At A Glance
The Fuse from North has been around for a few years now; originally the kite was a 4-line version of the very popular Rebel. It has always been a hybrid style kite, and that remains today. Since those early days it has evolved though into a kite of it’s own and is now aimed at the wave, freeride and race market. It features North’s innovative construction and build techniques, Technoforce D2 material is used throughout and the valves and one pump system are unique to North, the whole package works very well. It is a 5-strut design with a leading edge bridle; the bridle has been tweaked this year to improve range and handling.
The North Trust Bar is a product of many years of development, it has been refined and tweaked year on year and arguably while it may not look the simplest of bars on the market it is certainly one of the most functional. The Iron Heart Safety needs no introduction and is one of the best around, you can untwist the lines by spinning the top of the mechanism, release and reconnection is very easy. There is an above the bar cleat that allows you to trim the kite and a sliding stopper ball allows you to rest your arms should you need to.
In The Air
If you like 4 line simplicity then the Fuse is probably the most versatile kite in the North range. The steering is precise and the kite flies really far forward into the window allowing you to get upwind with ease. The rear lines connect to two points on the wing tip rather than just one and this ensures the kite turns on its axis without ever collapsing a tip. This is great for kite looping and moving the kite around the window quickly without ever losing performance. Jumping on the Fuse is excellent, it really pulls you off the water with some force and delivers plenty of glide as you come down to land. The depower has a fairly short throw, meaning you have plenty of control at your fingertips in gusty conditions. The Fuse is a fairly easy kite to fly; it does like to fly off the front lines in waves though, so ensure you keep the power on throughout your bottom turn. It handles the waves really well, the precise steering allowing you to position it in the window where you want. As a do it all machine it can handle just about anything you throw at it, it is also a great kite for racing, the upwind ability helping it to keep you at the front of the pack.
North build quality, 4 line simplicity, great all rounder that can handle just about anything.
No bad points really, the bridle tweaks have improved it over last years model.
A great all round 4-line kite from North, handles the waves, freeriding and even racing really well. The Fuse has an excellent top and low end range and is very capable. If you want a do it all 4-line machine then this is the one to pick from the North range.
This review was in Issue 32 of IKSURFMAG.
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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!