At A Glance
Now by Duotone, the Rebel has made a welcome comeback and continues to be one of the world’s most popular kites. A hybrid design for those who need a kite for boosting, cruising and all-around high performance freeride action, the Rebel has come back for 2019 as its best version yet.
The Rebel is a 5-strut kite, has a high aspect delta hybrid shape and is made using Duotone’s proprietary Trinity TX 3x2 canopy material. New for 2019, the canopy shape has been changed slightly to have a flatter mid section for increased float, and a faster turn radius thanks to the reduced diameter leading edge.
Compatible with both 4 or 5 lines, the kite is able to be tuned to your personal requirements. Featuring a fast-acting inflate/deflate valve and increased diameter one pump as standard, set up time is super quick to maximise play time.
Sizes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 meters
As big fans of the Click Bar it was great to see this year's model includes a smaller version for the wake-stylers and freestylers out there. It will also appeal to the rider who enjoys riding with a shorter bar. We used this smaller bar with the 10m kite, and it worked perfectly.
Last year there are some upgrades to the Click Bar, which were great to see. Basically, the few small niggles from the first generation have been addressed, and there have been further improvements. The mechanism is unchanged, but the floats have been beefed up and reinforced to prevent any early signs of wear or damage (something we never personally experienced).
Also, the V point adjuster has been changed to be much simpler, it’s now a plastic screw affair, which allows you to simply unscrew and slide and then tighten in the desired spot. The line, which passes through the V point adjuster has also been reinforced, so there should no longer be wear issues here.
One of the most significant changes last year was the new chicken loop program, the bar is the first that we can think of that sells without a chicken loop. Don’t panic though this is for a good reason. You have the option of the Freestyle Kit, which comes with a longer leash and a bigger chicken loop for unhooking and freestyle tricks. There is also a Freeride Kit which comes with a smaller loop, positioning the bar closer to you for improved control, this also comes with a shorter leash, which is tidier when you aren’t unhooking. Finally, there is the Rope Slider Kit, this is the same as the Freeride Kit, but the chicken loop has a low friction metal tube, which the rope can then slide through at a far lower friction rate. Less damage to your rope and no risk of damaging the chicken loop either.
You still get an automatic untwisting safety system with a front line re-ride that works exceedingly well, the now legendary Iron Heart V release mechanism and a long-lasting TPU covered depower line. Also new is the dropping of the 5th Element Trust Bar, now if you want a 5th line set up it is an easy add-on to the Click Bar, it takes about 3 minutes to do and is really simple too.
We love this bar set up and have been riding it for a couple of years now, and for freeriding and waves we wouldn’t be without it, we highly recommend you try it out if you haven’t already!
“Mammoth height and hang time performance.”
In the Air
The Rebel has come a long way since we first flew it in 2007, however, the core ease of use, freeride and big boosty feel is still present. Last years overhaul and transition to a 4 line kite have meant this year the kite has received only minor tweaks, but the result is a tighter and lighter flight experience.
From the off the Rebel is a kite which inspires confidence playfully and progressively. It is certainly not a sluggish beginners only kite. However, an enthusiastic learner will feel right at home on the Rebel with its positive feedback through the bar and dependable flight characteristics.
From the offset, the rebel provides comfortable feedback through the bar allowing you to concentrate on what you are doing. There is a smooth power delivery and even in stronger, gustier winds, the kite never felt too aggressive or unstable. There is a prominent ‘pull and go’ feel to the kite which aside from aiding beginners with their first few sessions, creates a secure and controllable platform above you.
The Rebel flies upwind. Its higher aspect design and prominent nose point high into the window and you are able just to enjoy the ride. In those stronger winds, we found a couple of clicks of depower encouraged the kite even further upwind which is especially useful if you are on the smaller end of the kitesurfer scale.
The range of the kite does feel to have increased, with the low end much better and the top end still feeling safe. The forward flying speed of the kite is a big contributing factor to that increased low end as it allows you to coast through any unexpected lulls.
The Rebel has a smooth and flowing feel, however, in the right hands will pack a punch when it comes to boosting, and this is where the beauty of this kite lies. It is no wonder woo chasers are heading back onto ‘bow’ kites for their top scores, and the Rebel is one of the top performers. The Rebel likes to be flown fast to get those astronomical boosts, and once up there will soar above your head before swinging you gently back down to earth. The kite can feel a little heavy through the bar for those really powered boosts, but it will be here when you are able to achieve huge height. The float is quite something with this kite, and for old school moves where perhaps you don’t get the amplitude, the time in the air will more than makeup for that and allow you to complete the move before softly landing.
Surprisingly, the Rebel has an enjoyable loop and the increased speed through the turn from previous years along with the driving nature of the kite creates a fun and safe loop, which is brilliant for those whose primary goal is big air but are keen to mix it up when conditions allow.
Unhooking is perfectly fine on the Rebel. Being a higher aspect hybrid design it is not its core purpose but will work well for popping the odd raley during your session.
Relaunch is no problem as you would expect from a 2019 kite. A pull on one of the back lines will roll the kite over and sweep to the edge where it will sit waiting. Even in light winds, the kite was no bother, and even after being munched by waves the kite sorted itself out before Relaunching fine.
Mammoth height and hang time performance with ease of use and build quality to match.
The kite does get slightly heavier than some in stronger winds, but this is a small trade-off for the usable power it houses at all times.
The 2019 Rebel proves once again why it is one of the world’s most popular kites with mammoth big air capabilities and a hugely diverse skill level requirement.
This review was in Issue 74 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit DUOTONE