At A Glance
Norths line up continues to grow with kites sitting in almost all corners of our sport. The Pulse sits firmly as the freestyle machine in the line up designed to be ridden at its top end with power and solid rider input.
The Pulse is a 3 strut hybrid C shaped kite with a compact, low drag pullyless bridle system. North use a 2 stage Arc design in their kites for power in the mid section and turning ability in the tips. This is then altered according to the design and power/turn required. The Pulse also uses a flattened 2 stage design in its canopy for increased freestyle performance.
High end Teijin D2 double ripstop is used for the main canopy of the Pulse, and there are Kevlar reinforced stut connections as well as Dura Light seam protection for added durability. The Pulse benefits from a Dacron Exo-Skeleton which is a durable frame around the kite for added strength and canopy control through those big moves.
North have a huge wealth of design knowledge in the shape of Pat Goodman and the Pulse is exactly what you would expect from this pedigree: powerful, clean and designed to take your kiting to the next level.
Sizes: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14 meters
The Navigator Bar is the single offering from North in the control system department. Clean, simple and efficient it is a no nonsense bar with all the parts you would expect from a 2020 design.
From the bottom up, a simple chicken loop with the ability to easily change loop size for your preference and discipline. The safety is a push away release with a simple push in reload which you are able to do in the water if possible. Single line reride completes the safety system with a ‘high-V’ stopper situated at 12 meters.
The centre line is TPU coated for durability and a smoother feel when turning and sheeting. The bar itself has a slim diameter with ergonomic grip, EVA moulded chunky bar ends, hidden line bungees and PU covered leader lines for even more protection and durability.
The Navigator bar comes in 2 sizes; 45-50cm and 50-55cm. Within the bar ends you are able to alter the distance between the leader lines to personalise your turning speed by a simple click-spin-click maneuver in the bar ends.
The Pulse is a true freestyle kite, punchy and lively
In The Air
The Pulse is a true freestyle kite, punchy and lively it holds some great accessible power for assertive riders. There is a light to moderate bar pressure, certainly not too light to feel, and the kite flies forward well off the front lines. Upwind is good and relaunch is excellent as you would expect from a kite in this age, though is of course not something we will dwell on for a high performing bit of kit.
The 9m we had to test certainly packed some good low end power and we were surprised by the performance offered in these more marginal conditions we first went out in. Speed is your friend in this instance and after some aggressive flying the apparent wind kicks in and the kite develops plenty of power. Going into unhooked moves in these conditions you will be rewarded by getting on the gas to get that speed up and the kite stays fantastically stable with no stalling throughout the trick.
Once powered of course the Pulse really starts to perform with an exciting and lively feel. There is great feedback through the bar and though the bar pressure increases it by no means becomes heavy. For some hooked in boosts and loops the Pulse is great fun offering a sizeable poppy jump and an equally rounded loop which looks mighty impressive from the beach.
For unhooked freestyle and wakestyle tricks the Pulse reveals a brilliant side to itself. The stability offered is second to none with no sudden surges forward nor dropping back into the window, just a constant pull with a remarkably accessible slack for those handle passes. The direct feel through the bar is maintained throughout the trick, though in no way becomes twitchy allowing you to concentrate on the move.
The top end on the Pulse is also very manageable, and the depower offered through the effective cleat system does not lose any feel through the bar keeping the kite in the sweet spot of control and feel despite the slacker rear lines.
A direct kite with good power and stability through unhooked maneuvers
As a pure freestyle kite it would be great to see a smaller bar option available to compliment, though this is of course a personal preference.
The Pulse is a direct and lively kite suited to those looking to improve and enjoy their freestyle game. Well made, it is a kite you will be able to progress with thanks to its easy relaunch and effortless unhooked capabilities including the elusive ‘slack’ on offer. A great low end, this kite will be sure to build your confidence with more advanced tricks starting from the ground up with fantastic stability at all times.
This review was in Issue 82 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding