At A Glance
The new North Mono is a totally new kite from the NKB stable. It features a one strut design and a lightweight build that enables the kite to fly in the lightest of breezes. The kite features the usual North build quality, even if it has been slimmed down a touch to save on weight. The kite features the North adaptive tips to tune the handling and bar pressure as well as the updated Airport Valve II inflation port.
There are Anti-Snag tips as well as the TechnoForce D2 canopy material and a single Fusion Strut. The trailing edge is reinforced with Dacron, and there are load distribution panels to take the stress off the canopy. The overriding factor here though is the weight of the kite, compared to other 12m kites it is exceedingly light.
The North Trust Bar has been a hugely popular bit of kit for a while now, 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
Launching the Mono you are struck with how much power it holds, the 12m seems to pull like a train in even the lightest of airs. Diving it through the window that power delivery is smooth and consistent, perfect for getting you going early on the water. The single strut means the canopy does flutter at times, especially if you sheet out and power the kite into a turn, but if you keep the bar sheeted in a little you can negate most of that and the canopy retains its shape exceedingly well.
We were out foiling on the 12m in 10knots and feeling very comfortable with the kite. We really enjoyed the upwind ability too and the dynamic handling, for a 12m kite it is exceedingly quick and responsive in the turn. Jumping was fun and floaty, and the Mono is a great freeride kite. However, due to its fast nature and low-end power, it’s also a great kite in the waves. On days when previously you might not have bothered with a session; large wave kites are usually not great; the Mono offers an opportunity not only to get out on the water but to totally dominate it. Last year we used the 11m Neo quite a bit on sub-par wind days in the waves, the Mono has now replaced that kite as our new favourite light wind wave machine.
It’s easy and intuitive to fly and will suit a wide range of kiters; it does take a little bit of getting used to, especially to reduce canopy flutter. Once dialled in though it’s a great kite for the waves and for freeriding.
Light wind specialist, lots of low-end power and impressive handling characteristics. Great in the waves and also for boosting floaty jumps and blasting around on the hydrofoil too.
One strut kites always suffer a little from canopy flutter and can also be tricky to relaunch. The flutter on the Mono is minimal, especially if you fly it properly, relaunch for a one strut kite is actually pretty good too, but it can be tricky in some situations.
A fantastic light wind kite that works well in the waves, it’s easy to fly, dynamic and responsive and of course comes with all the usual North bells and whistles. Great for boosting floaty jumps too, you’ll be impressed with this kites performance.
This review was in Issue 59 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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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!