At A Glance
Where to begin, the Rebel has been the best selling kite in the North line-up for some time now, the original do-it-all machine, capable of racing, jumping, waveriding, freestyle you name it this kite can handle it. New for 2013 sees a bold colour way, which we love, improved one pump system, but more importantly a totally new strut concept. The new strut design aims to combine the responsiveness of a 3 strut kite with the stability of a 5 strut kite. The front sections of the struts are thicker and taper towards the tips. This makes the rear section of the strut very flexible allowing the kite to twist as it turns, but keeps the front section super stable. As usual the build quality and finish on the kite is second to none and it is great to see North are still pushing forward with development in this area and not just putting the same small features on the kites year after year. Every detail has been analysed and improved upon if possible.
Wow, springs to mind, the North 5th Element bar has always been well thought out, designed and engineered, but often it has been argued to lack the simplicity of other systems. North have managed to put one of the tidiest bars we have seen on the market keeping all the same features as before whilst adding a revolutionary length change concept. The integrated floats that make the bar so beautiful pull out from the bar ends and twist 180 degrees to lengthen or shorten the attachment point for the rear lines and subsequently the effective length of the bar. Add to the that the Iron Heart safety, 5th line reliability and total depower, improved Warrior Cleat for the trim system and a super comfortable grip and you have a winner!
In The Air
We flew the Rebel in a variety of conditions to get a real feeling for it, it has definitely become a livelier animal than in previous years. The kite also seems a little more stable in the front end. Essentially the new strut concept works, the kite twists more and has a more responsive and direct feel when turning. This ability to move the kite with ease means you can generate more power through the power stroke and the low end is notably improved. The kite luffs and flutters less than last year too, especially when depowered. Unhooked the kite is very solid, allowing you to practice your unhooked moves in complete confidence. Jumping is exciting and the improved agility in the kite means you can really send it back through the window with some aggression and get some impressive hangtime. Upwind is excellent, as you would expect from a kite that is still used by some of the North Race team.
There is a reason the Rebel is one of the most popular kites on the market, it is versatile, and this year altogether more agile. Great windrange, easy to fly delivering impressive performance in waves, freestyle, freeride and racing arenas.
This review was in Issue 34 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!