North Kiteboarding Rebel 8m 2018 Kitesurfing Review

North Kiteboarding Rebel 8m 2018

Reviews / Kites

North Kiteboarding 4,348

At A Glance

The Rebel is one of the longest standing kites in the business, it’s been one of the most popular kites ever made and has an army of devoted kiters who will choose nothing else. A bold move by North then to make the jump from 5 to 4 lines after championing the 5th line system as being the best out there for so many years. Have they managed to create a masterpiece, or will hoards of Rebel lovers be demanding heads on the beaches this summer?

North have experimented with a 4 line Rebel for a while now, firstly with the Fuse in 2012, which was the Rebel with a bridle attached to it, and in more recent years as they tried to perfect the formula. Why the switch from 5 to 4 lines? North always maintained that the 5th line system was safer, and arguably in certain situations, such as self-landing on a windy day, it still is. However 4 line safety has come a long way, no longer are you left with a depowered kite on two front lines, there are now front line flag out systems offering similar performance to the 5th line safety system.

North were also almost alone in having a five-line freeride kite; the market was ready, if you will, for a four-line Rebel. With such a big move North wanted to wait until they could make a 4-line version that was better, or at least equal, to the Rebel everyone loves. 2018 is the year as they say!

The kite is still a 5-strut freeride and big air machine, billed as performance freestyle it also offers characteristics that will lend it well to beginners, although, with the totally new Evo, North are looking to steer newcomers towards that kite and pushing the Rebel into a more high-performance arena.

You can, if you do desire, still fly the kite with the 5th line, it’s an unloaded 5th line though so it won’t change the handling and will just add to the safety aspect of the kite. It’s still got 5 struts for unrivalled stability and the build quality is, as ever second to none.

New this year is the Trinity TX, this new Ripstop material from Teijin features a weave of triple fibres along the horizontal axis and a double weave on the vertical axis. The design of this means that where most kites rip, vertically from leading edge to the trailing edge, the tear will have to get past the three fibre weaves. The double fibre weave reduces overall stiffness and still allows the canopy to flex improving the handling. Essentially it is a step up from the D2 Technoforce fabric that North championed a few years back.

Another small, but important detail is the increase in diameter of the one-pump tubes, these have increased from 6mm to 9mm this doubles the volume of air moving through the tubes, making the kites inflate faster with less effort and deflate even quicker too. It’s a small detail, but you do notice it on the beach!

The Bar

The Click Bar was launched to a huge fanfare last year, and the Game Changer (as it was known) has certainly stood up to the test of time. We had one on long-term test and treated it appallingly to really see how it would stand up to some abuse, never rinsed it, never really took any care of it and it is still going strong today. Any fears of the mechanism not working can be firmly consigned to the bin.

This year there are some upgrades to the Click Bar which are great to see, basically, the few small niggles have been addressed and there have been further improvements. The mechanism is unchanged but the floats have been beefed up and reinforced to prevent any early signs of wear or damage (something we never personally experienced, but there were a few reports of an issue last year).

In addition, the V point adjuster has been changed to be much simpler, it’s now a plastic screw affair, which allows you to simply unscrew and slide and then tighten in the desired spot. The line, which passes through the V point adjuster has also been reinforced so there should no longer be wear issues here.

One of the biggest changes is the new chicken loop program, the bar is the first that we can think of that sells without a chicken loop. Don’t panic though this is for good reason. You have the option of the Freestyle Kit, which comes with a longer leash and a bigger chicken loop for unhooking and freestyle tricks. There is also a Freeride Kit which comes with a smaller loop, positioning the bar closer to you for improved control, this also comes with a shorter leash, which is tidier when you aren’t unhooking. Finally, there is the Rope Slider Kit, this is the same as the Freeride Kit but the chicken loop has a low friction metal tube, which the rope can then slide through at a far lower friction rate. Less damage to your rope and no risk of damaging the chicken loop either.

You still get an automatic untwisting safety system with a front line re-ride that works exceedingly well, the now legendary Iron Heart V release mechanism and a long-lasting TPU covered depower line. Also new is the dropping of the 5th Element Trust Bar, now if you want a 5th line set up it is an easy add-on to the Click Bar, it takes about 3 minutes to do and is really simple too.

We rode this bar all last year and for freeriding and waves we wouldn’t be without it, the upgrades this year are fantastic and we would highly recommend you try it out if you haven’t already!

