Feb 5, 2009
Author: Shane Thompson
Size Tested: 11 m2 / Style: Four-line bow / What’s new: IDS bridles, IDS control bar, Progressive Arc Design
The Crossbow is the freeride, do-it-all design of the highly evolved Cabrinha bow-kite lineup. The Crossbow has become renowned for its versatility in challenging conditions. It has excellent control, handling and overall wind range. It’s the kite racer and big-air enthusiast’s turn for the ultimate range over the more specialized bow designs.
Bar setup and safety system
The new Powerdrive IDS control bar has 1:1 four-line setup, all-new ergonomic grip and streamlined design with soft EVA bar ends. These new bar ends move the pivot point of the lines right to the bar itself and they also double as flotation devices. Pulleys on this year’s bar are absent due to the new bridle system. The quick-release loop remains the same, but the new Absolute Depower system features a below-the-bar, mini fifth-line safety attachment.
Key kite features
The new IDS stands for Intelligent Depower System, which features an innovative new bridle design that can be found on all ’09 Cabrinha kites. Dynamic Arc Progression is another universal Cabrinha feature that reduces the flatness of the arc as the kite sizes get smaller. Other key Cabrinha features include the Sprint single-point inflation, flat seams, new bridle pulleys and improved airlock valve.
The testers were impressed by the new Crossbow 4’s handling and overall wind range. Most notable in gusty conditions, this kite remains stable and tames the most vicious gusts with smooth, predictable power ban. This factor alone makes it an ideal choice for the progressing intermediate or beginner. Improvements in bar pressure over previous seasons and the direct connection with no bar pulleys gives this kite a crisper feel that more advanced riders will appreciate. For the freeride crowd, the Crossbow has always been a go-to kite—and this year is no exception. Great wind range, improved stability and improved direct steering increase this kite’s discipline crossover capability.
The biggest safety innovation is Cabrinha’s new Absolute Depower. Made possible by the IDS bridles in conjunction with the Powerdrive IDS control bar, this system lets the rider completely flag the kite by engaging the highly evolved mini fifth line. It’s the ultimate for anyone who needs to self-land on the beach and wants the added safety of a five-line system with the simplicity and range of a four-line bridled kite.
The Crossbow maintains its place as a high-jumping kite, with great speed and range. But if you’re a wakestyle junkie, look to the Switchblade 4 for the ultimate in unhooked freestyle performance. A new stopper-ball system would be the cherry on top for the new control system. [Update: A new stopper ball system is now supplied free of charge.]
The Crossbow will appeal to a wider range of riders, with its increased versatility and improved handling characteristics. The new IDS bridle system and control bar bring new levels of safety and range to these evolving bow-kite designs.