North Orbit vs Cabrinha Switchblade – In-Depth Comparison

Chris Lagao
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When I first started kiteboarding in 2012. I was hooked right from the start. I loved being able to be out on the water, exploring, and just having fun. It's a great way to get away from all the responsibilities of everyday life and just enjoy some time on your own.
North Orbit vs Cabrinha Switchblade
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Choosing the perfect kite for your kiteboarding journey can be a daunting task, especially with a plethora of options available in the market.

Two such popular choices among kiteboarders are the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade, each offering unique features and performance characteristics tailored to different skill levels and riding styles.

This blog post aims to tackle the challenge of deciding between these two renowned kites by providing an in-depth comparison that delves into their design, construction, performance, and suitability for various disciplines.

By exploring the nuances of the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade, we promise to guide you toward an informed decision that will elevate your kiteboarding experience and align with your individual needs and aspirations.

Kite Design and Construction

North Orbit

The North Orbit kiteboarding kite is designed specifically with advanced riders in mind, who are looking for a high-performance design that offers big air and long hangtimes. Its five-strut open C design provides an excellent balance between stability and agility, allowing the rider to take on more tricks without sacrificing performance.

To ensure the longevity of the kite in extreme conditions, North Orbit has crafted its kites using high-quality materials such as Teijin D2 ripstop canopy fabric and a robust Dacron exoskeleton framework. Tejin D2 fabric is lightweight yet extremely durable which makes it perfect for use in harsh environments while the strong exoskeleton frame adds extra strength allowing the kite to withstand stronger winds and last longer than other standard models.

This combination of materials allows riders to trust they will have a reliable product no matter what conditions they face when out on the water.

Cabrinha Switchblade

On the other hand, the Cabrinha Switchblade is a versatile all-around kite, suitable for riders of all skill levels. With its hybrid design, incorporating a five-strut open C shape and a bowed outline, the Switchblade offers excellent performance across various disciplines.

Cabrinha uses their proprietary Nano Ripstop canopy material, which is not only lightweight and durable but also provides increased resistance to wear and tear. The kite also features a robust Dacron frame, ensuring longevity and resilience even in challenging conditions.

Performance and Handling

North Orbit

When comparing the performance and handling of the two kites, it is essential to consider their wind range, hangtime, turning speed, upwind performance, and safety features. The North Orbit shines in strong wind conditions, offering impressive hangtime and boosting capabilities.

It has a quick turning speed and is highly responsive, making it suitable for advanced riders who demand precision and control. The kite’s upwind performance is commendable, and its depower and safety features are reliable, ensuring a secure and enjoyable ride.

Cabrinha Switchblade

The Cabrinha Switchblade, in contrast, offers a wider wind range, making it suitable for various conditions and riding styles. Its hangtime and boosting ability are also impressive, though not as pronounced as the North Orbit.

The Switchblade boasts smooth turning speed and responsiveness, catering to both beginners and advanced riders. Its upwind performance is excellent, and the kites depower and safety features are user-friendly, providing a sense of security and confidence for riders of all levels.

Riding Styles and Disciplines

When evaluating the suitability of the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade for different riding styles and disciplines, it is crucial to consider their performance characteristics.

The North Orbit is ideal for freeride and big air enthusiasts, while the Switchblade caters to a broader range of riders, including freestyle, wave riding, and foil boarding. Both kites are beginner-friendly, with the Switchblade offering a slightly more forgiving experience for those new to the sport.

Price and Value for Money

In terms of price and value for money, both the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade are positioned at a premium level. However, the specific costs may vary depending on the size and package you choose.

When comparing value for money, consider factors such as build quality, performance, and versatility to determine which kite best suits your needs and budget.

Pro Rider Endorsements and Testimonials

The North Orbit is favored by big air riders and free-riders, while the Cabrinha Switchblade is popular among all-around riders who appreciate its versatility across various disciplines.

Regardless of your riding preferences and skill level, it is advisable to test both kites before making a decision, as personal experience plays a significant role in choosing the right kite.

Which Kite is Better for Beginners?

The Cabrinha Switchblade is generally considered to be more beginner-friendly due to its versatile all-around design, user-friendly depower and safety features, and smoother turning speed.

However, both kites offer beginner-friendly features, and it’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences when making a decision.

Significant Differences in the Build Quality and Materials?

Both kites are constructed with high-quality materials and robust build quality. The North Orbit uses Teijin D2 ripstop canopy and a Dacron exoskeleton, while the Cabrinha Switchblade features a proprietary Nano Ripstop canopy material and a Dacron frame. Both materials ensure durability and longevity, even in challenging conditions.

Can I use the same bar and lines for both the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade?

Although both kites use a 4-line system, it is advisable to use the recommended bar and lines from the respective manufacturers to ensure optimal compatibility, performance, and safety. North Kiteboarding and Cabrinha have specific bars designed for their kites, which can be purchased separately or as part of a package.

How do the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade perform in light wind conditions?

While both kites can perform in light wind conditions, the Cabrinha Switchblade is generally considered to have a better low-end performance due to its versatile design and wider wind range. However, it is essential to choose the appropriate kite size for optimal performance in light wind conditions.


In conclusion, the North Orbit and Cabrinha Switchblade each have their distinct advantages, catering to different rider preferences and skill levels. The North Orbit is geared towards advanced riders seeking impressive big air and hangtime capabilities, while the Cabrinha Switchblade offers versatility, making it suitable for a broader range of disciplines and riders of all levels.

To make an informed decision, consider factors such as your riding style, skill level, and the specific disciplines you want to pursue. Remember that personal experience plays a significant role in choosing the right kite. Whenever possible, test both kites in similar conditions to get a feel for their performance and handling. Reach out to local dealers, demo events, or fellow kiteboarders to arrange for testing opportunities.

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