Sizes Available: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13m
Sizes Tested: 9m
Powerful, reactive and controllable, the Carve powers on and off instantly, so you can 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 – onshore, offshore and anything in between. Strong surf-freestyle characteristics help you perform strapless tricks and lofty jumps with ease, and enhanced down the line drift makes this versatile kite perfect for carving and tucking into a barrel. For 2022 we’ve further reduced the weight and improved the behavior of the kite. Our new Active Load Distribution Bridle system is fine-tuned for the most direct pivot steering possible and delivers a faster livelier feel, greater stability and wind range. The lighter weight surf-tough construction delivers improved static balance and lightwind performance in surf and foil conditions. And we’ve introduced a new lighter weight bladder material in sizes 9m and above.
Visit for more info: www.northkb.com/en/products/kites/carve-surf-strapless-freestyle
When you unpack the Carve this year you will find the classic North-minded attention to detail with smart features built into every corner of the kite, yet the biggest changes are in the subtle material advancements that have been baked into its flagship surf and strapless freestyle model. With an eye on perfection North has tuned up the Carve’s specific surf handling while accentuating its ability to help you clear the next section and slip in that perfect last hack on every wave.
Inflation Valve: Bayonet valve / no attachment required
Attachments: Center bridle: Lark’s head loop / Wingtip bridle: Knots (reversible)
Centerline Split: Low-V
Front Bridle Options: Single setting / fixed with no pulleys
Design and Features
New for this year, North has extended its material experimentation from some it it’s larger kites to the medium-sized kites in the surf lineup and packaged that with a new bridle configuration which provides extra nimble surf dedicated steering and power performance. The Carve remains a 3-strut airframe with a low to medium aspect canopy that features a swept back leading edge that uses medium sized struts and leading edge diameters to deliver the ideal stability and reliable power generation required for surf. With strategic use of Dacron and thinner bladder material (sizes 9m and up) the Carve kites have shed some weight that leads to noticeable improvements in kite control, agility and drift.
Inflating of the Carve starts with a bayonet valve that keeps the pump hosed locked to the kite during pumping and doesn’t require any proprietary nozzle. With decent-sized distribution hoses the kite inflates fast and easy, and upon pack-up, the bayonet valve unscrew for a super quick deflation and fold job. The Carve has always had a single-setting fixed front bridle, but this year North has tweaked the configuration to spin-up the kite’s turning arc and make the power during steering more uniform. The front bridle is noticeably short which ensures that the bridle will never catch on the wingtip or wingtip struts and also removes the need for strut guards. The wingtips have three attachment options to tune the bar pressure which are easy to swap and slim to reduce weight. The front bridle pigtail attachment ends in a lark’s head loop and the wingtip pigtails in a knot, but they are also easily swappable to make the Carve compatible with any control bar. The Carve uses less Dacron on the wingtip and the trailing edge is made of double ripstop with the use of four flexible battens to keep the departure surfaces stable during extreme depower.
With the Carve set to the stock wingtip setting, we noted it’s medium bar pressure which is comfortable and intuitive but the kite also gives you the tuning option to go a bit lighter or heavier with the three wingtip tuning options. Coming from general freeride kites, we swapped to the wingtip attachment point farther back to lighten the bar feel and get an extra bit of leverage on the turn initiation. Due to its lighter materials and updated bridling, the turning initiation is more crisp and the bar feels slightly more directly connected to the turning of the kite. The lower aspect canopy, swept-back wingtip and new bridle, ensure that the turning arc is tight with a pivot-style turn that feels a bit more active than the previous version. The Carve doesn’t create a ton of power during turns, instead it pulls steadily through the turning arc which helps you maintain your board’s direction without worrying that the kite movement will tear you off the wave.
The Carve falls in the category of wave kites that are built with some extra pulling power, so it’s worth taking that into consideration when selecting sizes, as you can probably get away with a slightly smaller kite size if you are a lighter rider or using it with a hydrofoil. One of the key elements of the Carve’s performance is its well-heeled flight in the middle of the window that helps you keep the kite positioned in the power zone while riding waves. Sitting just a little farther back in the window with the front bridle offering progressive power delivery along the throw, the Carve’s power is on demand with a sheet and go feel that allows you to tap into power with bar movement rather than aggressive turning that might put the kite out of position.
With the reduction in weight this year, it seemed like the canopy was quicker to readjust in slack moments, falling back into the window as we carved into the wind. Its drift capabilities scored high across our group of testers. With its deeper position in the window, the Carve allows you to take whatever line you want while not worrying about out running the kite; this combines with the steering and power on demand and makes for for a really user-friendly wave kite. When it came to relaunch, the Carve’s swept back leading edge rolled up onto its side easily with minimal input and launched reliably every time. In the boosting department, the Carve’s nimble steering and power on demand translates to solid and predictable airs with steady lift that is easy to use. The tight steering made sending the kite really easy, and for strapless surfboard airs, the pull fits perfectly, with good grunt but not so much accelerative lift that it is hard to stay connected to your surfboard.
With some subtle tweaks to the turning and drift performance, this year’s Carve takes a few steps towards perfecting a surf kite that delivers both grunty power with light, responsive and nimble turning. With pulling power that will please casual freeriders and surfers who like on-demand grunt, the Carve delivers responsive handling and faster flying that advanced kiters can use to stay committed to surfing the wave. The Carve gives you an excellent balance of precision surf-oriented characteristics while still delivering low-end pull that feels agile enough to stay in front of every wave.
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