Sizes Available: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13m
Sizes Tested: 7, 9m
Powerful, reactive and controllable, the Carve provides instant drift with the flick of your wrist, allowing you to power on and off instantly, stay in the pocket for longer and out of the critical impact zone. Featuring a sensory pivot turn for control, and a huge depower range, the Carve gives you the confidence to focus on surfing, in onshore to offshore, and anything in between, while strong surf-freestyle characteristics let you throw down strapless freestyle and perform lofty jumps with ease. Compared to the rest of our North range, the Carve sits further back in the wind window and enhances down the line drift, perfect for carving and tucking into a barrel. 3 x Kitesurf World Champion Jalou Langeree’s kite of choice.
Visit for more info: www.northkb.com/en/products/kites/carve-surf-strapless-freestyle
This is our first look at North Kiteboarding’s new Carve surf kite with its 3-strut low to medium aspect canopy that is marketed towards waves and strapless freestyle riding. The Carve features a small to medium diameter leading edge that is inflated with a high flow bayonet valve that connects to the standard pump inflation hose without the use of a nozzle. The canopy features crisp D2 ripstop and the wingtips use a small amount of Dacron with double ripstop along the trailing edge and a single batten on each side. The Carve uses a single setting fixed bridle to change its angle of attack and the wingtip features three attachment settings to dial in bar pressure; the stock position is in the middle. The front bridle attachment pigtails end in a knot and the wingtip attachment pigtails end in a larks head loop.
The first thing we noticed about the Carve was its strong pulling power that is seamlessly coupled with light to medium bar pressure that feels really good on your arms. We started out with the middle stock setting and then swapped the wingtip attachment to the option closest to the trailing edge and this seemed (at least for us) to be the magic spot for feedback, pressure and steering feel. With its fixed front bridle, the power delivery across the throw was decisive, with ON/OFF style power delivery. This platform falls into the category of wave kites that give you a little more grunt from deeper in the window for going down the line. The steering response felt crisp and instantaneous, particularly so with added bar tension, and the turning radius felt fairly tight for tight pivotal turns. The Carve’s maneuverability was intuitive, making the kite easy to place exactly where you wanted it, yet with its low-end pulling power you could just park it and focus on setting your line down the wave. The Carve’s drifting abilities when combined with its pulling power make it incredibly fun in the waves. In terms of boosting airs, the Carve’s intuitive steering and pulling power is great to play with, and while you may not reach outer orbit, it’s still very fun and user-friendly for general freeriding. Like most surf kites, the Carve’s predictable handling makes it a great option for foilboarding and general freeride riding, yet at its core, it is directly aimed and shines in the surf.
North’s Navigator control bar is back for its second year with an upgraded color scheme. Last year it featured a red handgrip on the left, but this year the bar gets green on the right. This is an adjustable length bar (45-50cm or 50-55cm) that you can swap effective bar lengths by pulling out a cassette at the bottom of each bar end and flipping it over. The center lines end in knots and the outside lines end in larks head loops, with connection points receiving clear green/red color-coding. The attachment pigtails can be swapped to reverse the polarity of the kook-proof connections to fit other brands and there are three tuning knots inside the floats to adjust the overall tuning of the kite by just pulling the bar end cassettes out and moving knots. The lines are 22m (12m + 10m extension) long. The Navigator features single centerline safety depower that runs through the plastic-coated throw line and routes cleanly down through the quick release to a D-ring in the center of the chicken loop. The quick-release handle is a good size and this year has been swapped to a transparent red. The push away mechanism is clean and the reset is super slick with the click system that allows you to insert the chicken loop back into place without moving the quick release gate. This ‘single-action reload’ feature was one of our favorites because it features a really clean ‘click’ when the loop is reset into position. The quick release also features an effortless system for swapping out the size of your chicken loop, by simply rolling a rubber clip out of position and then pushing the loop in and twisting to disconnect it from the release body. You can swap from the stock freeride loop to the smaller surf/rope slider hook quite easily.
The plastic-coated throw/power line slides through the bar smoothly and offers longevity, yet doesn’t feature adjustable length throw. The power system uses an above the bar cam cleat with a power tuning handle that features an infused bungee and soft spongy toggle that is easy to grab and stays within reach. The Navigator offers fairly obvious color-coding with plastic-coated leader lines that feature red and green color-coding. There is a North logo on the center insert of the bar to indicate when you are holding the bar the correct way, which is helpful for those awkward moments. The bar grip is smooth on the bottom with a rubbery stamped grip on the top and a subtle triangular/ergonomic rise on the top that tapers towards the center of the bar. The Navigator features integrated floats attached to the padded bar ends and retractable bungees for stowing your lines when not in use. The Navigator bar scores high marks for balancing a ton of really well thought out and functional design features in a medium weight package that is as durable as it is comfortable and easy to use.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.northkb.com/en/products/control-system/navigator-control-system