Cabrinha Moto 2019 review

Cabrinha MOTO 2019 review

The Moto is Cab’s all-new performance freeride all-rounder – we put it to the test!



Cabrinha MOTO 2019 review



The Moto adds to an already stacked line up of Cabrinha kites, including the Switchblade and FX in the freeride / freestyle cross-over category. Cab are saying it’s the most versatile kite in the range. 

It’s quite rare that we’d test an eight metre freeride kite in the UK as the gap in power between an eight and a nine metre is usually quite big, and for a test kite we’re looking at increasing our chances of being able to get out on it for several sessions. We usually do our smaller kite tests in Cape Town in January. However, the Moto is certainly not lacking in power and we tested it over a couple of good wind sessions, above 24 knots but still no more than 30.

The Moto is a highly energised ride. Super eager and drivey through the window; it feels ‘switched on’ all the time. A chunky, boxy hybrid shape offers a rare combination of speed, power and lift. Very keen to turn, both in its short initiation  time and its air speed. 

We rigged the Moto on the lowest pigtail knot on the rear line bridle (effectively making the back lines as long as possible). Very often this setting is a last resort for some kites when you’re maxed out and trying to get some extra depower, but at the same time you’ll sacrifice some steering. The Moto feels perfectly set up on this knot – all lines nicely engaged and alert. Any higher up may be suitable for much lighter winds. 


Cabrinha MOTO 2019 review


The boost and hangtime in this eight metre are fantastic. Bear in mind that we weren’t out in classic eight metre weather – although there were people on eights, other riders were out on nines and tens, so it was by no means ballistic. You do need to be quite precise with your kite position and sheeting, but when you get it right, it pings you right up with impressive hangtime for its size. Kite looping the eight is also far more engaging than most eights. The Moto goes round with a whip because it quickly kicks into gear from stationary. Very alert, you do need to be on your game when riding it… and chasing after it. 

The Moto fits really well in the Cab range. The Switchblade is ultra reliable but it’s steadier, has more of a grunty power band and therefore might not be for everyone. The FX is really tuned towards an unhooked freestyling kite looper, so this Moto, with lots of low end power at the bar, yet loads of depower and a really athletic performance, fits nicely between the two. It has all the fun stuff of fast turning and good loops combined with generally being quite easy to use. The air frame is really solid, especially for an eight, and feels as sturdy as a nine. Often when boosting on an eight, the descent back down is really quick, but the Moto has a floaty drop, though you do need to keep applying input at the bar. 

If you’re used to engaging with your kite, you’ll enjoy the Moto. It’s a charger’s kite when it comes to stronger wind and jumping and we feel that it could handle loads of wind in the right hands. It’s super potent, but given that we had it on its lowest rear line knot and the back lines were still very engaged, there will be eights that intermediate riders will feel have more natural range. The Moto has decent depower, but it’s also very well muscled for its size. 

Where it will excel in waves and for foiling is that you can quickly get on a smaller size, the turn initiation and response are rapid and the precision of the kite for good riders is great. There’s also plenty of sheeting power when you need it as well as ample depower. Considering all that range, the Moto is going to need a lot of trimming for lots of unhooking. If you’re into that, you should be looking towards the FX. 


Cabrinha Overdrive 2019 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 excellent 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. 



The Moto has a really high fun factor for all round riding. Such a nice option as a one-kite-for-all and has its own flavour in that it jumps high with great hangtime and yet is aimed at foiling and wave riding, too. Obviously very highly tweaked, intermediates will have moments where they won’t be hitting the boost button perfectly every time because the sweet spot is a bit smaller than they might be used to on a wider swept kite. If you’re looking for a faster and tuned-up kite though, the Moto’s going to put a smile on your chops. 



All the fun stuff: jumping, looping and enjoying a small kite’s pace with a bigger kite’s air time credentials.



The sweet spot for jumping is a bit small for some riders, who would ideally be suited to the Switchblade. 



Build quality: 8.5

Full package: 9

Low end: 8.5

Top end: 8 

Steering speed: 7

Turning circle: 5

Bar pressure: 5

Water relaunch: 8.5 

Drift: 7

Boost: 8 

Hang-time: 8 

Unhooked: 6.5

Cross-over: 9 

Ease-of-use: 7.5

SIZES: 14, 12, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m


Cabrinha Moto 2019 product review

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