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Tkb Review: 2022 NORTH Navigator Bar

This year the refinement of the North Navigator bar continues with some minor construction/durability upgrades and ergonomic tweaks that further refine the mix of comfort, features and function. Parts of the quick release swivel upgraded to stainless steel with new bushings for durability and longevity. The grip got some ergonomic changes that help you feel when the bar is correctly orientated and the floats got some subtle color upgrades.

The Navigator is an adjustable length bar available in three sizes (38-43cm, 45-50cm or 50-55cm) that you can swap the 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 push away quick release 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 is 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’ or choose between the ”˜standard Freestyle Loop’ or the ”˜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 an upgraded color-coding with plastic-coated leader lines that feature red and green color-coding and subtle new color infused into the floats. There is a North logo on the center insert of the bar to indicate when you are holding the bar the correct way and this works with the new asymmetrical nubs on the bar which is helpful for eliminating those awkward moments when you are trying to control the kite with the bar backwards. 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: www.northkb.com/products/navigator-control-system


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