Mar 12, 2014
Size tested: 12m Suggested retail: $1,309 (kite only)
Sizes available: 3.5, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14m
Test Team Report
The Vector scored big marks with the Test Team riders, and posted some top results for its forgiving but big power delivery. It was one of the more powerful kites in the 12-meter range, sitting nicely between the gruntiest of them but far above the middle of the road. The Vector has respectable jumping ability, with smooth, consistent lift and nice positional feed back from the back lines. The new pulley-free bridles and bar set-up have upgraded its direct feel and handling. It’s an easy kite to loft jumps with, and it reacts well overhead for soft landings. It’s not as fast across the top of the window as some more aggressively narrow leading-edge kites. The three-strut design ensures light weight and a nimble feel, and it holds its shape through the gusts while aggressively flying or steering. There are good levels of depower that come at arm’s length, and the Vector softens the gusts well.
The Vector is also a solid crossover performer, having smooth and predictable pull; even the 12m had enough power and nimble pivotal turns for some lightwind ocean sessions. With the kite bar on the outside settings, the Vector delivers smooth pivotal turns that are moderate in speed but predictable and reactive at all levels of attack. The water relaunch is on par with industry standards and one of the best in the Cabrinha lineup. The Vector is a great choice for the do-it-all kiter who wants an easy boosting kite that can hold its own with consistent and predictable freeride performance.
If your all-terrain aspirations include wakestyle riding or a focus on unhooked tricks, then the Vector may not be the right kite. Like lots of three-strut kites, it can run away on you while unhooked.
Intermediate-level riders who want a kite that can handle any condition. This is a kite you can learn with and never outgrow in performance.
Designer’s notes: Pat Goodman
This is season the Vector got a big upgrade in performance. We simplied the bridle by about 50% from 2013 to 2014. We were aiming to make the kite more responsive to rider input for steering and depowering the kite. We removed all the pulley’s which makes the kite more responsive and only use 3 tow points instead of 4 freeing up the LE. The Vectors rounded entry profies keep the kite parked forward in the window requiring minimal rider input to keep it there and to get upwind without working the kite too much.