North Rebel 2016 by Ken Winner
“The Rebel is a long standing design with thousands of fans. No rider who loves the Rebel wants to see it change much, so our goal these days is to fine-tune the details and ensure that each size works the best it can for the type of riding it’s best suited to.” – Ken Winner
What are the major changes we will see for 2016?
This year we’ve optimised the aspect ratios of different sizes. The larger sizes are oriented toward power for big air and great hangtime, without losing handling abilities. The smaller sizes lean towards handling, depower and stability, for top performance in high winds. The 14 m2 & 16 m2 have a higher aspect ration of 5.5 in order to enhance low end performance and jumping. A shorter chord length spills excess wind, making it easier to hold down a big kite when overpowered. For the 12m2 & 13 m2, once again we’ve raised the aspect ration to deliver the perfect combination of a lively feel and juicy power. No matter how hard we tried, we were unable to improve performance of the 9 m2 – 11 m2 via aspect ratio, however we did make subtle refinements enhance overall feeling. In the smaller 6 m2 – 8 m2 sizes, the 4.8 aspect ratio delivers a new, super smooth and rounded turning ability, without any loss of its renowned jumping traits. These sizes absolutely rock! Also, we’ve made a reduction in the overall weight. Aside from free weights and wakeboarding boats, low weight is almost universally desired in sports products. For 2016 we’ve yet again reduced weight from the Rebel without affecting the durability in any way.
Why does the Rebel still use the loaded 5th Line System?
It remains a 5-line kite for all the obvious reasons. The Short depower stroke and crisp feel is ideal for those who like a responsive kite, and can appreciate the importance of achieving full depower with minimal movement of the bar. It’s incredibly stable, and easy to relaunch in light winds. The 5th-line is also the most safe system out there, and additionally offers independence to those riders who need to self land and launch.
Do all sizes have the same feeling at the bar?
Sizes 10 m2 to 14m2 have been fine tuned for a short bar stroke and a maximum crisp feel. For the 6 m2 to 8 m2, which naturally tend to be a bit too responsive, we’ve tuned them for a balance that is perfect; not too soft and slow, nor uncomfortably harsh and fast. The 9m2 kites can go either way. We spent some time refining this one to what we thought was a spot on all-round and wave kite with just the right feel.
Tell us about the optimum air pressure for the Rebel.
Rebels work best when inflated to 6 psi. They lose some performance at lower inflation pressures, but will still fly pretty well. By contrast, many kites on the market these days need 8 or 10 psi to fly correctly.
What about the diameter of the leading edge?
We kept the overall LE diameters fairly large, right out to the tips. This to ensures rock-solid stability and tolerance of low inflation pressures. As the Rebel is an all-around and wave kite, there’s no need to try and minimise diameters at the expense of convenience, stability and easy relaunch.
What about the multiple segments and rib configuration?
Multiple segments through the centre of the canopy give good consistency within the profile, while one straight segment on each side gives a flat profile where it can be most efficient in resisting unwanted luffing and flutter. Five struts give the necessary structure while allowing for good performance at low inflation pressures.
What happened to the canopy construction?
Our wavy force spread canopy construction has been refined in order to use less cloth and weight than in past years, and has been extended to the tips. This gives good mitigation of flutter and flexing between the dissimilar materials – hence better durability – from tip to tip.
How did you achieve the amazing trailing edge tension?
The trailing edge tension of the Rebel has been updated to reduce the potential for wrinkles and flutter while keeping the correct cone and cupping.Summed up, a lot of changes but still the same legendary Rebel feel.