2018 Cabrinha XCaliber review

2018 Cabrinha XCaliber review

Playful and loose for intermediate and advanced riders who want to push hard in boots or straps




2018 Cabrinha XCaliber review



The Xcaliber looks absolutely stunning in this wood construction (also available in stiffer carbon) – just like the Ace that we tested last issue. It feels and looks so natural, the finish is beautiful and there’s nothing plasticky about it at all.  


2018 Cabrinha XCaliber review


Of all the boards we rode in Cape Town this year, the Xcaliber is the most playful. Easy feeling and very loose; for intermediate riders and above, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. There are better boards for early intermediates because the Xcaliber takes a bit of understanding in terms of its grip and drive levels, but once your legs and ankles are tuned in the Xcaliber is excellent at making very average or difficult conditions seem like the best. 

The Xcaliber is as comfortable in boots or straps, but isn’t the most ‘fully armoured vehicle’ for parks or riding up shingle beaches, but it’s also beautifully light, which only adds to the playful performance. 

The channel in the base makes the ride feel comfortable and there’s enough rocker to make the Xcaliber very easy in the chop, but it’s not the fastest ride. Compared to the Ace, this is very different. The Ace is geared to ride faster, track and bite more and load up harder for big boosts. The Xcaliber is more wakestyle, steady, looser and great for slower spin control. It’s usually difficult to do tail presses in foot straps, but because the Xcaliber has such a nice rocker, loose feel and good tips you can do some really nice, long presses on this and feel like a proper playa! 

In fact you don’t need to ride the Xcaliber forward, it works at all angles, which is why it’s so forgiving on landings and also feels very soft on your knees. When it comes to take-offs the carve provides a nice, progressive load up.

For early intermediate and beginners it’s important to have a really obvious locked in drive, but as soon as you want to start playing, switching to toe-side and throwing big fans on wave faces, then something like the Xcaliber has that all built in. When you want to break the board out and switch, just a little push on your back foot sets it free and because it’s so forgiving on landing, you can pop and switch to toe-side and back again with good speed and flow. This is the vibe of this board and you’ll feel your riding really opening up, more like snowboarding. Where it is a bit more technical is in toe-side carves. With technique it’s fun and you can carve super tightly, but this is where intermediates will benefit from a more locked in grip. 


2018 Cabrinha XCaliber review


The Cabrinha straps and pads are fairly generic but have good, soft grip in the pad and comfy contact over-foot with the strap. The strap doesn’t cover as much of the foot as some with just one Velcro fastener, but that guarantees comfort for all foot shapes, perhaps at the expense of such a locked-in feel. You can’t fall out with these basically. Cabrinha do offer a more full-on foot strap and all their systems come in different sizes, which really helps your set up feel good. 



The Xcaliber used to be Cabrinha’s all-out full performance serious freestyle stick for the world tour generation, but now it’s far more playful and easy to use. If you’re not looking for absolute top end speed and maximum grip, then the Xcaliber is so good in and around ocean waves in boots or straps and, importantly, goes easy on the knees. 



Ultra-playful ride that makes everything feel like powder snow. 



Riders who are looking for more speed and bite should look to the Ace. 



Build quality: 9

Fixtures and fittings: 8 

Speed: 6

Pop: 7.5 

Drive: 6.5 

Flex: 7 

Comfort: 8 

Looseness: 8 

Grip: 7.5

Upwind: 7

Slider proof: NA 

Boots applicable: Yes

Freeriding: 8

Freestyle: 8

Ease of use: 7.5    



141 x 43, 138 x 42, 135 x 41 and 133 x 40cm 






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