Mar 21, 2011
Author: Shane Thompson / SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Best all-around freeride, and top pick for side-shore, and side-off surf conditions. (2011 SBC Kiteboard head-to-head surf tests, Issue 12.1)
• New canopy printed material is super stylish
• More power than last year with better range
• Mega Loop-capable and big booster
• Smooth power ban and progressive depower
The Nomad returns in 2011 with some stellar performance enhancements in low-end power, jumping capability and crisper, faster turning. The Nomad is a non-BOW design from Cabrinha that caters to the wave, and high-powered freestyle riding. It best suits intermediate advanced riders that want a Kite Looping wave machine with some good range of depower and big boosting capability.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The Powerdrive IDS control bar has some industry-exclusive features that set it apart from the average kite bar. The IDS landing line, safety system is neatly housed in the centre of the smooth-sheeting PVC trim line and provides good and complete flagging off the front two lines in conjunction with front two IDS bridles. It’s one of the best safety systems for self landing as the leading edge is pulled forward and into the wind when engaged. The integrated bar ends are bulky but also light and soft on the hands. They act as bar floats and their cushioning reduce the probability of injury to body or board when things go wrong. Also new for this year’s Powerdrive is the Recoil System. This wiry spring keeps the trim strap depower adjusters within reach and also prevents the bar from traveling out of reach when spinning the bar. A nice feature that addresses issues the PVC line has always encountered. Different sized trim loops are available and easy to change and the new monofilament flying lines are a nice addition. Overall, the Powerdrive IDS is stylishly streamlined for 2011, with improved functionality and user-friendly performance.
The Nomad has that distinctive smooth Cabrinha feel with optimum stability and rock-solid canopy shape. Unlike many companies that have trended toward eliminating the number of struts to reduce weight, the Nomad still delivers nimble performance with six struts. The Test Team was impressed by the nice boosting capability and the improved low-end power of the Nomad. Depower is smooth and progressive with sheeting out the bar and is enhanced nicely with some trim adjustment. This is a testament to the highly evolved IDS bridle.
Compared to the wakestyle-oriented, and BOW-shaped, Switchblade, the Nomad has lighter bar input, sits further ahead in the wind window and depowers more quickly and progressively. The fast pivotal turns generate smooth power for Kite Loops and the Nomad is no slouch while unhooked. There is good pop and line tension is nicely reduced for passes after an aggressive powered and popped jump. The ample depower, good stability and moderately fast pivotal turns make this kite Cabrinha’s best option in the waves. With rock-solid canopy shape and good amounts of useable depower, the Nomad builds confidence to tackle any crushing wave day.
The Recoil System can occasionally grab your flying lines in certain launching situations.
The Nomad is your ticket for riding waves, and Mega Looping for some big airtime. Its smooth power delivery, stable foil and instant depower rival the top surf kites available today.