North Evo 2016 9m


The Evo is like a good friend; gently and always there for you due to it’s huge windrange. But the Evo is much more than that. On the King of the Air 2016 in Cape Town Tom Herbert made not only the highest jump with a North Evo 2016, but also one of the longest (18.8m/9.4 sec) of the contest.kota evo

It is a very mellow kite which could for some people be the best North kite. For example the ones that like to do old school tricks with board-offs and dead mans. It can be a good choice for many kiters who are looking for something a bit more alive than a Rebel. Less suitable for freestyle though, although North does claims it to be a freeride/freestyle kite.

evo in the air

Mellow Yellow

The Evo has been around with North for 8 years now and there is a DSCN0375 (Medium)good reason for it; it has a huge wind range, a relatively easy, predictable pull and is good for making huge jumps. The Evo sits in the North family in between his big brother the Rebel, which has more hang time than an Evo and it’s quick and responsive but less forgiving sister: the Dice. In other words an Evo is more alive than a Rebel but less of a on- off kite than a Dice.

2 pulleys Evo
2 pulleys on the Evo

The Evo finds it counter partner in -for example-the Cabrinha Switchblade, both with 5 struts and similar aims. But they are not completely the same. The Evo has two pulleys (the ones without moving wheels, like we prefer) on each bridle though, while the Switchblade comes without any.

Like all other North kites the advised pressure is 6psi, which is a bit too low. Just like the Dice the Evo can be flown with either 4 or 5 lines. The steering lines can be set in 3 positions and It comes with a wide inflate. The inflate is enforced in 2016, since the 2015 version had some weaknesses. It still isn’t our favourite, simply because there are better ones (for example from Cabrinha).

Wide inflate enforced in 2016
Wide inflate enforced in 2016
3 settings
3 settings steering lines





The test

We tested the Evo, 9 meter, on a open ocean with medium waves in a very steady 22 knots wind. We used a four line Quad bar with 22m lines.Evo test

It flies easily and is one of the easiest kites we know to get more or less power out of it. The lowend of the Evo is just brilliant.

There is just one aspect which is less attractive: its vagueness. Ask someone on a Dice or a Vegas to close his eyes and he will be able to tell you where the kite is and in which angle. Somebody on a Evo will struggle much more to tell you those details.DSCN0370 (Medium)

The Evo can make a kite loop, but in contrast for example with a F-one Bandit which makes a short, snappy kite loop, the force from the Evo comes gradually during the loop. It feels a bit like the Evo isn’t designed for extreme, brutal kite loops. The same goes for freestyle. The pop out of the Evo is way to sweet and gradual for freestyle or wakestyle. It won’t punish you like a C-kite but it neither will give the proper aggressiveness when unhooking and powering it up for a move.DSCN0391 (Medium)

List prices

North Evo 9m (kite only) 1369,- Euro

North Trust Quad Control bar (22m lines) 479,- Euro


  1. Hi Marc,
    thanks for sharing!
    PS the Dice 2018 (still being tested) has gone more towards the hang time of an Evo. Try it! It is quite different from previous versions of the Dice.
    We Test Kites

  2. had EVO’s for a while and you have to pump em up hard, but love em…the 6 is fast and fun. any thing above the 8m seems to behave weird with the short lines. Super durable and mine have been thru alot, strong winds, many days and very abrasive mud and sand launches and lands. as well as self launch chafing..but still in decent shape. I unfortunately can’t compare them to anything but I tried a 12m dice and it was very smooth, but not boosty like EVO. One thing is for sure about the industry, people don’t change brands and models much once they get used to what they have. I am far away from Demo opportunities, but would love to try some other kites.

  3. Hi Dave,

    thanks for the super fast answer, appreciate it! So I will check the dice next time!


  4. Hi Daniel,
    thanks for asking.
    I understand you are a bit drawn back from the jumping abilities. But also see what you cán do with it. These kites behave typically at best overpowered, which means riders need to get some good techniques and strength. I personally would like to add to try to use smaller fins so you can lean more to the edge (possibly also with boots).
    Getting back to your question I think a Dice, FX, Union or Enduro are more likely to get you the most fun out of a session instead of going to the Evo.
    We Test Kites

  5. Hi together,

    i am just thinking about buying myself a new set of kites. I come from the Core GTS3 and I am just getting into kiteloops and unhooking (low level raleys). I dont think that I will ever progress to the level of handlepasses and that’s what keeps me thinking of picking the evo instead of the dice to get in some more airtime in my jumps. Nevertheless I enjoyed the somehow direct connection of the kinda c shaped kitedesign of the GTS but didnt like its jumping abilities….Do you have any idea which kite would fit better for a slightly advanced rider like me?

  6. Hi Sean,
    It sound like you kite generally in lighter winds. As for pull between 9m’s Evo and Rebel I wouldn’t say there is much difference, but if there is any the Rebel is slightly more efficient. The Evo indeed is a bit more responsive.
    We Test Kites

  7. Hi , I have 2015 8,11,13m Rebels but I would like a 9m instead of the 8m . I was offered a 9m ,2016 Evo but could someone tell me if it has the same pull as the 9m Rebel . It seems the Evo sounds like a quicker turning kite , Is there much difference between the two . Thanks

  8. Hi, one correction, I understand that you wrote that the switchblade does not have pulleys.
    There is one. (at least in 17 and 16, probably in orders as well)

    Thank you for your independent reviews.

