Is this a good first water setup?

12 replies [Last post]
icedub's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2013
Posts: 18

Hey Guys- I'm looking to buy my first kite setup. As I said when I introduced myself, I did about 8 hours of lessons on a recent trip to Hawaii. I'm 5'5" and 120#, and from what I've read online, a 9m kite is what I'm aiming for.

I found this kite- a 2009 Cabrhina Switch Blade, with bar and lines, for $450. The guy seems pretty straight forward about the kite- there is a known problem with the 09 Switchblade that causes the canopy material to wear quickly around the __. He said it's been repaired with sail tape and doesn't affect the kite performance.

Since I'm new to this, I'm not sure what to think. It seems like a very good price for a kite, bar and lines and also seems like it is a good size for me. Does anyone have any experience with the switchblade and the problems that it has? The price point is very attractive- but I don't want to spend $450 on something that isn't going to last for a couple more seasons while I learn more. Is this a good first kite?

Pictures are here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3832381412828.2140431.13766880...

Thanks,
E

scape112's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/30/2011
Posts: 90
It looks like there are a

It looks like there are a bunch of holes and rips on the canopy around where the fill is. Looks like swiss cheese. I mean for $450 its not bad but I think you can find a better kite for not much more. I dont know what your budget is but if you can spend 6-800 you will prob be able to get a newer kite and in better condition. But thats just how it looks in the pictures

icedub's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2013
Posts: 18
That's exactly the kind of

That's exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for! Yeah, I think I could swing 6-800, especially if it will last a lot longer. Thanks for your input!

Jay the joker's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/11/2010
Posts: 306
Dude I have a 9m Switch

Dude I have a 9m Switch element for sale $400 but no bar. Only used 6 times and two were on snow. No rips repairs or leaks ever. I just want a more high performance kite that's the only reason im getting ris of it. I can get you a brand new bar for $275

__________________

Dunoyer's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2008
Posts: 3334
Not a switchblade, a nomad.

Not a switchblade, a nomad.

__________________

dunoyerfilms.com

James's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/09/2010
Posts: 266
I would recommend 2 different

I would recommend 2 different size kites right away. If you weigh around 175 a 12 and a 9 would be great. The problem with only having 1 kite is that your going to find your self at the beach wanting to kite and have the wrong size for the conditions. But you are right to purchase used for a 1st kite.

Jermy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/02/2008
Posts: 2270
not to mention, that guy

not to mention, that guy selling the Nomad looks super shady... Tongue

__________________

K T H X B Y E P Z !

scape112's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/30/2011
Posts: 90
Icedub, Jay the Jokers

Icedub,

Jay the Jokers Switch Element for $400 is a good deal. He recommended switch kites to me when i was looking into getting a kite and I def love my 2 elements. I have a 9 and a 12m. Both are awesome kites very stable and easy to fly. Just what you are looking for as a new kiter. I still ride mine and will for a long time. I would seriously consider it.

scape112's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/30/2011
Posts: 90
edit for above. I have a 9m

edit for above. I have a 9m and a 13m. I also just ordered a Switch Nitro 2.

mikem's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/21/2010
Posts: 12
Just posted my 2011 8 and 10

Just posted my 2011 8 and 10 Havocs for sale. Check em out. Great kites from beginner all the way up 900 for both

windtzu's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2011
Posts: 253
Icedub, yes the kite in the

Icedub, yes the kite in the picture is a Nomad. While there are no bad kites out there per se, there may be better choices for beginners. I'm through my first full year kiting and like everyone else, you'll shoot up that learning curve like a rocket. I'm still amazed how much I progress each time I'm out.

I started with Cabrinha Switchblades and they worked just fine, but I discovered that I progressed faster on something that relaunched easier from the water and had quicker depower. It's slower turning speed was a plus in some respects (spastic kite skills) but can also work against you when you try to steer the kite out of trouble. This isn't to say the Switchblade isn't good. It's a great kite with particular strengths and you'll adapt just fine. If you want to stay with Cabrinha, the Convert and Vector offer easier water relaunch and quicker depower (a plus when your learning).

Also, be aware that Cabrinha had pulley issues in 2009 and some were prone to failure. If you get a 2009 replace the pulleys with the Cabrinha pulley upgrade kit, if they weren't done so already > @ $100.00

Your being a lightweight is a plus, and a 9 or 10 meter is a great starting point. There's so many great kites out there. Check out the reviews and take them with a grain of salt. Many times there just a rider's opinion > when you use something long enough it becomes familiar and the standard by which all other things are judged. Look for easy relaunch, quicker depower, and a little faster turning wouldn't hurt either.

The kites I tried would be excellent for learning and something you'd wouldn't necessarily outgrow for awhile: North Rebel (check out pro's and con's of 5 line) or North Fuse (basically a four line Rebel); Cabrinha Vector; Airush Lithium. I've also heard great things about the Airush One (really fast relaunch & stability - good value used); North Evo; Epic Renegade: Liquid Force Havoc...I've heard good things about the Switch Kites.

Just don't buy anything older than 2009 (ideally 010 and up) and put the bulk of your kiteboarding budget into a newer kite that's at in at least good condition. I never heard of anyone getting in trouble on the water because their board was "worn" but using a beater kite is asking for trouble.

Good Luck and welcome!

icedub's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2013
Posts: 18
@James: I wish I could start

@James: I wish I could start with two kites, but the budget right now won't allow for it!

My big project right now is building a tiny house on wheels. Who knows, when it's done maybe I can park it right near Lake Champlain Smile Pictures here (http://facebook.com/buildingthetinyhouse)

@windtzu: That makes a lot of sense re: spending the most on the kite itself.

This is a great thread- thank you all for the detailed advice!

James's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/09/2010
Posts: 266
My brother and sister in-law

My brother and sister in-law live up there if I am in the area I will look you up to grab session.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.