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TKB Review: 2013 North Rebel

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North Rebel
Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14m
Sizes Tested: 9m

North Says:

The Rebel is the universal kite in the line up, used by riders like Sky Solbach and Jérémie Eloy it excels in the waves and as a freeride kite. It is one of the best selling kites we have ever built and is loved by riders all over the world. The Rebel boasts a huge wind range, the widest available from any of the North Kiteboarding line up. Huge hangtime and lift, fantastic upwind performance, fast turning, direct feeling, easy handling, responsive steering when depowered and a short depower stroke giving you total control in harsh conditions. The 2013 Rebel perfectly combines power and handling to create the perfect kite for “hooked” riders looking for their perfect wave and freeride partner. The Rebel – the benchmark since many years and the ultimate high performance freeride machine!

Our Testers Say:

“Very efficient and powerful for its size. A lot of grunt and fast turning. Great upwind ability,” Davey Beard.

“Very responsive, 5-line system was a new experience for me. Great for jumping and riding upwind,” Pat O’Connor.

“Clean kite design, easy to fly, very predictable handling. A well-rounded kite,” Joe Bharat.

“First time riding a five-line kite. Very stable and responsive. Great ride, perfect bar pressure for me. This is a great kite if you like to jump,” Kirstyn O’Brien.

Meet the 2013 TKB Test Team.

TKB Says:

The North Rebel has been an extremely popular kite and for 2013 it remains a 5-line 5-strut mid/high-aspect kite. The rear bridle has hard and soft settings to change the overall feel of the kite. Our testers commented on the Rebel’s fantastic stability, amazing range (both low and high-end), great upwind performance, and great jumping performance.

They also mentioned its light-medium bar pressure and quick turning speed. The Rebel is a kite that our tester’s feel most riders will be able to immediately feel comfortable on in a wide range of conditions. Compared to the North Evo the Rebel has a lighter feel and has better upwind performance.

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The Rebel uses the North 5th Element Control bar, which received a big update for 2013. It features a push-away quick release, below-bar swivel, above-bar depower cleat, adjustable stopper, and five lines. When you release the safety, it releases onto the 5th line, which instantly kills all the power in the kite. It is adjustable from 46-54cm to accommodate different kite sizes and is so easy and quick to adjust that it can be done while riding. Also new for 2013 is a plastic center hole insert to help prevent depower line wear.

Pros:

  • Great range and very stable, even when very depowered.
  • Great jumping and upwind performance.
  • Fifth line safety system is still considered one of the safest control systems available.

Cons:

  • Battens make it difficult to pack the kite small
  • Five lines can take more time to untangle than four.

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