Cabrinha Ace 2018 review

Cabrinha ACE 2018 - Kiteworld Review

We review Nick Jacobsen’s trusty steed




Cabrinha ACE 2018 - Kiteworld Review



The Ace is Cabrinha’s general workhorse for anyone looking for good progression through the ranks, all the way up to high performance freeriding – it’s Nick Jacobsen’s board of choice, after all. 

There are two models to choose from this year – a paulownia wood core and a full carbon layup. We tried both. 

Cabrinha have adjusted the bottom and deck shaping for this year, alongside new rail channels for better grip, but the Ace still has the usual robust feel that we’ve come to expect from a Cabrinha twinny. They’re built for the job and can handle the odd ding or less than careful handling. They’re not the lightest boards, but they’re in no way heavy. They are twin-tips for general kitesurfers and can take the daily wear and tear that anyone can dish out. Even the carbon one has a tough skin and it’s not as light as you might expect, so you won’t easily break it. The carbon, however, has obviously been used for its stiff quality, rather than an abundance of weight saving. 



So let’s start with the carbon model. The introduction of carbon has really stiffened the Ace up. It’s lighter, grippier and faster for sure, but it now has a less progressive freeride-style flex and requires more forceful input and commands. In carbon it’s a good option for a heavier rider who can influence the flex, likes riding powered up, is looking for a good jumping machine and doesn’t mind sacrificing the more subtle feel of wood as a trade-off for more solid straight line speed and edging. 

In general, the Ace has been a no-brainer recommendation by the team in the last couple of seasons because it’s so plug and play. You can’t really go wrong with it for what 90% of the kitesurfing population want to do, which is, primarily feel comfortable and in control, but also have enjoy a good pick-up of speed, plenty of grip and pop, but also easy release for switching 180 as well as enough bite for secure and rewarding carving. 



That sounds like a lot to ask, but in the wooden construction the Ace continues to do all that. There’s loads of edging control, a soft feel underfoot via the single concave and plenty of feedback in the flex for an engaging ride. 

We’ve tried a few sizes in this board, the smallest being the 133 x 37 – which isn’t big enough for average guys, but Cabrinha have a good offering of sizes in the range, including a narrow stance on that small board, too. So there’s something for everyone. 


Cabrinha ACE 2018 - Kiteworld Review


We used the H1 footstraps which, for Cabrinha’s most basic set of straps, are plush, comfortable, supportive and easy to adjust. They offer a good balance between soft cushioning and a stable connection with the board, but also have enough leeway to pivot your foot at different angles for grabs. Can’t go wrong with these really. 



Overall the Ace continues to be a top performer for what most kitesurfers want to do with their riding. Do think seriously though before committing to the carbon board just because it looks rad in black and yellow. It’s a stiffer, more serious ride and we reckon that most people will find the wooden model more to their liking. 



Easy, fun kitesurfing, now with the option of stepping up to a more locked-in carbon model. 



You’ll find freeride boards that perform better than the Ace in certain areas – perhaps in terms of supreme comfort or progressive pop, but the Ace is bang in the middle as a do-it-all board, so there’s not much to change about that. 



Build quality: 8

Fixtures and fittings: 8 

Speed: 7.5

Pop: 7.5

Drive: 7

Flex: 6

Comfort: 7

Looseness: 6

Grip: 7.5

Upwind: 8

Slider proof: NA

Boots applicable: Not really – but people do!

Freeriding: 8 

Freestyle: 7.5 

Ease of use: 8.5

*These scores are for the wooden model. 


SIZES: 141 x 43, 138 x 41.5 and 135 x 40cm 

The wood version also has this extra size: 133 x 38.5cm

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