In The Air

I’ll be honest, weirdly I’m not a huge fan of the Rebel, in the past, it never really suited my style of riding, and I prefer fast nimble kites that are light on the bar and not powerhouses like the Rebel. I was quite surprised then to discover just how good this new kite is, and it is a new kite. It still retains some of the Rebel DNA, it’s easy to control and offers unbelievable hang time, but it feels much improved in almost every other aspect.

First up, it’s easy to fly, in the past, I’ve jumped on the Rebel and found it took me a while to get used to the handling as my muscle memory is used to faster kites. Not so this year. That’s not to say the Rebel is now a speed demon around the window, it isn’t it just feels a little quicker, while still retaining that legendary stability that the 5-strut design provides.

The wind range is hugely impressive too, we flew the 8m in super maxed overpowered gusty conditions and it handled it with aplomb. Equally, at the lower end of the scale, it delivered solid low-end grunt that the kite has always been famous for. Bar feel is light enough to not bother you, yet with enough feedback that you can feel where the kite is at all times.

Dumping power is fast and responsive; you don’t have to move the bar too much to retain control when the wind is up and down like a kid on a pogo stick. Control was the name of the game here, in the air the stable nature had us boosting to the moon with huge floaty airs that left us full of confidence for more, no nasty surprises or drops, just consistently awesome jumps every time.

Upwind is excellent, we like to play a little game on the water called upwind kiter, the goal is to be the most upwind kiter at the spot. In Tarifa with 300 kites out this is no easy feat, but the Rebel will charge upwind when you set the edge and power it up. Relaunching is also excellent, the leading edge doesn’t stick and the kite comes up with ease.

This year North are billing the Evo as the main all-rounder freeride kite, and we rode that back to back with the Rebel and will have a full test in the next issue. The Rebel is pitched at the high-performance freeriders out there and if that is you it won’t disappoint. If Woo scores and floaty tricks set your sessions on fire you won’t be disappointed. For us this is the Rebel, but better…

For

Fast, stable, easy to fly and control, predictable and confidence inspiring with huge boosting and hangtime potential!

Against

No complaints here, if you want a fast, boosty freeride kite the Rebel fits the bill perfectly, and even if you want 5 lines it can do that too.

Overall

With winter fast approaching and Woo scores up for grabs the Rebel would be a perfect tool for boosting to the moon in the stomng winds. It works exceedingly well on 4 lines and feels like a much-improved kite overall. We were impressed and we think you will be too! If you want a 5 strut freeride machine that will put a smile on your face and fill you with confidence to go bigger and bigger, this is it…

Do you enjoy reading IKSURFMAG, using our App and website? We now need your support to keep IKSURFMAG going. Support IKSURFMAG from as little as £2 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you!

Support IKSURFMAG

Videos

This review was in Issue 65 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit North Kiteboarding

Related

Brand

By North Kiteboarding

Kitesurfing Reviews - North Kiteboarding Dice 9m 2018
Kitesurfing Reviews - North Kiteboarding Dice 9m 2018
North Kiteboarding Dice

The Dice has long been a popular kite in the North Kiteboarding line up. They have four main products these days; each kite tries to fulfil a dual purpose, the Neo is a great wave kite that can also handle freeriding, the Rebel is a high end freeride kite that also works well for beginners and the Vegas is a…

Kitesurfing Reviews - North Kiteboarding Evo 8m 2018
Kitesurfing Reviews - North Kiteboarding Evo 8m 2018
North Kiteboarding Evo

The Evo has undergone a huge overhaul this year with an aim to define its place within the North Kiteboarding line up. In previous years it’s always been the all-round weapon of choice but often sat too close to the Rebel to allow it to stand out on its own. This year we see a radical change in the design…

Kitesurfing Reviews - North Kiteboarding Gambler 139 x 42cm 2018
Kitesurfing Reviews - North Kiteboarding Gambler 139 x 42cm 2018
North Kiteboarding Gambler

North Kiteboarding have been around since the early days providing quality equipment for a wide range of riding styles. From the day dot kiters were hitting rails. However, park riding (hitting kickers and sliders) has developed over recent years with events like the Triple S, Hood Jam, Rhosneigr Park Jam and many more, really pushing riders to up their game…

By Rou Chater
www.iksurfmag.com
Rou 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!

Tried this? What did you think?

×

Subscribe it's Free!

Win a Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement this issue in our FREE subscriber prize draw.

By subscribing you will not only be first to read the mag but automatically entered into the prize draw every issue!

