Design North Vegas
The North Vegas is a designated “C”-kite. It is one of the last kites that comes without bridles. Even the Slingshot Fuel, a traditional C-kites, from 2015 models on now have bridles. The Vegas has a very specific aim: Freestyle. Its shape, this year for the first time, done by former world champion Aaron Hadlow, has been set to “create a superior kite for our team riders“.
We tested the new Vegas to see how it is any fun riding it “non-freestyled”.
Set up; 5th element bar or wake style bar.
The kite can be used with a five line set-up in 2 different ways and in a 6 line set up; The standard 5th element bar can be replaced by a (more expensive: +110 Euro) wake style bar which has an option to be set at 6 lines. This 6 line set-up (“the Hadlow set up”) is only recommended for absolute experts. The wake style bar is smaller than the 5th element bar, has a plastic depower line (less wear out than the rope on the 5th element bar) no stopper ball, a larger chickenloop (for easier re-hooking) and a lower split point of the (front) power lines. The lower split point should give the kite even more stability. The smaller bar should prevent any radical moves of the kite while doing handle-pass moves.
Like all 2015 North kites the recommended pressure is 6psi. This is really quite soft. We guess 90% of the people will put it rather at 8 or 9 psi, as is recommended for some other brands (for example the Badit of F-one at 10psi). The only reason we can think of why North recommend such a low pressure is to prevent wear out and any warranty claims, but it is kind of strange.
There are 3 options to set the power lines and 3 for the steering lines. We had them at set for the power lines at “high depower”and the steering lines at soft settings.
We tested the 7m and 9m Vegas in several conditions (22 till 30 knots, in both choppy and medium wave sizes of 1 to 2 meters on an open ocean) and with both bars (in a 5 line set up) and with 2 different line lengths; 22 and 24m. Since we have limited freestyle experience, we tested it mostly on it’s general abilities.
The 24m set up on the 9m did not work out. The kite became irritating slow and indirect. No wonder North recommends line lengths 22m on all Vegas’ smaller than 11m.
In general the Vegas works nicely outside it’s intended freestyle area; It steers not as quick as a Dice 2015, but much quicker than the Rebel 2015. It loops insanely brutal, but it needs some effort (and guts) to steer it round. It makes it even more impressive that Aaron Hadlow won the King of the Air 2015 in Cape Town with this kite. It is not really made for looping or go up to almost 20 meters in the sky like Aaron did, but there is one aspect of the kite which makes this possible; stability. We did some testing with gusty 30 – 40 knots wind with 9m and it was still pretty stable and the kite was still in it’s good looking c-shape without any visual distortions or any sounds from a overpowered kite (like a Bandit 8 does). Probably the 5th line did attribute to it’s stability. The airtime is okay, but not outstanding. It pops – like a freestyle kite should- perfectly though.
The Vegas also has another side to the medal, basically 2; The first is that the wind range is remarkable small. The second one is it’s effort to get it going; the kite asks a lot of input and thus energy from the rider. It’s a real work out. The Vegas is a kite for either pro-wanna be’s or young energetic kiters who want to make the most out of each session. There are loads of other kites that suit most of the non-professional riders out there better.
List prices in euro’s:
North Vegas 2015 7m 1129,-
North Vegas 2015 9m 1259,-
5th element bar 439,-
Wake style bar 549,-