I was hesitant to buy another wave kite after my 2016 Slingshot SST 12m purchase. The SST felt gutless, pulled down wind by sitting too far in the window, didn’t make going upwind easy and the innovative lifted leading edge (think Naish Helix) made the kite end up in the dunes on a few occasions with me chasing after it. Oh, the lifted edge is supposed to help the kite instantly relaunch on the water. But that never happened, not once.
So when I damaged my 9m Rally and needed a new kite. Best was blowing Cabos out for under $600 with a bar on eBay, brand new. I decided to give a wave kite another try.
And damn I’m glad I did. I purchased a 5,7 and 11 to complete the quiver shortly afterwards. It’s still a bit gutless but the kite’s speed makes up for that. The light bar pressure, speed, decent upwind, did I mention the SPEED? Drifting ability, stability and just an overall easy and fun flying characteristic sold me.
Cabo looks smaller than the Rallys size for size. When I unrolled the 9 for the first time, I thought it looked like a 7m Rally. When I use a 9 Cabo in overpowered conditions and thought I’d rig down to the 7m Rally because the 7m Cabo hasn’t arrived yet and I left the 5m Cabo at home. I found out that the 7m Rally felt like it had twice the power of a 9 Cabo. But the Cabo shines when it’s just enough to get you going. It’s so playful and fast that you can throw it each and every way on the wave to get it right where you want it and not get yanked off. It has enough drift to let you enjoy the wave and then power it back out in full control. It has just enough upwind to get you where you want to go without having to fight the kite drag. It has a pleasantly fast relaunch and a nice light bar pressure. It’s almost perfect, that is until it drops you out of the sky like a brick. It has no hang time. But that’s expected from a lower AR wing.
Overall it’s my new favorite kite if there’s a small chance of a knee high wave. If it’s flat and/or I want to teabag myself up and down the flats, I’ll pick the Rally. Time will tell how durable it is. At first glance the Slingshot build quality looks a little better or maybe just beefier. The Cabos do feel lighter which is a benefit and a drawback.