TEST TEAM NOTES
The Ace has an industrial feel – a little more pop out than some of the other boards this issue. It’s beefy with thicker parabolic rails and there’s more detailing on the bottom with a quad concave to quad V bottom. The Ace is quite stiff in the centre, so carries lots of energy but it has good comfort and handles chop and overpowered conditions very well. Fast and easy to ride, the Cabrinha pads and straps are first class – we had the most basic H1s – superbly engineered for a snug and tight but comfortable fit. All Cabrinha’s boards have been given a very similar look this season – grey on top and red on the bottom – a bit like wearing a suit, but whatever is under the exterior makes the Ace a lot of fun.
We expected the ride to be a bit stiffer than it actually was when we picked the board up – there’s something robust and perhaps the heavy grey colour gives the impression of it having a heavier feel – whereas actually the Ace is a very usable toy for riders of all levels and we know it’s well designed with the new basalt technology that we will surely be seeing more of. The speed, grip and ability to load the board up make it great for freestyle, but the standout element is that it allows you to perform so well in less than perfect conditions. Edging powerfully, the Ace still feels loose enough to slash around on. A highlight is the way that the thick, grippy parabolic rails are stiff in the centre and more flexible and responsive towards the tips which allow you to hold a beautiful carve by twin-tip standards – and we had lots of fun smashing around in the waves on this in Cape Town. There’s loads of feel on your back foot when you carve and because there’s enough curve in the rails towards the tips you can weight your front foot nicely to keep you planing all the way through a turn rather than having to concentrate hard on not catching the nose of your board in the water.
Sitting mid-way in the Cabrinha range as a real all-rounder you can have confidence in the strength of the Ace and, although it feels robust and solid, it doesn’t feel heavy underfoot at all – it gives you loads to play with and is strong and assured. Landings inspire confidence in their stability and in how they absorb a lot of shock. The Ace takes a moment to steady itself and then propels you forward and back onto the plane as it rebounds from its flex.
There’s lots of performance in the Ace but also stacks of ease-of-use – although perhaps it’s not as absolutely refined in ultra silky performance as some of the lighter models here in the tips, but this is a superb twin-tip that’s very capable of handling whatever you can throw at it, will last for years and seems to be ideally positioned as a one-board-does it all for a great many kiteboarders of all sizes and abilities in a range of conditions. The Ace takes the decision making out of your twin-tip purchase if you’re unsure what you should be riding.
139 x 42, 137 x 41, 135 x 40 and 133 x 39cm
More info at: www.cabrinhakites.com
Here’s the official Ace product video and designers notes from Cabrinha