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North 2011 Evo Analyze This Kite Review

North Evo

TESTED: 9m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14m
TESTED IN: La Ventana 21-28 knots, large chop

FROM THE MANUFACTURER:

The Evo presents a seamless blend of free-ride and new-school characteristics. Offering an incredibly stable C-oriented feel with the smoothness and depower ability of a hybrid, the Evo allows you to bang out the latest unhooked freestyle tricks, jump high, throw kite loops, and cruise with ease. It is an easy to fly freeride kite with predictable, polite manners. Consistent, predictable power development and steady bar feel makes the Evo excellent for unhooking and super easy to throw kiteloops while providing tons of pop for throwing new-school moves! Super easy relaunch due to the round, compact shape of the Evo makes trying new moves all the more tempting. The profile created for the Evo is more powerful and improves the upwind abilities drastically. Continuous rEVOlution.

THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:

Out of the Box: The Evo is a five-strut one pump kite that shows North’s usual attention to details. Like the rest of North’s 2011 graphics, the Evo’s graphics are bright and attention grabbing. This is a bridled four-line kite (it can also be flown as a five-line) with a very compact and simple bridle. The front bridle features one pulley per side and the rear bridle is adjustable to change the turning speed of the kite. Each of the struts and the leading edge are tapered at the trailing edge. Compared to the other North kites, the Evo has a fairly low-aspect profile. The Evo is constructed using the North-exclusive Techno Force D2 fabric, which North claims offers more strength and less stretch than other fabrics.

The North Trust Four-Line bar is a very simple and well-thought out control system. It features a push-away quick release with integrated swivel, above-bar depower cleat, adjustable stopper, and an adjustable depower throw. The bar comes in one size which is adjustable from 46 to 55cm.

On the Water: Like other North kites we’ve tested, the Evo is an extremely stable and well-behaved kite in the air. On the edge of the window, it takes virtually no effort to fly. The Evo is a smooth flying kite that delivers consistent power throughout the wind window. The bar pressure is in the light-medium range and it’s very easy to feel where the Evo is without having to look at it. Turning performance is very direct and quick. The Evo depowers quickly in the first few inches of bar travel, which gave it a bit of a punchy feeling when riding really powered. The Evo loops very easily and zips back up to the top of the window with no tendency to stall. When taking off for jumps, the Evo’s explosive pop off the water feels like a rocket ship ride, yet it’s easy to control. When riding and carving downwind the Evo remained very responsive and it drifts back very well with the rider.

PROS:

  • Jumps with the Evo are explosive yet the kite is very easy to control in the air.
  • The Evo’s handling is very direct, smooth, and precise.

CONS:

  • Bright attention-grabbing graphics may not be to everybody’s liking.
  • When riding really powered, the first few inches of depower feels a little punchy.

THE VERDICT:

The Evo is a great all-around kite that will satisfy a lot of riders at all skill levels. The extreme stability and easy relaunch suit beginners well and the Evo’s amazing boosting performance and easy loops will satisfy advanced riders. All riders will appreciate the smooth, direct, and predictable handling and the light-medium bar pressure. The Evo remains responsive and stable when carving downwind, which leads us to believe this kite will work well in the surf.

TIPS:

  • With the North Trust bar, you can easily adjust the amount of depower travel to your own liking so the bar is never out of reach if you have short arms.
  • When rolling up the Evo, roll it continually from one wingtip to the other towards the dump valve. This makes it easier to keep the battens aligned for folding the kite.

TESTER COMMENT:

“As a woman, I didn’t feel like it had super heavy bar pressure that would tire my arms, but it also wasn’t so light that I couldn’t get a good feel of the kite. It was just right.” –Ginette Buffone, 130 lbs., Freestyle Kiter

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