If ever there was a kite that sits slap bang in the middle of every category, North's long-awaited first hybrid is it. Great depower and bottom end, quick, stable and with good gust management, this is a fantastic all-round kite, suitable for most riders.
Combining all the benefits of total depower with the safety, performance and relaunch benefits of five lines, the Rebel is breaking all the rules! Simply rigged on North's 5th Element bar, the Rebel has the direct bar feel and instant turning response of a C kite, without the hassle of bridles or pulleys normally associated with a flat kite. Smooth, stable and never prone to inverting, the Rebel makes setting up for a jump almost effortless by allowing you to depower as you position the kite above your head, then sheet in for power and lift. Durability and massive power/depower range also make the Rebel the perfect wave riding tool. Power-up through your bottom turns, then instantly turn off the power for vertical wave re-entries. Position yourself on the wave, where you want, when you want! All-round performance and safety with the simplicity of five lines; look no further...
TEST TEAM NOTES:
NEAL: As soon as this goes up it brings a smile to your face. The fifth line system is perhaps a little old school now and it's a shame you still have to 'lose' your bar when you pull the system. But I still love the ability to tune the stopper, and otherwise it works really well and does exactly what it says on the tin!
GEORGE: They've also introduced a new line with a stopper this year, which is good enough to ride against, but does give under pressure, which is good.
SHINN: You know where you are with fifth line safety, it's good. Very good depower on this.
NEAL: The power doesn't come on and off and gives a lovely feel between the gusts. A super comfortable kite.
WILL: Turns nice and fast and is reasonably good unhooked.
SHINN: Not the most powerful hybrid and not bad unhooked. Because it's quick it's very good for wave riding.
NEAL: Seems to offer something for everyone - works well unhooked, although the loop is still very hybrid rather than having the power of a C kite and may not be for those looking for the latest handlepass. But for wave riding, general freestyle and basic unhooking, this is a lovely kite.
GEORGE: Really good levels of depower adjustment let us use this in a really good wind range with a pokey bottom end as well. Smooth, cruisy and nothing leaps out and surprises you. It's a nice rounded package. The only other thing I think is worth commenting on is the relaunch: often the kite can fall with its leading edge facing you. It's not a problem, just pull on a line and it'll come round; just takes some getting used to.
3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 16m
North Rebel (Apr/May 07: Issue #26 2007 Buyers Guide)
This test is in issue #26