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 Post subject: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:23 am
Posts: 104
Location: Maui, HI
Let me preface this by stating that I’ve never really paid that much attention to kite and board reviews since a fair amount of it is just some random guy’s opinion---some guy I’ve never met…someone I’ve never seen ride…someone whose riding style and preference I’m not familiar with. I believe that the best---and only---way to really feel out a kite is to go out and ride it for yourself. Since that isn’t always possible, I just wanted to give my personal take on this kite for those that might be interested. For the record, I am an employee and shop rider for Neilpryde Maui and a part-time tester for Cabrinha. I believe there is no such thing as the perfect kite for everyone. Different riding styles demand different things; the perfect kite really depends what your needs are. My needs happen to be this: I want a kite that jumps big when sent, turns relatively quick, goes upwind automatically, relaunches on a dime and is possible to unhook on.

I’ve been flying the new Crossbow IDS kites for a little while now and it seems that almost every session, people of all abilities are coming up asking all kinds of questions about the new model. I can talk and hype it up for hours, but usually try and encourage genuinely interested riders to take a ride and decide for themselves what they think. I realize that taking a quick demo ride on the latest gear is not possible everywhere. So, if you’re in the neighborhood on the north shore of Maui this Saturday 7/12/09, please feel free to come by and take a spin on some of the new gear. (http://www.cabrinhakites.com/news). For everyone else, here’s my initial impression of the new IDS equipped 2009 Crossbow.

First thing you notice is that the bag is smaller. This had some of us worried at first, but alas, the kite fits back in with pretty minimal effort. Even the 13m goes back in pretty easily. The difference is that the bag opens from the front now instead of the top. Both top and bottom still expand for those wishing to leave struts inflated. They did away with the bar bags for next year. There’s just a simple pocket on the side of the kite bag that provides a nice tight fit. The bar bags always seem to get lost or just keep the bar from completely drying anyway, so I’m glad they’re gone. The kite bags also feature board carrying straps as well as a place to store your pump.

I love the lighter feel at the bar while flying the kite. Most 2:1 users will probably like it set at the “light” setting. 1:1 kite flyers will most likely prefer the “lighter” setting. It’s just a simple wingtip adjustment that takes about 30 seconds to switch back and forth. The kite depowers slightly faster and with shorter bar throw in the “light” setting (a plus for 2:1 users or riders with shorter arms). As a 7 strut bow kite, this thing feels nice and solid in the air. It tames gusts easily and makes riding in crappy conditions actually enjoyable. The kite is quick in the turn and plenty quick through the window. The 9m seems faster than before with a high wind range that seems ridiculous. Coming off Switchblade 3’s, I forgot what an incredible wind range these things have. This new model is no exception. The sent jumps are huge and hang times feel longer.

The 11 is a perfect replacement for the 12m Xbow3. It’s faster, but with the same power and range of the old 12. Plus the jumps feel a bit loftier. Perhaps, due in part to the faster kite. The 13m is replacing the 14m Contra and I’ve only had 2 sessions on this size. It feels like a nicely tuned-up version of the Contra with lighter feel and more direct control. I rode it on a 12 or 13 knot day (no real whitecaps) but with a 138 Custom which isn’t really a light wind board (too much rocker)…but was plenty powered enough to stay upwind and do no-whip tricks all day. On a different board (like a 136 Caliber or even a 148 Prodigy) the performance might have been good enough to start getting some decent sent jumps. However, we’re used to riding 7’s and 9’s here so getting motivated to ride in light wind when it’s flat is tough.

The unhooking is fairly good as well. This kite is a little more trim sensitive than say…an SB3, but is definitely more friendly unhooked than previous Xbow models. Just make sure and pull in on the red (depower) ball a little before going into an unhooked trick.

The new IDS bridle is a simpler and cleaner system than in years past and is working almost flawlessly. It is still a bridled kite and I have managed to bowtie the kite a few times while trying some new down-loop variations. However, correcting the problem seems to be easier and faster now. The new bridle seems to “right” itself with minor input from the bar and a quick swim toward the kite.

