Sizes Available: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15m
Sizes Tested: 9m, 12m
The new Rebel SLS is here to redefine the expectations of big air and high performance freeride kiteboarders across the globe. The heritage of the Rebel is second to none, but this year the new Penta TX frame combined with Trinity TX is going to change the way you think about freeriding and boosting. The new materials combined with an updated design and the Flex Struts make the kite incredibly dynamic; the low weight supercharges the kite’s handling and allows it to develop even more power.
You can also choose to ride the Rebel SLS in the four or five-line configuration; the fifth line is available as an accessory. As soon as you start flying the Rebel SLS, you will instantly feel the power and performance at your fingertips. All you have to do is load up the edge of the board and get ready to send it to the moon!
Visit for more info: www.duotonesports.com/kiteboarding/kites/rebel-sls/
This year the Rebel is no longer available in regular construction and the upgraded SLS material package is the only way to go. This makes sense when you factor in the Rebel’s status as a high-performance kite with the specific goal of being the best freeride/big-air kite on the market. The SLS material package cuts weight by 15% and increases strength and stiffness to the already premium platform. Since the performance benefits are so obvious on this 5-strut airframe, why would a discerning Rebel customer want anything less?
Inflation Valve: Airport nozzle required
Attachments: Center bridle: Knot / Wingtip bridle: Lark’s head loop
Centerline Split: High-V
Front Bridle Options: Single setting bridle / one sliding pulley
Design and Features
With the introduction of the SLS material to this famed big air juggernaut, this year the Rebel has received number of tweaks to the aspect ratio and strut profiles. For 2022, the Rebel continues with its high-aspect 5-strut frame with medium diameter struts while introducing the Penta TX and Trinity TX materials for extra weight savings and a more lively flight.
The Rebel pumps up with 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. The leading edge is supported by a single setting bridle that uses a single pulley to help change the angle of attack. The front bridle attachment pigtail ends in a knot and the wingtip attachment point ends in a lark’s head loop. The wingtip uses the Rebel’s adaptive tip bridle which provides two settings to adjust the bar pressure, steering response and feel. The yellow knot is the stock setting, which is labeled as the soft setting and keeps the attachment point focused farther back on the wingtip. There’s a blue knot that moves the attachment forward and is considered the hard setting for more aggressive riding that provides more bar pressure, a more direct feel and a shorter depower stroke. A slightly heavier canopy material runs the length of the trailing edge and employs four short battens to maintain leach stability.
Starting out on the soft adaptive tip setting, the bar feel on the Rebel SLS seems quite comfortable with light to medium bar pressure that balances a smoother, more progressive power delivery with easy turn initiation and a casual feel. The SLS weight reductions tend to make the kite’s steering response feel a bit faster, yet the steering arc is still very much the same you would expect from the higher aspect frame with a smooth, wide steering arc. When you combine a 5-strut frame with the Penta TX material, you get an extra stable canopy that can handle a ton of power without deforming and every ounce of wind gets translated into direct pulling power. The steering speed feels just a little bit faster with noticeable improvements in acceleration in up strokes which makes sending the kite into a big air both easier and more explosive. It felt like this version of the Rebel had a little more access to depower at the end of the bar throw, and this became even more apparent when we swapped to the adaptive tip’s ‘hard’ setting where the delivery of power along the throw feels much shorter.
The Rebel likes to fly a little farther forward in the window and when you load the kite up and send it vertically to release, it truly unleashed some amazing pulling power. The SLS frame gobbled up every ounce of wind energy and turned it into vertical climbing. After riding the Rebel back to back with the Evo, we noticed that the Evo’s steering is a bit more intuitive, but once you compensate for the Rebel’s bigger turning arc, you can unlock truly explosive power, but more strikingly, some amazing hangtime. This latest Rebel truly scored rave reviews in the hangtime department with more horizontal float which gives you added time in the air without having to fly the kite aggressively. When it comes time to beat your way back up wind, the Rebel’s forward flying and efficient frame gives you an impressive angle that makes short work of getting back upwind to the top of your launch zone.
While the Rebel has been steadily receiving some weight reduction and material upgrades over the last few years, the new SLS construction really delivers when you are on either end of your chosen kite size. The lower weight airframe makes low-end power strokes feel faster and more accelerative on the bottom which leads to a much livelier feel when you’re scraping the base of the wind range and the extra rigidity you get out of the airframe feels rock solid when you’re overpowered and loading a ton of power into the canopy for jumps and exerting hard forces on the wingtips during aggressive turning.
In terms of relaunch, the Rebel impressed us with a quick recovery from nose down in the center of the window. With just a bit of bar input, the Rebel rotated and taxied a short way before relaunching fairly deep in the window for a confident recovery everytime. With its improved depower and progressive bar feel, the Rebel is user-friendly enough on the yellow setting for casual freeriders, but it isn’t a wave kite nor would we rate this as purpose-built hydrofoil kite. The Rebel loves to pull from the edge of the window and charge forward which makes it excellent for jumping, notoriously scoring the highest jumps of our testing sessions. When you shed a solid percentage of a kite’s weight and introduce a stronger material with less stretch into a performance high-lift big air kite model, the results are eye-opening on both ends of the wind range.
We rode the Rebel SLS with Duotone’s Click Bar. Read the review here.
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