Rebel Tom boosting

Duotone Rebel 8M Test Review

Reno Rebel

An exciting rush of lift yet a very easy kite for all to use




Free issue of Kiteworld 104 and 2020 Travel Guide CLICK HERE TO GET THIS NEW ISSUE AND OUR 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE FOR FREE!




There are many things that the Rebel is great for, but we’re mostly going to focus on the standout element and the reason we reach for the Rebel a lot; the sheeting engagement at the bar and the way it transports you to the heavens. There are plenty of big air kites around and some have a better top end than the Rebel, but within its range there are few kites that pull you off the water with such intent. Steer the kite overhead, sheet in and you’ll find access to incredible amounts of torque. If you’re a good rider, you’ll go massive and pinpoint your landing spot a hundred metres downwind every time.

That said, when you get to the top 20% of the Rebel’s range it starts needing more commitment, more leg strength and you’ll have to push harder. Up to that point, however, the sweet spot on the Rebel is huge and very engaging.


We’ve spent a lot of time debating whether we’d choose a Rebel or a Dice if we were shopping for a Duotone product. If your strong wind situations are usually 28 – 35 knots, the Rebel has a bit more lift, 10% more hangtime and delivers a feel of total control in flight (even with the kite hung out to the side of the window for your jumps!). The Dice has a lot of that as well, but just not quite as much – instead it’s got more cross-over attributes and is better for looping.

In winds around 30 knots the Rebel can give you 40 knot-type performance, lighting up your brain and you can be so consistently right with it all the time. Also, the harder and faster you go into your jumps, the more reward you get from the Rebel. The leading edge is a bit thinner this year and has sped the handling up a notch. This is by no means just a sheet-in-and-go truck. It’s light, dynamic and smooth, but has a huge sweet spot over head as well as masses of progressive sheeting torque.


Tom flying a Rebel


High- wind Performance

There’s no doubting the Core XR6’s ability to jump massive in heavy winds – Core riders control the top of the Woo leaderboard for sure, but when you’re perfectly powered on a Rebel it’s difficult to beat its ability to jump super high and keep you up there. Lots of kites jump high, but the meat delivered low down on the Rebel’s sheeting throw is uniquely engaging. It’s not scary either, because you have finite control as soon as you take-off; sheet out and you’ll steadily come down, but sheet in harder and you’ll keep going up. Some kites will oversheet at a certain point and stop lifting. The Rebel seemingly just keeps on giving. It takes quite a good jumper to send the kite hard and sheet in completely throughout a jump in very strong wind because there’s so much juice on tap. Your brain will explode with the G forces.

The Rebel gives you that double lift of joy pretty much all the time so you can increase the speed you go up just by sheeting in again. If we compare it for example again to the Core XR, which goes stratospheric and is another kite that’s possible to get great jumps without perfect technique, it doesn’t change its climb rate as much as the Rebel. Take-off on the Rebel and the journey is only just beginning and you’re in the pilot’s seat.


Low End

The Rebel’s superb stability is another standout feature. Although this review may make it sound like a big man’s kite for strong wind, it’s absolutely not. The only time it becomes more manly is in the top 15 or 20% of the range. Most people reading this review won’t be taking their kite out in Cape Town’s toughest winds. The Rebel has a big range, delivering a better low end than the Dice, but topping out sooner for most people (though we’re talking at the top of the top end). The 2020 Rebel does manage to go further than it did a few years ago, though.

There’s not much out there to match the constant accessible performance that the Rebel delivers in good to decent conditions. If you can hold on to it at its top end and properly send it and sheet in all the way, then we’ll see you next week.
There are a lot of people doing kite loops on bow-style kites, but ideally you want something that reacts and drives inwards through the turn a bit more. You can certainly have fun looping on the Rebel in lighter and mid-range winds and, of course, for heli-loops too, but compared to the Dice, the Rebel is much more two dimensional; more park and sheet.


Duotone Click bar

We’ve covered the fixtures and fittings on the Duotone kites at length before, but it’s all there. The Duotone wide inflation connector screws directly to the valve for a super efficient and fast pump up with a really reliable screw thread on the solid cap. The Click bar does everything for you, including automatically untwisting your lines when you sheet in. There are also no uncovered centre line ropes as everything is sheathed in the plastic centre line. The rear line depower / power-up click / twist operation has now stood the test of several seasons and works really well, allowing for a lovely, clear area with no cleat system in your eye line. The Iron Heart quick release is proven over time, very safe and easy to use.



If you’re looking to boost in 25 to 35+ knots, the Rebel 8m delivers an incredibly engaging experience. It’s not just crazy boosters who will benefit from the Rebel’s very incremental sheeting torque, though. As it’s not tiring to sheet and steer the kite, lighter riders and those looking to progress through their initial jumps and spins will also find their groove with the very intuitive amounts of available boost mixed with sheeting control. Responsive and highly tuned, the connection between rider and kite is incredible, delivering a total treat for all manner of freeriding, on a twin-tip or a foil. Get more airtime and a higher percentage of controlled landings while still enjoying the feel of a kite that can be thrown around into turns. We’ve extensively reviewed the Rebel over the years. Find all our other reviews, delving into other aspects of the kite’s character, at

Not having to wait for 35 – 40 knots of wind to get an exciting rush of lift. That, mixed with the fact that in its mid range the Rebel is also a very easy kite for all to use.

Nothing, but at the kite’s top end, if you’re a lighter rider, you’ll have to dig your rail in a bit harder than some other eight metres. Dedicated big air riders looking to kite loop a lot in strong winds should go for the Dice.

Build quality: 9.5
Full package: 9.5
Low end: 9
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed: 6.5
Turning circle: 4
Bar pressure: 5
Water relaunch: 8.5
Drift: DT
Boost: 9.5
Hang-time: 9.5
Unhooked: 4
Crossover: 5
Ease of use: 9

SIZES: 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m




See KW’s Dice Test Review


Find out more:


Free issue of Kiteworld 104 and 2020 Travel Guide CLICK HERE TO GET THIS NEW ISSUE AND OUR 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE FOR FREE!

Back to search

Related Articles