A couple of riders inquired about the lack of stopper unit on the new bar. There currently isn’t an override sleeve to click the stopper onto; it’s not really used around here by anyone we know for various reasons. However, there may be something of an add-on in the works, so just stay tuned for those of you that use this feature.

Water re-launch is simple. Just pull in a leader line and the kite rolls over and takes off. Works fine in both light and heavy winds.

The new soft bar-ends are a nice touch as well. If your hand slips down to the bar end during mid loop, or you accidently whack yourself while un-spinning the bar, you’ll be glad those bar ends are now soft. Plus, it just makes the bar look cleaner and more streamlined. No more dangling foam floats. The new line connectors at the end of each outside steering line feature a new connector that allows the rider to lengthen or shorten the outside lines based on individual tuning issues.

So the other major issue and source of confusion for a lot of people is leash attachment points and the IDS landing line. It’s quite simple really; your leash only goes one place now: clip right onto the metal trapezoid on the chicken loop. The single connection point will keep you connected to the kite, allow you to spin the bar, and flag the kite all in one. During normal riding, if the bar is allowed to sheet all the way out, the kite depowers and falls into the water. Cabrinha calls this “depower on demand:. If you get into a situation where you need to self rescue or self land the kite, then you would activate the quick release (QR) and let the IDS landing line take over. The bar will slide up the IDS line about 10 or 12 feet and the kite falls to the water depowered as if pulled by a 5th line. The beauty of the system is that there is no 5th line. Absolute depower is achieved by pulling in on the center of the kite from both center lines. And it’s worked perfectly for me everytime.

Basically, this is a Crossbow I can get on board with. I’ve been a big Switchblade 2 and 3 fan before this. The new Crossbow IDS, is the choice for all around freeriding. It rocks upwind like a Switchblade now, still jumps to the moon and has a wind range that’s bananas.


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 908
Location: Norway/Europe
And if a front line breaks? Or the bridle somehow is caught somewhere on the kite? what will happen when releasing the QR? Having the leash connected to one frontline on earlier models felt quite safe, except if the front line breaking was the one the leash was connected to....
I've preordered a 9m2, thinking about ordering a 13m2 too...depends how much money left after vacation :-?


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 43
Location: South Africa
Tks for the review - good to hear from someone who has been riding the new kites. Was wondering if you have had any time on the 7m ? . I have been riding the xbow3's this past year in size 7,9,12. I am thinking of getting the new kites but not sure on the sizing. I was considering just getting a 7 and 10 as i ride in Capetown where the wind is pretty strong. I am used to the bar pressure on the 2008 kites and am just a bit concerned that the Very light bar pressure might leave me wondering where my kite is ? Any othe rinfo would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:43 pm
Posts: 409
Kitemann,
The Crossbow IDS has two setting on the kite, light and lighter which have an impact on the bar pressure. From the review and other reviews posted, the light setting provides a bar pressure which is somewhat comparable to the XBow3 and the lighter setting is comparable to SB3. Changing the setting from light to lighter, could easily take under 30 seconds.


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:23 am
Posts: 104
Location: Maui, HI
Since the IDS landing line pulls from both center lines, having only a single functional line should still at least flag the kite. But I haven't had the opportunity to test this.

Haven't ridden the 7m yet. However, the 9m is such a sweet ride, that the 7m rocks I'm sure. I'm trying to track down a 7m for the our demo on Saturday. So hopefully, we'll get some feedback after the demo this weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:54 am
Posts: 390
hapa13, thank you for your great review.

Got a couple of questions for you:

my girl is a big Xbow fan (and she does fancy my SBIII kites at all). She is around 130 lb. and she rarely unhooks. Do you think a 10&7 combo would suit her fine for winds in the 13-30 knots? She rides a 130 x 39 Twin Tip. Thank you in advance.

