At A Glance
The North Evo has been in the line-up since 2008, it is billed as being the ultimate all round kite, happy in any conditions and designed to suit any style of rider. This year the kite is a totally new design from the Evo of last year. Ralf Grosel has been working on two different prototype Evo’s since 2012 and the new kite we see this year is the product of that development curve. Previous years have seen the Evo strictly follow the Delta concept, but Ralf feels that that concept has now been taken to the limits and so the Evo is a step away from that design process. It’s a 5-strut design with a simple bridle system utilising two pulleys to allow the kite to respond better to gusts and rider input, it can also be ridden as a 5th line set-up if you prefer. The kite features the North Adaptive Tip which allows you to trim the feel of the kite for bar pressure and turning speed. New for this year is the Airport Valve which has been introduced to allow faster inflation, and deflation, of the kite. The 2014 Evo has a slightly higher aspect than last year with a flatter arc radius, the airframe has been made to be very stiff whilst there is some flexibility in the tips to keep the great handling characteristics of previous years.
The North Quad Control Trust Bar has been at the pinnacle of kite bar design for some time; there have been a few tweaks from last year resulting in the new 2014 version. The whole set-up is of a very high standard, clean and uncluttered and great quality Teufelberger lines. It is very comfortable to hold due to the ergonomic bar grip and the chicken loop slots into the bar well when unhooked preventing the lines from twisting. Safety is one of the key aspects this bar boasts about and it is for good reason, the Iron Heart Quick Release is probably one of the best on the market. This year you can buy the bar with different line length options, giving you the choice to opt for shorter lines and more handling/less power or longer lines less handling/more power. The bar ends themselves are integrated into the floats like last year giving a clean finish and you can also make the bar shorter or wider by unclipping and twisting the bar ends around. This can even be done with the kite in the air, although for safety we don’t recommend it! The mini 5th line safety system works exceedingly well at dumping power from the kite very quickly. The depower trim is catered for with an above-the-bar cleat system that has been tidied up for 2014 and looks really polished.
On The Water
We’ve always been fans of the North Evo here at the mag, it’s one of the more polished kites on the market with plenty of years of pedigree going into it. When we heard about the overhaul for 2014, and the fact the kite was going to be an entirely new beast we were a little worried that one of our favourite toys might have been tampered with. The new Evo certainly looks different from last year’s, the higher aspect nature of the canopy is instantly noticeable as is the step away from the very prominent Delta design of old. However, fans of the Evo need not fear, Ralf and the team have managed to keep the ultra responsive handling characteristics and added some bonus features too. The new kite literally flies upwind, it’s an absolute machine in this respect, it’s also super fast around the window and responds to rider input almost instantaneously. The fun freeride nature of the kite remains and there is plenty of performance on tap for boosting big airs and floaty jumps filled with hangtime. Unhooked the kite behaves exceedingly well and coupled with the excellent Trust Bar it is easy to hook back in after landing your trick. The low-end power of the 9m is also very impressive, it gets going really early and we think the 10m could be an awesome light wind wave kite. The responsive nature of the Evo lends itself well to the waves too, it’s fast when the conditions are onshore and can float with the best of them when it’s more offshore. The airframe is exceedingly stable especially with the five struts, although we did notice a little flex in the tips when the wind really picks up.
One of the best made kites on the market with excellent attention to detail. The Evo is perfect for the rider looking to ‘do it all’ on the water, it’s packed with performance and sure to leave a smile on your face.
No real negatives from the test team, the low end is excellent, however at the extreme top end the tips of the kite can shake a little, this doesn’t affect the feeling at the bar and as a rider you don’t notice it, but it is an observation we made.
If you want a fast, responsive and entertaining kite that will handle just about anything you can throw at it the Evo fits the bill perfectly. Add in the build quality, excellent bar and attention to detail and you have a winning package…
This review was in Issue 43 of IKSURFMAG.
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!