Winds: 17-20 mph - flat water
Setup: 14 meter Moto with Fireball, 141 Ace with new H2O straps
My first ride on the Moto was way back in June in light winds on a big board at the Cabrinha dealer meeting. The kite turned nicely and was a decent ride, but I spent my time trying to ride upwind. Not a great test, all in all.
I got my first nicely powered session yesterday and was super happy with the overall ride. I normally ride a Switchblade or Duotone Rebel. I like easy-to-fly, easy-to-boost, and powerful kites that keep me upwind easily. Not a huge fan of the Cabrinha FX or Duotone Dice. Just not my style.
I found the Moto a very happy medium between my trusty Switchblade and the FX. The kite is exceptionally stable when parked in front of you while riding, but still turns much faster than the Switchblade. The bar pressure is down a notch, and that made the 3-hour session just a bit easier. Once I dialed in my timing, the kite jumped nicely and with solid positioning in the sky while coming down. I never felt the kite was too soft in the sky (I like my 5-strut kites) while driving downwind while coming down.
The Moto definitely rides small compared to a Switchblade. The 14 rode a bit bigger than my 12 Cabrinha Switchblade, but not a ton. The turning speed does help make up for some of the power disadvantage. There were no waves to speak of, so no report on that. A big boat did give me a beer while riding by, which is always nice on a hot day.
Overall, I would say I will be riding the Moto a lot more this year. A nice change-up from my Switchblade / Rebel ride without being too radically different.
Cabrinha H2O Straps
So, I have been a huge proponent of Duotone / North Entity straps for about 5 years now. The main reason has always been the adjustability that made the straps work great with or without booties. Now a couple of brands have mimicked the two-strap system (thin front and back strap) Duotone first used. The new H2O strap is Cabrinha's version of this strap and they have done it right. I love the super soft footbed, and the straps adjusted perfectly. I didn't get a chance to ride a bootie in the strap, but I did put on my size 12 bootie and put it into the strap. I would have to say a 5 mil boot and size 12 foot seemed to max out this strap. It did fit, and I am pretty sure it would work fine, but I can't say with 100% certainty. I will be riding this strap on any Cabrinha boards I ride this year. Well worth the upgrade over a standard strap.
On a side note, I would tell you to seriously consider a Fireball if you are riding for fun and ease-of-use. It is so much more comfortable than a loop it's just crazy. It works really well with a seat harness since it allows decent toeside riding. If you are hitting a lot of waves you may still want to look at a rope spreader since that will allow you to open up even more.
Hope this helps you on your kiteboarding journey.