Tkb Review: 2019 CABRINHA Contra - Kiteboarding & Kitesurfing (2023)

Tkb Review: 2019 CABRINHA Contra - Kiteboarding & Kitesurfing (1)

Available sizes:13, 15, 17, 19 m
Sizes tested:13, 19m

Cabrinha says:

The Contra is perfect for any rider looking to expand their game into the light wind arena with a responsive low wind kite.

(Video) 2019 FX Kite (Cabrinha Kitesurfing)

Light winds were once considered kiteboarding's archenemy. That was until Cabrinha launched the lightweight Contra kite with an unmatched combination of efficiency and performance. Every riding style and discipline now has a kite to take your riding to the arena in light winds.

Contry's lightweight 3-pillar hybrid design enables amazing things in an area once known as impassable. A true light wind competitor in all riding categories.

For more information

Our testers say:

"Easy to fly, light belt pressure, good restart, middle of the road turning speed and really good power." // Cam Lewis

"Good towing capacity while handling gusts very well. Stable kite, not too fast but intuitive to use; let's do what you want to do in light winds, great kite for progression in light winds." // Bryan Waldberg

"Much lighter design than the model from two years ago, really good power, light pressure on the handlebars, less turning speed, but it won't let you go to the beach on light wind days and you will really enjoy it!" // Christina Vincenzo

(Video) 2019 Cabrinha Product Preview

Meet our testers

TKB says:

The Contra has garnered great reviews this year as a dedicated light wind weapon that will keep you riding a twin tip or surfboard when the wind hits foiling conditions. Designed with a low to medium exposure 3-jet canopy, the Contra offers a fixed, single front rein setting with two wingtip attachment settings to choose between a "lighter steering impulse/increased demo pitch" or a more forward B setting, "direct control/ shorter depower strokes." The Contra is equipped with a large diameter Cabrinha bayonet fill valve that does not require a nozzle at the end of the standard pump hose for quick and easy inflation. The front connection points of the bridle end in a knot, and the braids of the wingtips end in a loop. The Contra is a super stable kite with quite pronounced pole dynamics for its larger size. The Contra has a linear progression of power along the handlebar throw and is extremely resistant to drag and stall even in lighter wind sessions. The Contra sits deeper in the window with plenty of grunting drag you'd expect from a large kite in light winds, but it was a very usable amount of power due to the kites surprisingly high power. Being able to release that power from the canopy made the grunt very useful for staying upwind and making for a comfortable ride at all times. The control arc of the Contra was wider due to its size, but steering response was quite good for a kite of this size. The bar pressure surprised us with a light to medium tension that we didn't expect, and is especially notable for providing good feedback and fairly quick introduction to the kite. Overall, testers were impressed with the Contra in both size 13 and 19m, hailing it as a good choice for those not ready to give up foiling for light wind sessions.

This year we tested the Contra with three rods, first the 1X with Trimlite (non-adjustable rod ends with a guide block), second the Overdrive 1X with Trimlite (adjustable rod ends with a guide block) and finally the Overdrive 1X with recoil.

The Overdrive 1X with Trim Lite is a double length (48cm/56cm) adjustable handlebar that riders can adjust on the water while riding. This bar features a streamlined belay system with a single center line, low V and a fixed length PU coated cable/throw line that connects above the handlebar tuning with a cam button. Quick release is a clean system that integrates a manual twist under the handlebars that acts as a quick release cover and an easy grip (white) quick release handle. With a little practice, you can get the quick release handle to lock in the open position when the gate is pointing down. When you put the end of the loop back into the release, you can just press the release handle and it closes. For most riders, this is probably considered an ambiguous proposition, but with practice and proper orientation, it becomes a smooth and reliable process (some testers have patted themselves on the back to prove that the trigger can be opened and reset with one hand... albeit with practice, not in water and under fire). The Overdrive system is a fairly simple design for adjusting handlebar length on the fly. This can be done on the water, but requires two hands, one to hold the stick in place, the other to pull the small release handle. Then it takes two hands to move and lock the ends of the stick in the narrow or wide position.

When it comes to kite tuning, the Overdrive 1X can be equipped with the Trimlite (over handlebar) or the Recoil system (over handlebar power strap with extension handle). For those riders who prefer a simpler handlebar layout, the Trimlite cleat system is probably a better option. Many testers commented on the added weight and complexity of the Recoil system, but testers with shorter arms noted that it provided tuning control at closer range.

On all Cabrinha handlebars, the center lines end in knots, the outer lines end in loops, and the ends of the handlebars are padded for the chaotic rags. The floats are integrated and fairly unobtrusive, and while the bungees are non-retractable, they have a groove that retracts while riding to prevent flapping. Testers commented on the 1X's slightly thicker grip diameter and liked the rubber texture of the grip. Overdrive adjustable bar ends do not have adjustable cable lengths like the 1x Trimlitel, this is most likely because the bar ends have an Overdrive mechanism that takes up most of the space at the end of the bar.1X with Trim Lite - We also got the 1X with Trim Lite handlebar which is a fixed length rod (44cm, 52cm and 60cm) that has a streamlined single centerline safe power reduction system, low V and durable plastic cover/scatter with a fixed cable length that connects above the handlebar tuning with a cam button (an alternative power control option to Cabrinha's Recoil system). The middle lines end with a knot and the outer lines end with loops. Outer lines are adjustable; Simply pull the outer line through the small slot on the side of the integrated rod floats and you can adjust between three knots (the rod is on the shortest setting). Compared to Overdrive adjustable rod ends, the 1X with Trim Lite is an overall lighter rod and requires smaller, more streamlined floats. Testers commented on the slightly thicker diameter of the 1X grip, symmetrical in the hand, and liked the rubber texture of the grip. When it comes to bars, everyone's a critic, and Cabrinha has three great options to suit almost any need.

(Video) 2019 Slingshot Kites Product Preview

For more information about the bar

  • 2019 Freeride Gear Guide $4.99Add to Cart View Details2019 Freeride Gear Review Guide
(Video) 2017 Squid Launcher (Cabrinha Kitesurfing)

With the help of 14 testers from all disciplines of kiteboarding, the Tkb staff has compiled detailed equipment reviews with objective performance criteria for the latest 2019 kites, twin tips and folio boards. guide here:

(Video) 2020 Slingshot Kites Product Preview


1. 2020 Cabrinha Kites Product Preview
(The Kiteboarder Magazine)
2. REVIEW Cabrinha Switchblade 2017 vs 2016
3. 2016 Cabrinha Tronic- Kiteboard Product Video
4. 2017 Surfboard Overview (Cabrinha Kitesurfing)
5. Kite Surfboard beit Yanai 070314
(Vera Nash)
6. Wind & Kitesurfing Part II


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