Will 2018 bring some game changing kites? We were lucky enough to get our hands on four 2018 A-brand kites. We tested the 9 meters of the F-one Bandit 11th version, the Ozone Enduro V2, the North Dice 2018 and the Slingshot RPM 2018. We put them on the menu of our test team on a sunny and -more important- windy place, with varying conditions.
The biggest compliment a kite can get is to be the bench mark for other kites. That is exactly what we have been told during many of our tests; “could you compare our kite to the Dice?”. For 2018 two minor changes in the kite results in a something we would’t expect for the Dice. Did some of the Evo aspects get under it’s new tripled skin? Definitely more hang time and your Woo score will go up if you come from previous versions of the Dice. But it is an bit of an unexpected development for a kite that used to give that quick, responsive but above all fun feeling. Continue reading North Dice 2018
Although the North Click bar is our favorite bar so far, we did make an update on the damage on the front lines around the split point in March. Quite quickly North contacted us on this subject. We spoke with North again, a few months later after several of our readers including our self’s asked for an update on the matter. Basically they admit there is some wear out on one of the front lines around the split, but for the time being it will only be monitored.
We have used the North Click bar now for 6 months (around 40 to 50 sessions) and want to share some results. The bar itself and the system on its own is phenomenal. For example we don’t see any wear out on the depower line. However there is one issue which can become a game breaker. The V-split causes damage to the line, which already shows. Obviously breaking a safety line is the last thing in the world you want to happen. Activating the safety in this case would mean loosing your kite!
Going big, and really big, that is what the Rebel is mainly about. It is a potential Woo leaderboard wining, super stable and powerful, yet still pretty much on-off kite that is around for 10 years. The 2017 version isn’t any much different as the previous versions. We suspect the majority of it’s (older?) fans wouldn’t like that any way. It has a long history and large group of hardcore Rebel lovers who generally are not looking for changes. And that is exactly where we want to make a point. The Rebel is the opposite of a kite which can be thrown around. The (long) shape of the kite in combination of the amount of power makes it quite unattractive to do anything else than jumping.
Shrinking? Yes, shrinking. Kite lines get shorter after usage! It seems contra intuitive, because a lot of people think used lines will get stretched, but in fact they get shorter over time. We found differences between used and unused lines of around 15cm, where the used lines got shorter. It may just be the reason your used kite doesn’t feel the same as when you bought it, especially when you just replaced a part of your lines.
The Dice from 2016 was one of the favourites from all our tests. Its versatility, responsive reaction and easy on-off power control makes it truly the one that makes almost everybody having the most fun on the water. The 2017 version has been changed from the 2016 at some crucial points in te canopy and struts which makes the kite feel a bit more rigid but also a bit less sweet as in 2016. Small changes, but noticeable. A bit better for direct response and aggressive riding style and it asks a bit more input than last year.
The introduction of the new Click bar can be compared to the time when new cars got a remote control for opening and starting a car. Handy, but not necessary to get from A to B. So a game changer? No, of course not. You will not fly higher, ride harder or get more pop. But it is a refinement of the bar.
Compared to the standard bars of North, it is more than just the way you power/depower your kite. You may even safe money -although it costs 160 Euro’s more than the Quad bar- on the long run. For sure it is safer and more friendly to use. If sand will ruin the (de)power system, is hard to tell. It doesn’t look like it, but at least make sure you register your Click bar to get to the extra 6 month of warranty. Better be (18 months) safe than sorry,
We all love to see the exact results of our jumping. But things get ruined when the results are biased, bogus or even tampered with. Some forums even have an updates of their Woo data on each windy day, including the discussion. Which gear was used? Did you do a dead man to get that extra meter et cetera. But since we now can get a third device the question remains if the data of all of them are comparable.
After the Woo and the Xensr there is again a new tracking device for kiteboarding; PIQ. Supported by North Kiteboarding and introduced weeks ago, a lot of people wonder why? Why another tracking device? Although an interesting question, this won’t be the topic in this review. No, the most obvious question we dealt with is if this device comes up with similar results as the Woo. The Xensr clearly wasn’t comparable in our previous test, but for the PIQ looks perfect so far!