At A Glance
The Evo from North has been around for a long time now, originally a delta design the kite retains its delta characteristics, but it has changed dramatically over the years. Sporting five struts the kite shuns the growing trend of fewer struts in the industry and offers instead a very stable platform from which to launch your moves from.
For 2016 the kite has had a lot more performance packed into it with a profile and plan shape tweak to make it faster and more aerodynamic. Billed as a freeride/freestyle machine by North the Evo has proved in the past to be so much more than that. As usual, it features the incredible build quality that North seem to be ahead of the game with for 2016. Reinforcements in all the right places, the best materials used in unison with incredibly stitching and workmanship that keeps coming out of their Sri Lankan factory.
There is a short bridle on the kite, and the adaptive tips don’t feature on this model. Instead, there are three direct connection options, allowing you to tune the handling to your style and preference. The Air Port valve has been updated and now works exceedingly well, with the ultra thin struts this kite goes up quicker than a North Korean rocket launch…
There are no major changes to the 2016 bar aside from a new colour way; red and blue is the new blue and yellow it would seem! The whole set-up is of a very high standard, clean and uncluttered and using 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.
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 and 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.
You can also easily tune your back line lengths by removing the red plastic covers, which gives you access to the rear lines. It is really easy to tune them and a nice tidy feature.
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 allows you to tune the amount of depower throw you have on the kite. If you have small arms, simply move the cleat further down towards the bar to make it easier to reach.
In The Air
The Evo is an absolute weapon of a kite; it’s often overlooked in the North range as so much favour is given to the Rebel, Dice and Vegas by the North fan base. While those kites are all great, the Evo has a little something of the “je ne sais quoi” about it. It looks aggressive in the sky, the high aspect nature and the angled styling leaves it chomping at the bit at the edge of the window yearning to cause some mayhem.
The handling is fast, lightning quick response to input on the bar allows you to manoeuvre the kite around the window like a teenager in a car park in a stolen Subaru. It’s precise too, meaning that while it flies about with all the abandon of an unattended fire hose, you know exactly where it is at all times. There is an intuitive bar feedback that feels natural, unpressured and helps you to feel totally at ease with the kite.
It’s fantastic for boosting huge airs, with ridiculous amounts of float. Indeed freeriders who love to jump and want something a little quicker than the Rebel should take note, this kite excites. It’s also very quick upwind; we’ve been using the 9m on our foil boards when powered up and the speed and angles we can achieve are impressive.
Drift is also excellent for a five strut kite, and while it wouldn’t be our preferred wave machine, it is quick enough around the window to be able to handle your first forays into the rough stuff! Relaunch is easy, just pull on a rear line and the delta shaping encourages the leading edge to release from the water, and the kite pops up with ease.
Aggressive, fast, entertaining would be three words I would use to describe the Evo, at the same time it is easy and intuitive to fly with plenty of hangtime too!
No complaints here, it sits in an entirely different category to the Rebel, Vegas and Dice, its downfall is arguably the popularity of those kites. If fast freeriding is your thing, think outside the box and try an Evo, you might just like it!
When we first flew the Evo all those years ago we loved it; time has moved on and so has the kite, but the love affair remains. We’ve been using this kite so much lately it will be a shame to see it go, so much fun for jumping, really fast and dynamic and thoroughly entertaining at every turn!
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This review was in Issue 58 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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!