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North 2010 Rebel Analyze This Kite Review

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Analyze This: 2010 North Rebel
TESTED: 10, 12
AVAILABLE SIZES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16m
TESTED IN: Pismo Beach, CA/15-21 knots and medium surf

FROM THE MANUFACTURER:

From flat-water freedom to tearing the bag out of any size surf, the 2010 Rebel is the all-terrain freeride/wave kite of your dreams. Smooth, lively, and responsive steering, even when de-powered, makes it the ideal kite for surfing and a blast to ride in any conditions.

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THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:

Out of the Box: Right out of the bag, the first thing we noticed about the Rebel was the attention to detail on the kite. The Rebel definitely comes with all the bells and whistles. This is a five-line five-strut kite with a one-pump system. Make sure you close the dump valve before you start inflating.

This is easy to forget on the Rebel because the valve is located near one of the wingtips. The Rebel has battens on the leading and trailing edges and features a unique floating center strut. The center strut is not attached directly to the canopy, but floats below it and is attached to the canopy by a piece of material.

The rear line bridles feature a bungee that pulls the bridle up to the kite when there’s no tension on the lines which, according to North, prevents the rear lines from catching on the kite when relaunching. There are no tuning options on the bridle.

The Rebel comes with North’s well-known fifth-element bar, which features a push-away quick release, above-bar trim, and a very simple and clean layout. You can either attach your leash directly to the fifth line or you can put the harness loop through the fifth-line ring and then attach your leash for a suicide connection that still allows full depower if you activate the quick release.

The lines feel larger and rougher than others, and are rated for a 600 lb. breaking strength.

On the Water: The Rebel is an extremely stable kite, especially straight overhead. We tried to make the Rebel overfly and stall, but every time the lines began to slack, the Rebel would back up and remain rock solid.

This is a big plus for beginners or people who fly in gusty winds. The Rebel turns smoothly and predictably, but there is a slight lag time for it to respond when initiating turns, at the beginning of a power stroke for example.

The Rebel’s bar pressure is medium and the kite doesn’t seem to lose much power through turns. Impressively, the Rebel still handles very well even when extremely depowered. Upwind performance is very good, especially for a kite this stable and the Rebel offers plenty of jumping performance.

In the waves, the Rebel drifts downwind very well and remains stable, but is a little slow to start turns when the kite has little power. Because of its stability, the Rebel is very forgiving, allowing the kite to remain flying even if you make huge mistakes.

PROS:

  • Excellent stability, especially directly overhead at the top of the window.
  • Clean and simple control system with the known safety of the fifth-line.

CONS:

  • Battens on the leading and trailing edges make the Rebel a little tricky to fold up properly.
  • There is a slight lag time for the kite to respond when starting turns without much power in the kite.

THE VERDICT:

The Rebel is a good user-friendly kite that will suit a lot of people. The lack of bridle adjustments takes the guess work out of setting the kite up. The rock-solid stability, predictable handling, easy relaunch, and very wide wind range will appeal to beginners and experienced riders alike. This kite has enough performance to suit most riders, but if you are looking for the ultimate freestyle kite, you may want to check out the North Vegas.

TIPS:

  • As with most modern kites, make sure you pump the Rebel up nice and hard.
  • Don’t forget to close the dump valve before you start inflating the kite. We did this twice.

Tester Comments:
“The North Rebel will offer trouble-free kiting for riders of all levels. The stability of the kite, coupled with the safety of the fifth line makes for a great kite to progress with and have fun on.” Andy Kraft, 200 lbs., Freestyle Kiter.

Consumer Review: WA Surf at Kiteboardingreview.com
“The kite seems to fly through the window better than last year. When you are working your kite in light winds it no longer stops and pivots but now flies and turns with speed and in a fluid motion that allows you to get a bit more bottom end power out of your Rebel…” Read the full review at http://www.kiteboardingreview.com/north/127-north-rebel-2010

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