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Jul 3, 2009

Author: SBC Test Team/Shane Thompson

Style: Four-line Freeride Bow / Price: $1,459 / Wind Range(9 m2): 13-26 knots, expert (180 lbs) / What’s new: IDS bridles, IDS control bar, Progressive Arc Design, new durability measures.

Beginners and intermediates can have confidence that the Convert will be there from stage one and follow them well into higher levels of riding. Our Test Team was impressed with the overall freeride performance of this kite. Its highlights include: excellent low-end power and range, the fastest and easiest relaunch and big jumping and soaring capability for advanced riders.

Key Kite Features
• Conservative Arc and Moderate Aspect Ratio
• IDS bridle system
• Override IDS
• Leading edge closing seam
• Ultra bomb canopy reinforcements

Bar Setup and Safety System
• Name: Powerdrive IDS control bar
• Soft EVA molded bar end floats
• Below-the-bar IDS activation
• QR2 quick release for Absolute Depower

On-water Performance

The Convert meets the demand for a kite that can handle a wide range of conditions, rider styles and skill levels. It’s better suited to a wider range of skill levels over last year’s model. For the beginner it has easy handling , smooth power delivery and good amounts of depower. With no back stalling issues and great stability through gusts the Convert inspires confidence. For the advanced rider, this kite has big jumping and glide capability. It pulls smoothly while unhooked and can easily satisfy intermediate freestyle maneuvers. The wind range is great also as Test Team member, Dan Steiner described, “This kite is very grunty for its size…great low-wind performance, I was powered on a 9 m when others were on 12s...great hang time and pop for airs. Super smooth!” The IDS bridle system also offers up the quickest and easiest relaunch of the test. Simply pull in the back line about six inches and the Convert is flying again. The biggest safety innovation so far this year is Cabrinha’s new Absolute Depower. Made possible by the IDS bridle system and in conjunction with the Powerdrive IDS control bar, this system lets the rider completely flag the kite by engaging a 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.

Reality Check
Expert testers prefer the stopper ball system of some of the other SLE kites in the test, but not having one on a beginner/intermediate kite is a good idea for improved safety.

Bottom Line
The Convert 9 m2 will not only help the novice learn the basics but will continue to provide performance for higher skill levels and expanded disciplines. The Cabrinha Convert out performs many of its competitors’ higher priced “performance” kites.

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