Cabrinha ACE 2019 review


Super functional, no nonsense freeride feels with plenty of room for freeride progression






This is the wood version of the very popular Ace, which is also available in carbon. 

The Ace wood isn’t light, but it’s super tough and solid. You could lose it at sea and when it turns up six months later it will still look mint. The wide outline and broad tips have their roots in freestyle, but Cabrinha have mellowed out what would ordinarily be quite technical ride characteristics to become more comfortable for freeride. 

Along with the wide tips that provide lots of rail grip, there’s moderate channelling in the base that aid grip and speed control. When added in the right areas on the bottom of a board, channels make a big difference. The Ace’s channels soften the ride and provide good levels of flat grip on landings. The Ace also releases from the water really well without feeling sticky. 



The Ace feels like a big 138, if you can imagine that. Some boards feel smaller than their actual size when they’re very flexible, for example, but the Ace has lots of good, usable planing surface area underfoot and generates really good pop. This is a really good board for freestyle in moderate conditions. What’s more, as we’ve mentioned, the Ace tracks really well on a flat landing, too. 

If you’re lighter you do need to choose your board size quite conservatively. Chris loved the 138, but Jim preferred the 135 of last year, just because when you’re really loaded up with power on the Ace, the edging does become quite physical and it’s quite tightly strung. In more moderate / normal conditions the Ace is excellent, providing a lot of pop and deals with hard, fast landings with assurance. 

The Ace’s freestyle abilities shine through. If you mostly ride on your edge and plough up and down against the pull of your kite, you’ll be missing out on some of the Ace’s best features. It’s a lot of fun when you’re keeping it busy, coming off your rail, riding the board flat, then engaging all the base of it in a wave face and also taking advantage of the unsticky feel whichever way you’re riding it, allowing you to slide it free quite easily. 

The Ace doesn’t need to be edged really hard to find grip, so promotes a nice upright stance and rides well with moderate kite power, but that’s why this 138 can feel quite big in stronger conditions. You can get away with choosing a smaller size for more comfort if you’re a lighter rider (around 70 kilos). If you look at the Shinn Ronson Player this issue, which is also a 138, the Ace feels a bit bigger than that.  


Cabrinha ACE 2019 review


Chris was perfect for the Ace though.”You can lock it in and get a really nice sensation when you’re loading up and throwing buckets and when you’re loading up fast to pop off a wave the Ace creates tension in the lines really easily.” 

If you’re looking for a lighter option, there’s the carbon model, but it’s also a step up in stiffness and performance. It’s a demon for edging hard and boosting, though. But again you’ll need to size it right because the rocker is quick on the Ace in general. It’s not like a deeply rockered wakestyle board in which people naturally choose bigger sizes. 

The H1 pads and straps are perfectly functional and comfortable, with medium grip in the pad and a good amount of coverage over the top of the foot. However, Cabrinha have just launched a very tasty looking H20 pad / strap set-up with lots of adjustment and high levels of grip. Check those out on the site or with your local shop when you’re looking into the Ace. 

Check the ACE and the rest of the Cab twintip range in this video!




The Ace is a super functional, no nonsense freeride board that crosses heavily into freestyle. Or is it a freestyle board that’s been toned down for freeride? Either way, it rides with positive speed and responds better and better the more input you can give it and has that lovely drive on the back foot that aggressive riders will appreciate. Intermediates looking to step up their freestyle game will really get on with it and it’s especially capable in moderate winds. 



Great natural riding speed and adaptability for all types of riding. 



If you’re looking for a super light freeride board, there are more suitable options. This is parked more at the freestyle end of the spectrum. Sizing down will increase the comfort and easy edging. 



Build quality: 8

Fixtures and fittings: 8

Speed: 7.5

Pop: 7.5

Drive: 7 

Flex: 6 

Comfort: 6.5

Looseness: 6 

Grip: 7.5

Upwind: 8 

Slider proof: N/A

Freeriding: 7

Freestyle: 7.5

Ease-of-use: 8


SIZES: 141 x 43, 138 x 41.5, 135 x 40 and 133 x 38.5cm

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