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North Rebel

Apr 3, 2010

Author: SBC Test Team / Shane Thompson

Size Tested: 11
Style: Five line hybrid

The 2010 is the fourth generation of North Rebel. This loaded five line Delta hybrid design has performance for multiple disciplines of wave, freeride and race. The Rebel regained a centre floating strut so it’s back to a five strut set-up this year which improves depower and handling in higher winds. New segment shaping and revised backline V attachment have increased handling and delivering even more unique control for great performance in waves, flatwater or race.

On the Water
The North Rebel is direct and responsive in flight with fast pulling feel that angles upwind better than most on the test. It has an almost unlawful ability to sit on autopilot at the edge of the window, and when you want it to change direction the response time is instant. The bar pressure is heavier and the feel more direct than some, but after a period of riding you get used to it and it’s not a fatiguing feature to most. For unhooking the Rebel sits solidly on the edge of the window and has enough pull to satisfy the odd unhooked manoeuvre. The smooth-working and easy-to-adjust above-the-bar cleat system makes trimming the kite for unhooking or depowering in strong winds quick and effortless. On the wave the Rebel is at home, with excellent stability and superior drift capability, it really lets the rider concentrate on linking turns on the wave. With quick pivotal steering it reacts even while depowered and comes across the top really quick, which helps for quick transitions in the waves or on the race course. The Rebel seems better at water relaunch for 2010 and the added safety of the fifth line lends confidence to any situation. The Rebel would be an ideal travel companion to any wave destination and continues to be a favourite on the race course.

Reality Check
There is some lack of tunable steering options for the Rebel, which some riders prefer.

Bottom Line
The Rebel is an ideal choice for anyone that wants a kite that delivers perfect control for linking powerful bottom turns and blasting upwind. It has enough versatility for the freerider, part-time freestyle enthusiast, and doubles as formidable race weapon.

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