And about Xbow 13 & 16: have they been developed with course racing in mind?

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:23 am
Posts: 104
Location: Maui, HI
kakanala -
The 7 and 10 quiver sound like the perfect choices for your girl. She may be slightly wound up on a 7m in 30knots though. Is she currently riding/using a 7 Xbow when it's 30? If so, then the new model will work just as good (if not better), thanks to the Dynamic Arc Progression that the design team used on these new Crossbows. The 7 and the 9 have more arc in them which aids in overall stability in the stronger winds. I've been on the 9m in winds averaging 30-35 gusting in the 40's. And while I do not recommend trying to push the high wind range of any kite into the red zone, it was manageable enough to get back to the beach safely and rig down. Basically, you both should discuss her existing quiver and decide which conditions she's comfortable riding in. I only mention this because I know of maybe 3 or 4 girls that are even willing to bother rigging up when it's averaging 30knots. Here, that means there flying on 4m kites (fully powered). I'm 195 lbs and I'm lit on a 6m SB3 in 30. Just my 2 cents. Again, if she's currently handling a 7m in high winds and is comfortable with it, then the new 7 will work just fine. The 10m should be a perfect lighter wind kite (for when the the boys are on 12's, 14's and up).

The bigger Crossbows where not specifically designed for racing. However, these new kites are definitely quick enough and they now smoke upwind like an SB2 or 3. So I believe a few of our team riders are using this model now as their new race kite. You'll need to put that question out to guys like Jon Modica, Kent Marinkovic and Damien LeRoy though. They are the true experts in that arena.


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 179
Hi Hapa, I am a....yes a Neil Pryde Maui customer since that beautiful shop exists (Carlo from Italy). Last year I bought there a Contra 14, Switchblade 12 and Revolver HD 9. This year I'll came back to Maui again and I am just thinking what should be my new kite quiver. I want to replace all those three kites with the new X Bow IDS 13, Switch IDS 11 and (I hope) the new Revolver IDS 9 (if available between October and November). Do you think this new quiver can match the old one in term of wind range? Here in Italy we don't have trade winds so I am a little bit worried about the big one, the X Bow 13. Is the low end as good as the low end of Contra 14? And what is your preferred 2009 board between Custom and Caliber? Thanks in advance and a big ciao from Italy. :bye:


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:22 am
Posts: 39
Location: England
Hi Hapa, I rode the 10 Xbow IDS recently and it is a truly awesome piece of kit - but no stopper ball? thats crazy, Im 6ft tall with arms like a monkey but I couldnt reach the bar to unspin it, whats up with that? Are Cabrinha thinking Freestyle riders are no longer doing rotations? Im ready to buy one but not without a stopper - unless I can use my SB3 bar - would that work?


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 Post subject: Re: Cabrinha Crossbow IDS Review
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:23 am
Posts: 104
Location: Maui, HI
Aloha Carlo -
Your thinking on sizes sounds pretty good. However, the SB comes in either 10 or 12. There is no 11m. So you may consider just going 10m and 13m both in XBow IDS. The new 10m Xbow IDS has an amazing range. And the new 13m will easily replace the 14m Contra. I've ridden this size only twice, but the low end was just as good as the 2008 Contra 14m (plus it's faster). Ultimately, you will need to ride them when you come out here this fall and decide for yourself. Ciao!

mrtbreeze -
As mentioned in my original post, there is something in the works for a stopper unit. Don't let that prevent you from owning this amazing new kite. You may just have to do without it for a short while. I'm only 5'9" with only an average reach and I have no problems completely letting go of the bar to unspin from doing doubles and re-grabbing it without stopping, sinking or missing a beat. So it's quite surprising to hear that your having issues with it. I do however completely understand that the stopper unit is something many riders got used to over the last couple of seasons. And to suddenly have to go without it must feel just plain wrong for some. So just stay tuned as I'm sure an announcement will be made when the unit is ready. By the way - it will be free upgrade available through any authorized Cabrinha dealer.


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