Switchblade 4 Review
I got to test the new Demo Switchblade 4 - 12m out from Onboard. It was one try only and luckily I had a day of 20-25 knot winds which have been a bit hard to come by lately.
I will try to do the kite justice from a quick test and only report on what I am confident about. Also being a North Rebel rider the kites are quite different and I have to try and report on it as objectively as I can.
Okay. I thought long and hard about this and came up with the following:
Do you like pure bow kite and what if you could fly a super refined bow? If the answer is 'yes I do' and 'yes I do' then this is what the switchblade 4 offers.
I like a kite company that knows the people flying their kites fly them because they like them, they like the feel, they like the style. The last thing you want is the kite you are comfortable on changing completely. What you want is the characteristics and comfort of your kite and have it improved. To me this is what Switchblade 4 is.
To fly it you want to know you have a pure bow kite, it is super depower and makes gusts smooth out. It provides you with a 'boat tow feeling' traveling at a constant speed even though the wind is gusty so that you can pull off your wakestyle tricks. I am not a wakestyler, however in flying the kite I felt confident in the gusty northerlies that I would want to pull off tricks and know the kite will be pulling me just how I want it to.
Boost? Well this is huge, I cannot credit Cabrinah enough, this kite really does boost huge and hang for ever. It is really more like a glider. The boost is effortless, and lazy, no super hard railing required, just loosen up your line, dig a bit of heel in and pull in the bar. In the 20 knots the 12m had me in huge air. do you want a kite that pulls of huge boost? yes, well another tick in the box.
Bar pressure, nice and light but with feedback, and smooth right through the extension.
One pump? yes, strong kite? yes.
Pulleys, well as a bow it has more pullies than your local boat shop, 6 in total I think, all at the kite end, but none at the bar end. So do you like pulley bridle kites? yes then another tick in the box. If you hate pulleys, um well there are a lot of em.
Turning speed? I tested the kite on the slower setting. I would say that it is not a whippy zappy turner on this setting. However, you will need to look into this as changing the settings will increase the turning speed I am told, and others reported this too. You will need to test it out and check it for yourself. It turned fine but I can't say from my short run that it was zippy. It is a bridle bow kite so it will have a touch of the smooth turn rather than the sensation of a Vegas, torch or similar.
Overall. Super super smooth, awsome gusty wind machine, that will boost you huge and allow for all those big tricks without fear of too much punishment if you don't make it. The kite will also be up there waiting for you when you are done stuffing around. Steady and solid is this kites gig. Power and grunt.
Hope this helps
I spoke to a couple of the Local Whyalla boys who got to test the same 12m Demo out. The were stoked with the kite and felt that it was a good kitelooping machine. They've already got their orders in with Onboard for the new Switchblade 4.
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