Mar 18, 2011
Author: Shane Thompson / SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Tied for: Best Overall Test Score (SBC Kiteboard Head-to-head Surf Kite Tests, Issue 12.1)
• Short power stroke for precision wave-handling
• Direct and nimble handling
• Good boost power with optimum handling overhead
• Full flagging safety from fifth line with improved water relaunch
The North Rebel is the workhorse of the North line as it delivers the performance that spans from waves to freestyle to racing, with solid performance for a wide range of rider styles, skill level and disciplines. This year’s Rebel has increased performance with small refinements in shape, construction and material enhancement.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The fifth edition of the tried-and-tested 5th Element Trust bar keeps this system ahead of the game with ultimate in effective fifth line flagging safety and overall functionality in trim and line management. The new Iron Heart IV sets the standard for hassle-free engagement, even under extreme load. The Vario cleat trim system is one of the cleanest, smoothest to adjust, and most flexible systems available. Over the years North has built upon the functionality of this bar with well-engineered components like below-the-bar swivel that makes manually untwisting your lines a smooth and simple task.
The legend of the Rebel kite continues to grow and its name has become synonymous with the highest levels of wave and freeride performance. While other companies have trended toward the SLE, BOW bridled designs or Delta shapes, the Rebel, true to its name, has forged its own path with impressive results.
This year’s Rebel is freeride and wave weapon with a crisp direct feel and all-around smooth power delivery. The 12 m has good low-end grunt and this is the biggest size most would ever need while riding a good sized surfboard. Testers commented on its smooth power and pull, good forward speed, and excellent power generation through the turns. It’s a kite that responds quickly to bar input but remains rock solid when you need it to. Its short power stroke and responsive steering input lets you drive into bottom turns with precision and then settle into a stable position while you pull into the pocket. You can sheet the kite out on the edge of the window and the Rebel remains stable but will respond when you need it to. The smooth power and direct response allow for smooth landings for popped or big-air tricks. With good speed and upwind drive the Rebel can also launch some lofty hangtime and is a freerider’s dream kite for boosting. It’s tough not to want to ride the Rebel more and more as it becomes comfortable in your hands very quickly.
The black or blue Rebel are respectable, but purple and green just weren’t meant to be seen together. The bar pressure is also slightly higher than some might be accustomed to but not overly fatiguing.
The Rebel builds on its foundation of solid performance with enhancements that deliver steadier, and crisper feel, improved low end power and overall higher-end performance for freestyle. A confidence builder with its smooth flying character and rock-solid stability, this year’s Rebel is a top contender in the waves and beyond.