
Favorite Beaches: Paje, Zanzibar
Green Island, Antigua
Low Bay, Barbuda
Style: Wave and Old School
Gear: Switchblade/Nomad/Drifter/Pivot/Rebel/Nitro
Underground FLX 132
F-One Mitu Monteiro Pro
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Kitebeach, Cape Town

Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby Lanc » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:32 pm

I've got my first switch kite, a nitro5 8m, six weeks ago and have flown it eight times so far in varying conditions (15-30kn) which I think is enough to give some feedback now. I've also flown the 2016 switchblade six times, twice back to back with the nitro5 same size. I almost bought the 2016 switchblade because after trying it a few times it was so good but the price was ridiculous at the time and the nitro5 was almost half the price so I took a gamble on the nitro5 which I did not try before.

I've flown or owned every switchblade from 2006 and my favourite so far has been the 2013 and now it's the 2016. I didnt really like the 2014/2015 switchblades so stuck with my drifter/pivot/rebel combos. The nitro5 reminds me a little of my 2013 switchblade.

Comparing the 2016 switchblade with the nitro5 I would say:
Jump Height: About the same
Hangtime: About the same
Jumping Ease: Switchblade a little easier to jump, just pull the bar in and go up, nitro5 requires a little more technique
Rip you off the water feel: About the same, not as exciting as a torch
Gently bring you down from jump: About the same, both provide very gentle landings when you pull that bar in just before landing or heliloop
Glide: The nitro5 seemed to glide further downwind but not that horrible delta kite downwind glide.
Upwind: Both track upwind very well
Windrange: Both very good but I think the switchblade has a slightly wider usable wind range without having to play with the trim
Relaunch: Switchblade no questions asked. Nitro5 takes forever to relaunch in its mid to low range however relaunches just fine in higher winds
Construction and Quality: About the same. Both top notch
Turning speed: Nitro5 turns quicker and more directly
Turning arc: Nitro5 has more pivotal turn where switchblade will turn a little wider at first
Steering Directness: Nitro5 feels a lot more direct, switchblade still delayed as always
Highend: Both very alive and fun in the high end of their wind range
Lowend: Both relatively boring for jumping in the low to medium end of their wind range however both have the same good low end grunt when you pull the bar right in
Smoothness: 2016 switchblade is so much smoother, it is really the best switchblade they've made
Drift: They both start out wanting to drift really well but then if you ride a wave too long both dont drift fast enough like a dedicated wave kite so you have to start looping and nitro5 is better here
Backstall: Both very difficult to backstall when sheeting the bar in too far and too long
Gustyness: Both handle gusty winds very well though nitro5 wing tips tend to jelly fish a little
Bridle: I'm very impressed with the static spider bridle and I've never been a fan of pulleys in the bridle feel
Bar in general: I don't particularly like either but they do the job
Bar depower strap: switch depower cleat does not always grip the depower rope that well but when it does its easier to make smaller adjustments, switchblade has the usual cab springy thing
Bar pressure: Both around medium though nitro5 does not increase as the wind increases when switchblade does a little
Bar weight: switch controlbar3 weighs a ton next to the cab bar which still weights a lot next to the naish fusion bar.
Bar quality: cab bar feels more more expensive though switch bar does not feel too cheap, just unrefined
Bar end floats: I prefer the switch bar end floats
Bar centerline swivel: Switchblade has better centerline untwisting setup if you tend to loop or rotate a lot in one direction
Bar safety: I have not tested either on the water. The chickenloop safety quick release are both pretty tricky to put together again on land

You will be happy with either kite though you said you've had the switchblade so I do think it is worth giving the nitro5 a shot. I'm not too bothered that I did not get the 2016 switchblade but would not mind it if the price came down. I can't really fault either of them except for the nitro5's relaunch but it doesn't really bother me once I figured out how to reverse relaunch it and the switchblades ridiculous price. The naish pivot is also a good option for a boosting/hangtime kite but still needs a little refinement in a some areas.

I can't comment on the elemnt but assume it can only be pretty good after four versions. There are hardly any bad kites out there today yet each still feels unique in their own ways. Maybe you should try one nitro and one element and if you dont like them sell them and get the good trusted switchblade again or if you do find out which one you like get that as your 3rd kite.

rleshem
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Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby rleshem » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:11 pm

Thanks for the detailed review!
If price was the same which kite would you choose ?

The relaunch is important to me even though I don't drop the kite too often , but I do kite in an area with lots of boats, ferries, shipping liners and have had to relaunch very fast in the past to avoid an incoming ferry.

I will be able to demo the nitro next week and then decide.

experienced1
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Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby experienced1 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:20 pm

Lanc:
Nice write up.
FYI: Cabrinha has two bars in 2016...the one with the "springy thing"...the Recoil
And a Trimlite bar with the cleat above the bar and no "springy thing" The fixed
Version (non adjustable) is very light in weight
Steve

tegirinenashi
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Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby tegirinenashi » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:04 pm

0 to 60 numbers for both, please.

User avatar
Lanc
Medium Poster
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:13 am
Kiting since: 2002
Local Beach: Kite Beach, Cape Town
Favorite Beaches: Paje, Zanzibar
Green Island, Antigua
Low Bay, Barbuda
Style: Wave and Old School
Gear: Switchblade/Nomad/Drifter/Pivot/Rebel/Nitro
Underground FLX 132
F-One Mitu Monteiro Pro
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Kitebeach, Cape Town

Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby Lanc » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:21 pm

rleshem wrote:Thanks for the detailed review!
If price was the same which kite would you choose ?

The relaunch is important to me even though I don't drop the kite too often , but I do kite in an area with lots of boats, ferries, shipping liners and have had to relaunch very fast in the past to avoid an incoming ferry.

I will be able to demo the nitro next week and then decide.
If price were the same I would most likely go with the switchblade simply because they are easy to sell when its time to upgrade and they hold their resale value very well. And if resale value were the same I'd have to flip a coin. I have been thinking I need to get a bigger nitro for winter when the winds are lighter but my 11m drifter and 14m rebel cover me pretty well there. I usually keep my kites for 2 years and will definitely keep the nitro5 for more than one season, pretty happy with it.

experienced1 wrote:Lanc:
Nice write up.
FYI: Cabrinha has two bars in 2016...the one with the "springy thing"...the Recoil
And a Trimlite bar with the cleat above the bar and no "springy thing" The fixed
Version (non adjustable) is very light in weight
Steve
The 3 I tried all had the Recoil bar, I think the Trimlite bar are used more by the Chaos users. I know when my 2014 bar used to sink I specifically asked them to get me the fixed bar end version in 2015 but our local supplier did not bring those in 2015 so stuck with the heavy adjustable one that I do not use adjustable feature. I have not checked if they bring the fixed non adjustable one here in 2016.

experienced1
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Re: Cabrinha Switchblade 2016 Versus Switch Nitro/Element

Postby experienced1 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:06 am

Lanc:

For 2016, the Chaos has it's own bar...can be set up as a 5 line or 6 line

I ride the 52cm fixed Trmlite for everything; 7m/10 SB, 7/9 Drifter, and 7/9/11 Velocity. And 13 Contra.
Also have my 2014 55cm Race bar I use with the Velocities.

Steve


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