I got to play with the 11m Crossbow from Motion Boardshop for a few sessions and I must say wow what a great kite.
I decided since there is already a lot about this kite on the market already that I'd try and touch on some of the less popular points.
First of all, I am not a racer. but this kite combined with a spleene door 159 and me riding on top of it. I some how managed to take 1st place in the twin tip division at our last kiteboarding race. What makes this interesting is that I was one of the biggest riders at 200lbs soaking wet and happened to be riding the smallest kite in the race in winds where most kiters at the beach were not even able to stay upwind unless they had a glide/door/race board.
For my second session I went way unconventional for a race kite and decided to take it out for a finless boots session and see how it rides. Surprisingly it road great! Tons of Pop, great upwind which I needed since I wasn't using fins. I didn't boost much but the few times that I did the kite had a nice rip you off the water and dangle forever feeling Relaunch was very easy, pull one line and it works it way to the edge of the window and back up. I was also very happy to see for a kite so high aspect that it still has very good downwind drift. I had a couple times where I managed to screw up a front roll and put myself downwind from the kite. the Crossbow would just drift back in front of me and sit at Zenith ready to go again. Very impressive for such a high aspect design!
So attacking this kite from an engineers mindset there are a few Cabrinha specific things I'd like to point out.
Sprint inflation system
Single point inflate/deflate combined with proprietary external 1 pump valves on all struts means two things to me.
1. No forgetting to undo your valves and having them stretch and not seal on you anymore. No hoses blowing off of struts, etc. Virtually every none Cabrinha kite I've ever bought used has had this problem right from the get go because of the previous owners kook instincts.
2. Since this is unique to Cabrinha you should keep some spares in your bag so that in the event something does break or get miss placed you aren't out of commission. Luckily Cabrinha is the biggest kite surfing company in the world and they have standardized across there whole lineup for years now so these parts are likely easy to find at most Cabrinha dealers.
The Sprint inflation system will also require the use of the Cabrinha pump adapter so my advice is get a whole quiver of Cabs so that you can leave the adapter on your pump all the time
The Bar and IDS system
The first thing I noticed about the bar is that it has big molded in foam floats on the ends that are so comfy they feel like a big foam pistol grips. these floats would be a dream for anybody addicted to f-16's and other various unhooked kiteloop moves.
I did think the bar was quite large. Especially for an 11m but since this is a high aspect race kite it suites the kite design very well.
I can't decide what I think about the molded plastic depowerline. there was aspects of it I liked and disliked.
Likes: looks like it will last forever, comfortable sliding against your fingers especially when holding the bar with one hand. looks super strong
Dislikes: makes winding up your lines a little different since the plastic depower line is pretty stiff and doesn't wrap tightly around the bar.
the IDS system works great. My recommendation would be to keep an eye on the IDS red line and maybe change it regularly since it is a small line and it slides inside of the plastic depower line which could create some friction or speed up the wear process. Especially if some sand were to find its way inside of there. I'd also think that the IDS red line would probably be much easier to service as a preventative maintenance item instead of letting it wear out and break first since refeeding it back through the depower line looks like it could be a little tricky.
All in all great kite with a focus towards racing but in my opinion a strong ability to be an all around kiting machine.
The 13 is an amazing ride as well. If the flag is off the pole I can get a session with my raceboard. Once the wind picks up over 13 kts the kite boosts for big dangle jumps with loads of hangtime. My summer would suck without this kite.
I`m the very happy owner of a Cabrinha Crossbow 11 2010.
I agree with you in most points, but that plastic going thru the bar gives me more confidence than I had with bare lines passing thru just like North.
It`s not common to see a review for Cabrinha stuff, because it`s kind of big company and as always people go looking for something extra on smaller and more cult companies. It happens from car, clubs, clothing, looking etc.
As I would not afford a quiver I think that a bought something with max hangtime, pushing a lot giving the wind range I need.
1) don't need to carry extra sprint valves to pump your kite as every Cabrinha kite has an extra tethered to the LE next to the air lock valve
2) the IDS line is only for self rescue and self landing, so the IDS line is not used very often by most. Also, although it runs inside the black depower line casing, there is not friction with the depower line as the IDS line runs in it's own channel
3) the XB 11 is the replacement for the previous years 12m and has the power and range of the previous XB 12 and it comes stock with a 55cm bar.