Sizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14m
Sizes Tested: 8, 10, 12m
The Evo has been in the Duotone lineup for many years now, and in the constant search for improvement, it has become the best performing kite across all disciplines. Riders like Tom Hebert don’t let kiteboarding define them, and they love to do freestyle as much as they love old school big air and foiling. The Evo is Tom’s choice, as it doesn’t hold him back, no matter what he decides to do. For 2020 we removed the pulleys from the bridle; this has the effect of increasing the responsiveness of the kite while still offering incredible depower. There is also a new trailing edge design incorporating a wave pattern that drastically reduces flutter and canopy wear in this critical area. The Evo can be flown as a four or five line kite, and the three-strut delta design is ready for anything you decide to do. Kiteboarding has always been about freedom, don’t let other kites define you, let the Evo set you free!
Visit for more info: https://www.duotonesports.com/kiteboarding/kites/evo/
Our Testers Say:
“This is the ‘elevator’ of kites with a mere flick of the wrist it delivers huge lift. Nimble turning with stable pull, easy to control with great upwind ability and easy relaunch.” // Brad Poulos
“Really light feel with good pull; balanced fast kite with quick turns even when slightly underpowered.” // Tom Moore
“Stable, predictable in the window, turns on a dime, and relaunches easily. Nice light bar pressure, tons of depower and really didn’t ever have to look at the kite.” // Dan Lerer
This year the Evo did some things on the water that made us seriously rethink our notions about what this kite is capable of delivering. We had some big air jumps in which the Evo unloaded blistering pulses of lift that surpassed any of our expectations. The Evo’s medium to higher aspect 3-strut canopy with severely sweptback wingtips seems to have undergone some small changes that have yielded significant performance changes for this year. The Evo uses Duotone’s large diameter inflation valve dubbed the ‘Max Flow’ system which connects directly with Duotone’s pump hose without the use of a nozzle; the inflation system’s twist valve rotates with the insertion of the hose to keep air locked in the kite. Deflation can happen through both the inflation valve and a dump valve on one side of the kite, making both inflation and deflation quick and easy. New for this year, the Evo now features a single setting fixed bridle that has eliminated the use of pulleys. The leading edge bridle ends in knots and the wingtip attachment ends in loops. The wingtip offers three attachment points labeled ‘Soft, Medium and Hard.’ The factory setting is on the middle ‘Medium’ while the ‘Soft’ is recommended for surf/foiling and the ‘hard’ is recommended for freestyle. The Evo now features the new Duotone trailing edge material that both offers lighter weight, less material and better surface control.
Our first couple of jumps on the Evo were scary huge, with a bit more lift than we were anticipating. With light to medium bar pressure, the controls are very comfortable with fairly precise turning response and fast turning speed. Compared to the Rebel, the Evo seems to turn a bit faster and in a tighter more pivotal steering arc. The Evo’s power delivery and sheeting felt very even and progressive, with a nice sheet and go feel that will give rider’s confidence in the Evo’s power control and is exceptional at getting you back upwind for the next big trigger send. The lighter 3-strut canopy and less material in the wingtips made the Evo feel really active and responsive while offering riders a ton of depower that makes it suitable as a foil and surf crossover. When flown aggressively it feels downright explosive during jumps with the vertical lifting forces ripping you out of the water and solidly lifting you all the way into the upper limits of big air. The Evo canopy doesn’t have as much hangtime as the Rebel, so longer flights and soft landings required a bit more active kite flying. The Evo positioning in the Duotone lineup has a quite a bit overlap with the Rebel in our opinion, but the Evo’s maneuverability, progressive power and depower might make it slightly better fit for freeride/carving foilboarding and crossover into the surf. The Evo’s solid user-friendly handling makes it a great progression kite for the aggressive beginner as the Evo will step up to everything from big air, kiteloops and general freeride.
The Evo can be flown with either the Click bar or the Trust bar; descriptions of both bar options are below.
