Cabrinha FX 2019 review

Cabrinha FX 2019

We review Cabrinha’s performance freestyle / freeride kite 




Cabrinha FX 2019



The first generation of FX kites were launched with a meaty C kite feel and lots of available power. Originally it was designed for Nick Jacobsen when he joined the team to go nuts on. It was a uniquely charged animal! The following year it was way more tuned for high wind, losing a bit of low end power and feel at the bar. We always felt like that version could have taken more and more wind, but the low end wasn’t as good as other similarly sized kites. What it did allow for was King of the Air style riders to take a bigger kite out than the conditions would normally allow and benefit from extra canopy size for more float and better loops, but there was a big cross-over there with Cabrinha’s incredible Switchblade. That sort of big kite kite loop behaviour didn’t really apply to most riders. On the flip-side, what a lot of amateur riders did like about it was that it was brilliant for being able to start unhooking across a wide range of gusty conditions, and being quick and not overly powerful, it was a good confidence builder for kite loopers. Particularly lighter, more athletic and aspiring riders have really enjoyed their time on recent FX’s, as have high level freestylers. 

This year Cabrinha have broadened the spectrum of power. They haven’t changed the style of the kite, but it’s now easier to tap into the low end power and there’s more hangtime available across a wider wind range. Essentially, it’s easier for more people, but still packs performance. The FX is still fast, but just reigned back slightly and now sits perfectly in Cabrinha’s freestyle-freeride range. You can ride this ten between 18 and 30+ knots, jump easily, do good kite loops and do a bit of wave riding too if you want at the lower end of its range. 

Essentially there is a bit less endless top end range, but the bottom end is far better with increased feeling at the bar and more power talking to you. It’s built more for where we all ride. This is a fun toy for advanced intermediates because you can do a lot with it and for freestylers it doesn’t need much trimming (if any at all) for good, unhooked performance where the kite continues to drive forward. If you’re keen on unhooking, the FX is your choice, but Cabrinha have done a wonderful job of producing a kite for the type of rider that like to unhook but also throw some mega-loops and board-offs in the same session. That’s a really hard box to tick, but a style that a lot riders are adopting now with the more combined nature of world freestyle competitions. Chris was particularly impressed as he said, “I had good kite loops and also good board-off sessions. I’m nearly 50, I’ve got two knee braces and the FX also really helped out my landings with good hangtime!”  


Cabrinha FX 2019


No doubt, Cabrinha have always made good kites with nice input and steering consistency, but there was a bit of a gap in choice if you didn’t want a Switchblade, which has smooth but quite meaty power delivery. If you went from the same sized Switchblade to an FX last year you’ll have wondered where all the power went. Cabrinha also brought the Moto out in 2018 and that sits in between the Switchblade and FX. The FX has far more range and is more set-up for freestyle. The Moto is more all-round freeride but with some freestyle advantages. At the very top end, the FX still has really nice sheeting control, powers down through sheeting to zero very incrementally, and you can still throw shapes confidently in strong conditions. The Moto is quick and great to throw around as well, but with more sheeting drive it develops greater low and mid-range power on tap so hits its top end sooner and then starts to work the legs in really strong winds. 


Cabrinha Overdrive bar review


We’ve talked a lot about the Cabrinha bars over the years. They’re highly engineered and only receive minor tweaks each year. The new black and white colours on the width-adjustable Overdrive 1X bar look good. The Trimlite cleat is smooth as ever and without too much dangle when heavily trimmed. The central and safety lines that run up through the centre of the bar are protected by a plastic cover as usual, which is smooth against your fingers. Cabrinha bars are perhaps a little chunkier in width and at the bar ends than what you may be used to. They are always safe with high functionality and feel ratings, though. You could leave them outside all winter and they’d still look new. Hard wearing for sure. The wide inflation doesn’t need a nozzle, so your pump hose just connects directly to it. So easy, so good.


Watch product video below




A re-vamped FX has seen improvements that have taken it from quite a niche freestyle kite suiting lighter riders or stronger winds, to a beautifully powered and still highly athletic specimen for the modern charger looking for all round freestyle performance. Still loaded with comfort and easy control, the FX is a real player for anyone looking to up their freeride game and move confidently into regularly throwing tricks, whether they are unhooked, kite loops or floaty board-offs. 



Increased power for ease of use this year but still a top drawer freestyle / freeride player.



Not much this year, we think the FX fills a very relevant position in the market for advanced intermediates and beyond that want to be able to handle-pass and boost easily.



Build quality: 8.5

Full package: 9

Low end: 8

Top end: 9

Steering speed: 6

Turning circle: 6

Bar pressure: 5.5

Water relaunch: 8 

Drift: DT

Boost: 7.5 

Hang-time: 7.5 

Unhooked: 8

Cross-over: 7.5 (Good for every type of twin-tip freestyle. Depowers well so can do waves and foil)

Ease-of-use: 7.5


SIZES: 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m

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