Aug 29, 2014
Author: SBC Kiteboard test team
2015 North Rebel
Size tested: 7m
Since its initial release there may have been more Rebels sold worldwide than any other model of kite ever made. There’s good reason for this, as the Rebel offers a bar-setting level of all-around freeride performance and is also one of the few remaining non-pure C kites built on a dedicated five-line platform. For 2015, North made some minor tweaks to the Rebel aimed at improving turning speed, upwind performance and, in the words of North, to offer “more lively handling.” On the water it’s immediately apparent that this is a highly refined kite that offers nearly unmatched power per size, is capable of massive hang time, and offers tremendous upwind power and speed. The Rebel provides an immense level of confidence-building stability and rigidity but combined with a very precise, predictable, direct feel in the turns.
This is an extremely polished kite that’s hard to find fault in. It’s nteresting that while the Rebel is clearly targeted at the freeride category, it has always had—and continues to have—a loyal following of riders who choose it as their wave-riding kite.
It’s super powerful and does not offer the most accessible depower. There are other kites in the North line (for example the Evo) that would be a better choice for a beginner. The Rebel also remains one of the last dedicated five-line kites on the market. We could write a whole page on pros and cons of a fifth line, and there are both, but at a time when fifth-line kites are becoming more rare, fitting a Rebel into a mixed kite model/brand quiver will certainly become more difficult.
Riders looking for the ultimate in unbridled five-line German horsepower need look no further. Big air, racing, and even waveriding, this is an extremely refined, well-rounded machine.