At A Glance
In 2022, we saw North Kiteboarding bring the 3rd edition of the Reach to market. Your 'Desert Island Kite' is the go-to kite in the range that does everything exceedingly well. It's a lively and playful three strut kite with exceptional wind range, it shoots upwind, and it is now lighter than ever before.
For 2022 North has introduced a new lighter Dacron Exo-skeleton in every size with a revised arc design. It's a 3-strut design with a medium-high aspect ratio. With these pairings, they've produced a kite that's snappier on the turns, super responsive, and easily relaunches with super-efficient direct steering.
The canopy includes premium Teijin D2 Ripstop Fabric. This fabric has the highest strength to weight ratio out there, giving your Reach the durability it deserves! Across the kite, there are lightweight reinforcements to protect areas such as the struts and leading edge. You'll also see the Reach has Kevlar reinforcements, which provide a durable connection. North has placed the reinforcements where the kite needs them most, ensuring those areas of the kite won't see damage. A nice new touch North has also done is change the valve cap, making it more comfortable to open – even when your hands are freezing!
Freeride, wave ride, foil or ride in strong winds – the Reach really does cover all aspects of these kite disciplines. You can tune the kite on the wingtips to how you want it to react by choosing between more or less bar pressure. From the 2021 model, North has definitely stepped this kite up a notch. As we continue to see, brands are always on the hunt to find ways to reduce weight, and with lighter bladders, lighter Dacron and a revised arc design, once again, this kite provides a really fun and playful session.
Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17
Colours: Pacific Blue, Marine Green, Red Sea
In The Air
Having had the fortune of testing a range of sizes in the new Reach, I got a great feel for how it responds in a variety of conditions. You can get blasting easily in light winds, and I was really surprised by how well the 12m handled. Bigger kites can often be a lot slower through the wind window; however, the 12m Reach turned quickly, was responsive, and I even tried a few loops when the wind picked up!
When the wind was really cranking, the 9m came into its element. Of course, we know that North has the famous Orbit kite, which is the dedicated big air kite; however, if you want a kite that still handles big air well but also offers a smoother ride with wave and foil riding potential, then you can't go wrong with the Reach. It boosted well, offering good height and hangtime. From the 2021 model, the loops felt cleaner and faster, and I believe that's due to the weight reductions and new arc design.
The Reach is stable in the air and is effortless to relaunch at any wind speed. It makes it a perfect teaching kite, yet advanced riders will still love it. The wingtips have a swept back design that helps the kite release quickly from the water regardless of the wind speed. A slight pull on your steering lines shoots the kite back up to the edge of the wind window. I've found it gives students the confidence they need when things don't go according to plan.
I loved the 2021 Reach, but the 2022 model is even better! Not only does it look great in the sky, but its performance is right up there – and for a kite that is designed for all aspects of kiteboarding, it really shines in every way! The weight reductions have made a big difference, whether that's quicker loops, flying in lighter winds or having more drift on the waves. It's a kite that a beginner could enjoy and improve on, yet also a kite an advanced rider could use without having to worry about owning different kites for different styles of riding. Its build quality is great, there are reinforcements where you need it most, and it can certainly handle a big crash! If you get a chance to ride a new North Reach, I'd 100% recommend it, as I'm confident you'll enjoy how it feels!
This review was in Issue 93 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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!