Sizes Available: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12m
Sizes Tested: 8, 10, 12m
The Neo is the ultimate wave riding weapon for all the riders out there who love to ride surfboards, offering excellent freeride abilities as a plus. It is the go-to kite for our pro team competing on the Strapless World Tour and the kite of choice for wave riders all over the world. For 2018 the goal was to further improve the handling and responsiveness of the kite. To achieve this, our designers had to think outside the box, and they came up with a unique concept. Special “Flex Segments” have been built into the leading edge allowing the kite to twist even more than before when turning. This has vastly improved the handling capabilities of the kite making it one of the most dynamic wave kites on the market today. The kite is also exceedingly stable in the air, with excellent drift, making it perfect for freeriding. If you want to get the most out of every wave session, the Neo is the kite for you!
Visit for more info: www.northkiteboarding.com/products/kites/neo
Our Testers Say:
“Smooth power delivery, turns quick but predictable, very comfortable bar and bar pressure. A number turning machine with smooth power delivery throughout its range, great drift and surprising hangtime.” // Tiberiu Anghel
“Not as fast as other wave kites, but this is probably one of the more versatile wave kites as it had more upwind and freeride characteristics for all around kiting.” // Kurt Althen
“This was a speedy kite and drifts well; loved the bar pressure and response time, can always feel where the kite is. Great water relaunch.” // Chris Myles
The Neo is North’s dedicated wave kite with a 3-strut frame and slight delta-shaped canopy. While it is marketed as a kite in the surf, those very same characteristics make it an excellent progressive freeride kite for cruising. When it comes to inflation, North’s large diameter inflation valve dubbed the ‘Airport Valve II’ connects directly with North’s pump hose without the use of a nozzle and the inflation system’s twist valve rotates with the insertion of the hose to keep air in the system. Deflation happens through both the inflation valve and a dump valve on one side of the kite, making both inflation and deflation quick and easy. The Neo features two settings on the front bridle for adjusting between high depower and medium depower, and uses a single pulley to help adjust the kite’s angle of attack. We rode our Neo in 4-line mode but it can also be flown with either the Trust bar or the Click bar with the 5th line package. The Neo has medium plus bar pressure, a bit more than the Evo and Dice and delivers a fairly solid pull with its lower aspect shape that feels grunty compared to the other progressive freestyle designs in North’s quiver. The steering feels crisp and the turning speed swift, while the turn is more of a pivot style steering arc. The Neo delivers middle of the road lift and hangtime compared to the Rebel and Evo, yet with the right skill and effort it’s certainly possible to score some frequent flier miles, but where the Neo really excels is staying powered in the window while you chase pulses of ocean energy. The Neo likes to sit a little deeper in the window and its stability and drift make flying the kite in the middle of the window very easy when chasing waves. With the pulled back leading edge, the Neo was quick to relaunch on command. It took a second for the wingtip to clear the water from dead downwind and launch back into the sky. Overall, the Neo is an excellent choice for surfers and freeride kiters who want a user-friendly and stable kite, that is predictable enough for middle of the road jumping, but a great choice for exploring the motion in the ocean.
The Neo can be flown with the Trust bar or the Click bar, we have included descriptions of both here.
North’s Click bar is back for its second year with a few changes like an updated color scheme that visually sets off one side of the bar, more plush bar ends, changes to the quick release and a new V-distributor for increased durability. That said, we didn’t get one of those bars to test with our North kites so we rode last year’s Click bar which means the only thing that is different for this year is that we now have tested other designs that have come to market and have a bit more perspective on the concept of adjusting the kite’s power tuning mechanically through the outside lines. The Click bar comes in a single 49cm length with 22m or 24m line lengths and features a single center-line safety depower system, medium-height-V, a durable plastic throw line that untwists itself after you spin, a sliding stopper and North’s proven push away quick release. The bar features retractable bar bungees, soft bar ends and integrated floats. The Click bar settles the debate between above or below the bar tuning by placing it exactly at your fingertips. The twisting motion for power up takes a little bit of focus while riding and the button for depower is easily accessed at all times. While it’s a big shift to the systems we have come to know, seamless controls like this are the future of the sport. While some power down systems require the twisting of a knob, the ratchet knob built into the bar end is easy to grab a hold of, easy to rotate while kiting and easy to tune on the fly. Compared to other systems, the mechanics of North’s Click bar is entirely closed, which means you won’t be washing it out. The upside of testing last year’s bar is that we were able to put a used bar through the test and the system worked as crisp as if it was just taken out of the package.
Visit for more info on the bar: http://www.northkiteboarding.com/products/bars/click-bar
This year the Trust bar is essentially the same except that if you are looking for a 5-line bar, instead of buying the dedicated 5-line bar, now you simply purchase the regular 4-line Trust with a the 5th line optional kit. Essentially, you can switch back and forth between 4 and 5-lines from the same base bar purchase. The Trust bar is a dual adjustable length bar that comes in two options, 42/49cm and a 46/53cm lengths. On the smaller bar you can choose between 19 or 22m lines and on the longer bar you can choose between 24 and 27m lines.
North feels line length is an important tunable feature to match with your kite and style of riding. The 4-line base version features single center line safety depower that runs up to one of the bridles. The center lines are knotted for rigging purposes. The adjustable length spectra throw line features a tuning cleat with a magnet on the depower strap to keep it in place. The Trust has a push away quick release with a below the bar hand swivel that also functions as a quick release travel guard. At the time of purchase you can select from three different chicken loop options. The first is the Rope Harness Kit which is a super short loop with a metal center for rope traveler based harnesses. The second and probably most common is the Freeride Kit which is the standard length chicken loop for regular freeride, and finally a Freestyle Kit which features an extra large loop for those that are unhooking on a regular basis. We tested the bar with the medium sized loop, but would be interested to try the Rope harness Kit. The Trust features a spectra trim/throw line, a sliding stopper for long tacks and a firm molded chicken finger to prevent accidental unhooking. The padded bar ends are tunable and offer integrated floats and retractable bar bungees for a clean wrap up. The bar grip is fairly plush eva with middle of the road texture which makes the Trust a very comfy bar and continues to be a bar that gets rave reviews during our test week.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.northkiteboarding.com/products/bars/trust-bar/
Want more gear reviews all in one place? Read detailed and objective reviews on the 30 kite models and 33 board models that Tkb and freeride testers reviewed for the 2018 Freeride Gear Review Guide.