Draw closes on Wed 10th Apr, 2019
First name is required.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Subscribe Another
Re Solve Split Kiteboard From Kitelement

Issue 72 Wed 6th Feb, 2019

Compact Series Surfboard from ODO Kiteboarding

Giles

Issue 71 Fri 7th Dec, 2018

A 2019 Mercury 6/4 Freezip and Vex Harness from Prolimit

Gary

Issue 70 Mon 8th Oct, 2018

CrazyFly Raptor LTD Neon Board

Martin

Issue 69 Tue 7th Aug, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

John

Issue 68 Tue 12th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

Simon

Issue 67 Wed 11th Apr, 2018

Mystic Majestic X Harness

Andrew

Issue 66 Fri 9th Feb, 2018

6m Flysurfer Stoke

Ross

Issue 65 Tue 12th Dec, 2017

7m Cabrinha Drifter + Fireball Bar Set Up

Chris

Issue 64 Wed 18th Oct, 2017

Board You Desire From Shinn

Dave

Issue 63 Tue 8th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Adam

Issue 62 Sat 10th Jun, 2017

CrazyFly 2017 Sculp 9m and Sick Bar

Dale

Issue 61 Mon 10th Apr, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Sam

Issue 60 Sun 5th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Steven

Issue 59 Mon 5th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Edward

Issue 58 Thu 13th Oct, 2016

Fireball Set Up with an Apollo Kite from Cabrinha

Paul

Issue 57 Tue 11th Oct, 2016

Blade Trigger 10m Kite

Andrew

Issue 56 Sun 12th Jun, 2016

Board and Boot Set Up from Liquid Force

Peter

Issue 55 Sat 9th Apr, 2016

Nobile NHP Split Kiteboard

Andrew

Issue 54 Sat 6th Feb, 2016

Wetsuit and Harness from Manera

Gary

Issue 53 Tue 10th Feb, 2015

Ride Engine Harness!

Grahame

Issue 52 Wed 7th Oct, 2015

Prize Pack from TSHOTSH

Guy, Vince

Issue 51 Thu 13th Aug, 2015

Wainman Hawaii ManiaC Kite

Rich

Issue 50 Thu 4th Jun, 2015

Liquid Force Legacy Board

Daniel

Issue 49 Fri 10th Apr, 2015

Slingshot Vision Board

Michael

Issue 48 Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Blade Mist Kite and Bar

Gary

Issue 47 Mon 8th Dec, 2014

2015 Core GTS3 8m Kite and Bar

Wayne

Issue 46 Wed 8th Oct, 2014

Ozone Reo Wave Kite

Daan

Issue 45 Mon 4th Aug, 2014

Brunotti Board and a Pair of Sunglasses

Sean

Issue 44 Mon 9th Jun, 2014

Dakine Harness and Travel Bag

Matthew

Issue 43 Wed 2nd Apr, 2014

Manera EXO Harness and Goodies!

Ruben

Issue 42 Thu 30th Jan, 2014

North Gonzales Kite Board!

Johnny

Issue 41 Mon 2nd Dec, 2013

Best Spark Plug Kite Board

Christophe

Issue 40 Wed 9th Oct, 2013

Kiteloose Fatty Surfboard

Ben

Issue 39 Fri 2nd Aug, 2013

GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition

Dave

Issue 38 Sun 2nd Jun, 2013

CrazyFly Sculp 9m Kite and Sick Bar System

Clara

Issue 37 Mon 1st Apr, 2013

Kitesurf Holiday Experience with Kirsty Jones

Vix

Issue 36 Sat 2nd Feb, 2013

2013 F-One Bandit 6 9m Kite

Paul

Issue 35 Mon 3rd Dec, 2012

Soul Drysuit by Ocean Rodeo

Ian

Issue 34 Mon 1st Oct, 2012

2013 Mystic Wetsuit and Harness

Mike

Issue 33 Sun 5th Aug, 2012

Wainman Joke Kitesurfing Board

David

  1. The Promotion is organised by IKSURFMAG and the participating brand stated on the subscribe page. You are providing your information to IKSURFMAG, not the participating brand. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the Promotion and notifying you when new issues of our totally free magazine are released. We will never sell or supply your details to any 3rd parties.
  2. You can opt out of any future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link within the footer of the email at any time.
  3. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the closing date shown. Previous winners will not be eligible to win again until at least three new Promotions have run.
  4. Winners must reply to our email within two weeks or a new winner will be drawn. Please check all spam folders to avoid loosing out.
  5. Participants only need to enter once in order to be eligible for all future prize draws.
×

Share - North Kiteboarding Rebel 8m 2018

×