Bradford wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:00 am
Can anyone compare the 7m to the 2017
? I need to upgrade from my 2014.
Not much difference in 2017, I suppose you mean 2018?
I can compare only the 8m so far but I hope it helps enough.
I am riding Drifters since 2014, I own 2015 and 2016 kites and I have tried also my friends 2014 and 2017 models - all pretty the same kite (except for the offshore setting, added in 2016). I have kited only with the 2018 8m so far and I can confirm that it is really fantastic kite - better low end, turns and flies faster, lower bar pressure, same size creates more pull, compared to previous years. I really could not believe how can they improve almost every feature of the kite without ruining something.
I definitely feel more power and better low end especially when hydrofoiling in light wind and I expected that they have made the kite slightly bigger (like some companies cheat when they improve low end
). Absolutely NOT!!! I overlapped 2015 and 2018 8m kites on the ground and could not find any noticeable difference in overall shape, except the leading edge diameter of the new kite being slightly smaller in the middle and slightly bigger at the wingtips. But when I compared the kites inflated on the ground there are some noticeable differences - the struts of the new kite stay more "upright" and the leading edge has more open arc.
2015 Drifter in front
2018 Drifter in front
The new High Tenacity Dacron is used for the leading edge, struts and there are some panels near the wing tips at the trailing edge. I do not know if it is true - I was told that this material is more expensive and the other kite companies did not want to use it, but I suppose that it has allowed the Cabrinha designers to create better, more precise, more stable profile with smaller leading edge diameter and that is why the kite turns and flies faster, creates more pull and goes upwind better!
For example when hydrofoiling I can use upturn in light winds where I definitely need to downloop my old 2016 8m. Or when I am carving a turn with a surfboard in light wind I have to work the kite at the end of the turn because the lack of power with my old 8m but the new 2018 Drifter pulls me nicely out of the turn with enough speed at the end. Because of the new dacron and the added battens at the trailing edge the kite stays rock solid in the sky. Regarding the bar pressure I feel that the 2018 Drifter pulls more from the centerlines and I fell the bar slightly lighter.
I still can not comment the behaviour of the kite in strong gusty winds but I hope that it will be at least as good the previous models.