North announced the 2014 release of their best-selling kite, the Rebel, this week calling it a “High Performance Freeride” kite. We’re looking forward to testing their latest innovations on the water. In the meanwhile, read below to hear what North designer Ken Winner has to say about this year’s model.
The Rebel was a game changer when it was first launched and since then it has remained the best selling kite in the North Kiteboarding range year on year. There are so many fans out there that fly the Rebel week in week out and love it. With good reason, the Rebel is one of the most stable kites on the market, making it perfect for beginners, intermediates and experts alike. The kite offers responsive steering, even when it is depowered. The upwind ability of the kite is also fantastic, making it great for freeride, waves and even a bit of racing.
The Rebel gives the rider a good amount of bar feedback, offering total control in the roughest conditions. The hangtime and lift offered by the kite is amazing, huge floaty jumps are delivered time and time again. This year the kite has a deeper profile, which allows it to drift a little more in the waves but also offers an improved low end. Sky Solbach, NKB surfboard shaper, uses the Rebel when he is testing in Maui and Western Australia and relies on its dependable handling characteristics in all conditions to allow him to concentrate on the boards under his feet.
WHAT’S REALLY NEW?
Strut Construction 3D:
The Struts have been refined with a semi-segmented construction. The segments allow the struts to mimic the shape of the profile, which helps to avoid stress points. The design is very lightweight but also precise, which increases the structural rigidity.
New Panel Layout “Force Spread”:
Compared to 2013, the layer of wave-shaped cloth situated at the boundary between the durable 50-gram D2 Ripstop Canopy and the super tough 160-gram trailing edge dacron is put higher and wider to eliminate stress points between the two materials. This change in construction leads to a better mitigation of flutter and flexing between the dissimilar materials.
In 2014, the Rebel has a slightly deeper and more draft forward profile, which gives the kite a more positive upstroke and smoother transit through the centre of the wind window.
Size Specific Tuning:
The Rebel has been a competitive kite in racing with super lowend and excellent upwind ability. Besides, within the North Kiteboarding line up the Rebel has the best windrange together with the race kite Dyno. Today you could virtually say the Rebel is developing into two different directions.
ONE KITE. TWO PERSPECTIVES.
Ken: The bigger size Rebels 14 / 13 / 12 and 11 are characterized by the following performance properties:
- Super lowend
- Massive hangtime and jumping abilities
- Good upwind performance
- Sheet and go
Based on these properties in the bigger sizes, the Rebel is an absolutely freeride-oriented kite.
Sky: The Rebel 2014 in smaller sizes, talking about size 10 to 5, is my favourite kite when I go wave riding. Mentioning below just some of its performance properties which are essential for waveriding:
- Enormous depower ability
- Smooth turning
- A lot of power, which is especially interesting for heavier kiters
- Stable and solid feel
- Good drift (the kite does not fly as quickly to the edge of the wind window which permits to more readily drift downwind)
Summarizing, due to the diverse characteristics the new rebel can be described as a high performance freeride / wave kite.