At A Glance
2021 sees North Kiteboarding bring out their second model of the Reach. Your ‘Desert Island Kite’ is the go-to kite in the range that does everything exceedingly well. This kite has no boundaries. A playful kite that boosts well and shoots upwind while also having the ability to drift nicely in the waves and be accessible for all levels.
Looking at this kite, you can see it features a 3-strut design with a medium-high aspect ratio. The canopy includes premium Teijin D2 Ripstop Fabric. This fabric has the highest strength to weight ratio giving your Reach the durability it deserves! Also, across the kite, North have lightweight reinforcements to protect areas such as the struts and leading edge. Thin foam padding has been inserted within the kite, protecting the stitching along the seams. This is a great feature for those that aren’t treated to luxury sandy beaches!
Along the struts, you’ll see the Reach has Kevlar reinforcements providing a durable connection. North has placed the reinforcements where the kite needs it most, ensuring those areas of the kite won’t see damage. There are also bridle deflectors that help prevent lines catching on the struts, and like last year, the bridles are pully-less, providing the rider with precise feedback and control.
New for this year’s model is a higher quality bridle system. The new low profile, pre-stretched bridle lines have improved longevity and don’t shrink as much, this as well as reduced elongation, give the kite more accuracy and a genuine direct feeling. When using this kite, not once did I feel out of control, and it just felt so comfortable.
Before we move on to how it performs in the air, we must discuss the new lighter weight construction to the previous model. The Reach really does do it all. It’s the lightest kite in North’s entire range. They’ve removed some of the heavier Dacron materials in areas where the 2020 model had them and replaced them using a small two-ply canopy in areas like the trailing edge. In the larger sizes, the construction is slightly different. North have used lighter Dacron than the normal in all leading edges and struts.
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Sizes: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17m
Colours: Ocean Blue, Sea Green, Sunset Red
In The Air
I have to say, I absolutely love this kite. I enjoyed the 2020 model, but the 2021 is an extra step up. Firstly, let’s discuss its boosting capabilities. We know from North’s range that the Orbit is the designated boosting kite, but it doesn’t perform like the Reach does when foiling or wave riding. For a 3 strut do-it-all kite, the Reach has fantastic boosting capabilities, and the smaller sizes loop quickly with a reliable catch on the way down. When up in the air, the Reach provides lofty hangtime and allows you to prepare for landings with ease. It’s a great kite for riders who are looking to get into kite looping but at the same time want a kite they can use anywhere and for different disciplines of the sport.
Due to its lighter construction, it excels in light wind, foil and surf. The bridles allow a snappy and responsive feel which is exactly what you want, and you’re able to switch the power on and off when needed. The Reach has a massive wind range, and with new lighter bladders in all sizes, there’s no better 3 strut kite that performs well in light winds.
Another reason why this kite is so great is its stability in the air and its effortless relaunch capabilities. It makes it a perfect teaching kite, yet advanced riders will still love it. The wingtips have a swept back design which helps the kite release quickly from the water regardless of the wind speed, a slight pull on your steering lines, and it shoots back up to the edge of the wind window. I’ve found it gives students confidence when things don’t go according to plan.
I never found the Reach to front or back stall, and for those wave riders out there, it drifts effectively. The bar pressure is super light and can be adjusted on the wingtips, where you can fine-tune your kite to your own personal preference.
For me, this has got to be up there as one of the best kites on the market at the moment. It does everything you want it to do and performs to the highest level in all aspects. For those looking at getting one kite that can do it all, the Reach is worth a look! Freeride, tick. Wave riding, tick. Upwind blasting, tick. Looping and hangtime, tick. Foiling, tick. Freestyle, tick. IT DOES IT ALL! Beginners, intermediate and advanced riders will love the feeling this kite gives out on the water. Now, all you have to do is give this beauty a shred!
This review was in Issue 87 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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By Liam DredgeLiam fell in love with all Watersports after completing numerous seasons aboard, he then picked up kiting whilst in the warm tropics of the Carribean and has been obsessed ever since! Anyone that knows him would say it's near the only thing he talks about (which drives some crazy), and he loves to keep up to date with all the latest news, equipment and events that kiting has to offer. Liam also runs his own Watersports Centre along the south coast of the UK, LOOP Watersports, which is where our IKSURFMAG Test Centre is located!