The Click bar was the first bar to scrap the dangling power strap and integrate power tuning into the bar and with four years under its belt, it’s now got the proven track record to cast aside doubts. The Click bar is available in two sizes, either the smaller fixed-length 42cm wide bar with 22m (20m+2m extension) lines or the original 49cm length with 24m (22m+2m extension) lines. The Click bar features a single centerline safety depower system and an adjustable attachment point that allows you to swap the height of the center lines’ V (it’s worth noting that you don’t have to re-thread the entire length of a line through a ring to accomplish the change). The outside lines end in knots and the center lines end in loops. The Click bar features a molded plastic throw line that untwists itself after you spin, a sliding stopper to adjust the length of throw and Duotone’s proven push away quick release. The quick release when opened horizontally, locks into an open position, holding the gate open. Reassembly is easy: one hand inserts the loop back into position and pushes on the catch button while the other hand raises the quick release handle so the catch can move back into its closed position and then the handle is moved back into the locked position.
The Click bar can be purchased with one of the four chicken/connection loop options that are tailored to your specific style of riding. Most freeride oriented kiters might choose the Freeride connection loop which is the smallest option, keeping the bar close to your body. The historically normal-sized loop is now called the ‘Freestyle Kit,’ which is sized in the middle for both hooked and unhooked riding. For riders that unhook all day long, there is a large ‘Wakestyle’ loop and for those that only ride with a surf slider rope, there is the ‘Rope Harness Kit,’ which is a small loop with an integrated metal slider to reduce friction and keep the bar close to the rider. Swapping the loops out is easy; you just need a fin key to remove a ¾ inch set screw to change out the desired loop. The Click bar settles the debate between above or below the bar tuning by placing it exactly at your fingertips. The twisting motion for powering up takes a little bit of focus while riding at first and the button for depower is easily accessed at all times. While it’s a big shift from the systems we have come to know, seamless controls like this are the future of the sport. The ratchet knob built into the bar end is easy to grab a hold of and easy to rotate once you have some familiarity with it and works while kiting with easy tuning on the fly. The Click bar also integrates two visual indicators that reveal the power position the bar is set to; one is located on the bar itself, moving left to right, and the second is a small red indicator on the leader line for the right outside line. You don’t realize how you visually assess the trim strap’s position until it is gone, so these indicators are actually a very nice feature. Compared to other systems, the mechanics of Duotone’s Click bar is entirely closed, which means you won’t be washing it out. The Click bar features retractable bar bungees, soft bar ends with integrated floats, a fairly dense EVA grip that feels asymmetrical in your palm with subtle raised bumps between your fingers, and a very comfortable stamp pattern running the entire length of the bar.
The second bar option for Duotone kites is the tried and true Trust bar which received a colorway change this year that sets it apart from the Click bar’s orange and blue chassis. The Trust bar’s left float and bar end are now colored a vibrant yellow to indicate the correct orientation. The Trust bar is a standard 4-line bar with an optional 5th line aftermarket upgrade package, so in theory, you could 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 length. 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. Duotone feels line length is an important tunable feature to match with your kite and style of riding. Our kites came with the 4-line base version with the single centerline safety depower that runs up to one of the bridles. The center lines are knotted for rigging purposes and the outside lines end in loops. 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 four different chicken loop options (Wakestyle, Freestyle, Freeride and Rope Harness). We tested the bar with the Freestyle loop, but we think the Freeride loop is an excellent idea for those kiters that won’t be riding unhooked. 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. In addition to adjusting the length of the bar, you can adjust the length of the outside lines by pulling the bar ends apart and choosing from three color-coded knots for length options (green/blue/red). The bar grip is fairly plush EVA with middle of the road texture which makes the Trust a very comfy and feature-rich bar. The Trust bar is a long time favorite of testers and the limited changes to the bar this year lends credence to the proposition; don’t mess with perfection.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.duotonesports.com/kiteboarding/bars/
Want to view all our 2020 Freeride, Light Wind and Wingsurf Gear Reviews in one convenient digital guide? Get free access HERE. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you for your support! Log into your account to view our 2020 Freeride Gear Review Guide.