The 555 is for freeriders looking to boost their confidence with maximum versatility, huge wind-range and direct bar sheeting without the classic bow drawbacks of heavy bar pressure, vague steering and poor unhooked performance. The Nobile 555 also features incredibly simple re-launch, superb ease-of-use and four-line hybrid simplicity to ensure your peace of mind in all conditions. Nobile's goal was to make a high-depower, easy-to-use kite that still had good performance, but did not feature any of the negatives of some of the bow kites on the market. Nobile use the same Natural Arc on both their kites this year, however, to enhance the range of the 555 they used a four line SLE (supported leading edge) hybrid configuration. Careful placement of the bridle attachment points and some modification to its normal configuration has created a kite that delivers outstanding power range, clean and precise handling and fast, easy relaunch. Their all new fulcrum depower loop is the industry's first 100% moulded quick-release that simply clicks together and has a three position lock-in finger for all riding styles. Huge air comes as standard with the 555 along with unparalleled, direct, confidence-inspiring handling – the perfect blend for freeride use.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
NEAL: Looks really pimp. I've seen kites that are better reinforced, but the kite is so well put together and has all the bells and whistles you'd expect, such as one-pump and grab handles etc.
CHRIS: I love the solid chicken-loop design; it's about time we had something like that. There's no clutter hanging around and getting in the way and it’s easy to hook in and out of as there's no distortion...just a simple, nononsense design. The quick-release is excellent and with a fixed pressure release load it simply clicks back into place after being activated.
NEAL: Leans towards a C kite in feel and the bar's lovely with the ribbed grip on the top for your fingers. The depower is basic but simple and has a Velcro restrainer - the system actually works better when undone. The kite itself is an absolute joy. Smooth power delivery and nice and fast through the window without being too whippy. Even in gusty conditions it didn't drop back on me.
CHRIS: When cruising along it sits nicely forward in the window and has really good drive and pull which is very consistent and manageable. There's plenty of power and pull without being really grunty and it flies upwind with ease. The canopy feels really efficient. First thing I always do is a sent jump. It didn't feel like I had loads of power through the bar but it took me right up, much higher than I expected. The kite stayed with me for the duration and brought me down beautifully. Next thing I always do is a kite loop and when I was really aggressive on the bar, the kite was aggressive too. The kite doesn't have a fixed speed either, so you can really dictate how you want it to react. Straight away I went for unhooked moves as well, and although the 666 is the true freestyle kite, this was more than up to the job. Highly controllable and launches off the water well.
WILL: I just found that when powering up or depowering the kite without the finger in the chicken-loop, I kept coming unhooked, so you have to make sure you keep plenty of tension in the kite when doing so. The way this kite flies is lovely, you can feel the kite all the time and the pressure through the bar is positive without being heavy. The nine metre is fast – I did a couple of good kite loops on it and just had a really good session.
NEAL: I've got a lot of time for this kite and it made these tricky conditions fun.
A very slick, progressive kite for anyone confident with their kite skills. Other kites with more depower and slower handling would be better for the absolute beginner end of the market, but for ease-of-use, quality up-to-date finish and performance, the 555 offers a really exciting ride in all conditions.
5, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 14m
This test is in issue #33