Sizes Available: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17m
Sizes Tested: 9m

North Says:

What are you willing to reach for? The 2021 Reach has no boundaries. Lively and playful, this 3-strut allrounder has unparalleled versatility and wind range. Big jumps. Upwind performance. Effortless relaunch. Its even lighter construction excels in lightwind, foil and surf, without compromising the kite’s durability. Its snappy, responsive steering and power delivery give rise to great boosts, loops and freestyle moves. Your go-to kite in all conditions. The Reach is nimble and easy to ride, with high-performance attributes that guarantee you’ll never grow out of it. Its fuller profile generates power and efficiency, while its 3-strut construction delivers quick, responsive steering in even the lightest wind.

In the three larger sizes, the Reach is a powerful light wind kite designed with a predictable, consistent drive forward for twin tip riding long after everyone else has gone in. For 2021 we’ve introduced new highest quality low-profile, low-elongation bridle lines for an even more direct response. We’ve adopted lighter weight bladders across all sizes in the range, refined the shape and retuned the short responsive bridle for quick, exponential depower, so you can fly faster, and more efficiently, in an even wider range of conditions. This is the one kite you’ll always reach for.

Visit for more info: www.northkb.com/en/products/kites/reach-performance-freeride


TKB Says:

The Reach falls into that category of kites that finds the balance between user-friendly freeride and performance that allows it to span not only casual riding, but deliver performance that is fun across surf, unhooked freestyle and foil kiting. While the design is not dedicated to one discipline, it establishes such fine-tuned handling that you can’t help but want to do everything with this single kite.

Inflation Valve: Bayonet style / no valve needed
Flying Line Attachments: Center Bridle: Larks head / Wingtip bridle: Knots
Centerline Split: Low-V
Front Bridle Options: Single setting / Fixed

Design and Features
The Reach in its second iteration relies on a 3-strut airframe with a medium to slightly higher aspect ratio canopy with sweptback wingtips that are almost delta-like but with a solid turning surface area in the wingtips. The Reach utilizes a medium diameter leading edge which features lighter bladder construction this year, as well as a thinner bridle that offers lower windage and better forward flying efficiency. The Reach comes with North’s large diameter bayonet-style inflation valve that requires no nozzle on the end of your standard pump hose for a quick and easy pump up. The front bridle is a single setting fixed bridle that gives you a more direct feeling by skipping a sliding pulley to change the angle of attack. The front bridle ends in a larks head and the wingtip bridle attachment point ends in a single knot for a foolproof connection. The wingtip offers two attachment points for adjusting bar pressure and comes stock set to the lower bar pressure position towards the end of the wingtip. You get tip guards to prevent your lines from wrapping around the wingtip and moderate usage of Dacron along the wingtip with double ripstop along the trailing edge and two battens.

Impressions
From the immediate get-go, the Reach offered super comfortable controls at the bar with light to medium bar pressure that strikes the perfect balance between ease of sheeting and tactile feel for the kite’s tuning. The power delivery across the bar feels luxuriously progressive with intuitive power delivery across the entire length of the bar’s throw. You get a ton of depower at the end of the throw and when you sheet all the way in the Reach didn’t feel prone to over-sheeting or stalling; it seemed to always want to drive forward and continue to generate good power. The turning felt really precise—as one of the crispest turning responsive kites in our test that delivered a nice and tight pivotal turn, it felt like the Reach could turn on a dime and always seemed to be one step ahead of the game. The Reach seems to really shine in its achievement of finding an excellent balance between competing design decisions, wringing out tons of performance while staying on the side of user-friendly and intuitive. The airframe likes to sit medium-forward in the window, which seemed to want to scream upwind on a twin tip, but then it sat just deep enough for park and drift wave riding on a surfboard. The Reach’s progressive power delivery felt like you could just park it, sheet in and out, and drift down the line with the kite sitting back enough for riding waves while keeping the kite powered up without steering aggressively. The Reach was super fun in the waves, which led to thorough testing of its relaunching capabilities. With its sweptback leading edge, the Reach relaunched handily from nose-down deep in the window every time (and always right before a set wave). Jumping on the Reach is fun; you don’t have the same rigid airframe and explosive lift you feel with a kite like North’s Orbit, but skilled operators will have no problem sending it into the nose-bleeds. Beginners will find the Reach’s jumping forgiving and intuitive with room for growth as they hone their skills. Looping is as easy as you want it without any pauses, and the forward flying speed seems to always get the Reach to where you need it.

The Reach falls into an evolving class of kites we call ‘cross-over freeride’ and the Reach exemplifies the equation that makes a kite that can do everything not just good, but stupendously great while being super user-friendly. Do you want to learn how to mow the lawn? The Reach will help you do that. Do you want to nail some lips in the surf? The Reach will help you do that. Do you want to mix some kiteloops with some unsent back mobes? No problem. And after all of that, with its complete depower ability, crisp steering and affinity for smooth flying throughout all areas of the window, the Reach is a great candidate to have a ton of fun kite foiling as well. With the tweaks this year to drop some weight and introduce thinner bridles you get a product that’s mind-blowingly good and ready for just about anything.

Featured Control Bar
North’s Navigator control bar is in its second iteration with an upgraded color scheme and redesigned ergonomic grip and texture. 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 (38-43cm, 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 ‘Standard Freeride’ loop to the smaller “’Short Freeride Loop” or if you use a rope you can swap to the ‘Slide Surf Loop’ and finally the big ‘Long Freesyle Loop’  for easy unhooking in freestyle.

The plastic-coated throw/power line slides through the bar smoothly and offers longevity, yet doesn’t feature an adjustable length throw. The power system uses an above-the-bar cam cleat with a power tuning handle that features an infused bungee and a 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 under your fingers 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

 

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