  9. Hi Elena,
    Welkom to the wonderful sport of kiteboarding!
    For sure you going to have more fun on the Evo, compared to the Rebel. And yes buy one type only, for multiple reasons like the bar (Rebel requires 5 lines), and the possible overlap in wind range. 6/8/11 sounds perfect.
    We Test Kites

  10. Hi Dave,

    I am about to buy me my first kites. I am wondering what is better Evo or Rebel. I am 53kg and 163cm. I heard comments that Evo is more variable, better when a small person and Rebel with a lot more power and vice versa… so I am a bit confused.
    I was thinking to buy me a wide range 6m, 8m, and 11m. Do you think is better to stay with the same kite type to have the same feeling or to mix (i.e. rebel for bigger kite, Evo for smaller)?

  11. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for asking.
    Indeed a Rebel isn’t made for kite loops. Kite loops are easier on a Evo (and on 22m lines even more easy). We haven’t done any testing with the Evo 2017, so it is hard to judge a 4 or 5 line effect.
    We Test Kites

  12. I currently have a 2015 9m rebel and a 2017 12 M Evo. I am starting to learn kite loops , I am a free rider, know how to jump.
    I was told my 9m Rebel is not the best kite for looping, Should I consider a 9m Evo? What about the 4 or 5 line options?? Any feedback since i have both 24M bar and lines

  13. Hi Dave

    Had another session this morning out on the Evo, spent a little bit of time playing around with the trim settings on the bar and kite.
    Found that with the bar trim on the blue knot it solves the problem of slack on the 5th line.
    I also moved the pigtails to the hard setting on the kite and found the kite behaved a bit better , but still seemed to want to fly left ever so slightly.

    Kite did seem a bit more responsive, but still may take a while to get use to it. I did manage a 8.4m jump and only had a 3.9G landing so something must be going the right way.

    Cheers for the advice


  14. Hi Michael,
    Strange that your kite is not flying straight. Start by checking the lines; put a screwdriver through the ends, make them straight en see if they are the same length?
    Dice can be flown with a 5th line but is much better on 4. Which length do you use? 24 or 22m? I guess you have 24. 22m could also solve a bit of your problems.
    Relaunch is not part of our tests, but pulling very firmly on a back line makes a Dice turn over quite quickly. It does need some extra skills, but it shouldn’t be a problem.
    Vegas? No I would still say a Dice would suit you more.
    We Test Kites

  15. Hi Dave

    Thank you for the quick response.

    The kites are brand new and had this drift from the second I first launched the kite.

    I did look at the Dice but thought the Evo might be a better all round kite and as I ride a North X-ride thought this would be a perfect combination. I have always had the 5th line set up, can the dice be flown with the 5th line?

    This leads to another question what are the dis advantages of a 4 line bar over 5th line, if the kite water re-launches so easily?

    Should I have stuck with the Vegas then ?


  16. Hi Michael,
    Interesting feed back, many thanks.
    Main feeling you get from the Evo is also what we saw.
    Basically the first thing that popped up is the question why you “skipped” the Dice? It would probably have been a better choice than the Evo. It has 4 lines, is much, much less vague and will react directer and give feed back sooner as the Evo (Which you seem to need with landings for example).
    Except for the drifting to the left, which usually is due to an incident, may be from previous users (are they 2nd hand?) we can acknowledge what you feel with the Evo is hard to change. Our guess is that you are too experienced for the Evo?
    One thing people didn’t see correctly in their advice is that the Vegas of 2012 isn’t as hardcore Wake style as newer ones.

    We Test Kites

  17. Hi Dave

    I have a couple of questions that hopefully you can help with.

    A couple of weeks ago I traded in my 2012 North Vegas 10m and 8m kites (after riding Vegas’s for 6 years) for a North Evo 2016 10m and 2017 8m kite.

    I spoke to a few people and read a few reviews and everyone seemed to suggest that the new North Vegas was for Wake style unhooked riding mad men, which I am not.

    I enjoy free style, jumping and a bit of small wave riding that we get at my local spot, so I decided to go for the North Evo’s.

    First time out on Saturday on the 10m in 25knot wind on my 2016 North 5 th line bar and I had a few issues.

    1) The kite always wanted to drift to the left slowly.

    2) The 5th line had slack in it even when fully powered up, I only had this on the Vegas when De powered.

    3) The steering seemed slow and quite vague. Particularly an issue when descending from a 7.5m jump. I ended up with a 5.9G Bomb instead of riding away with style.

    Although I had these issues I still had fun out there, I particularly enjoyed riding the small waves we get without been pulled of my edge.

    The kites are built with such good quality and the thing I enjoyed most of all with switching from the Vegas was the water re-launch , the Evo was almost airborne again after crashing it by the time I resurfaced.
    Unlike the Vegas which is a nightmare to water re-launch. hopefully I can progress my tricks as I no longer have the fear of will the kite fly again or not that I had with the Vegas.

    Hopefully you could shed some light on what may be causing these issues as I would like to keep with the Evo’s rather than rushing to go back to the Vegas again.

    Many thanks


  18. Hi Matthew,
    No problem answering newbie questions!
    Welcome to this great sport.

    I think you are aiming for the right kite set. These sizes will give you a massive wind range (I guess from about 15 knots up until 35 knots).
    The Evo will be a nice choice, other options might be A F-one Bandit but quality wise the North is better.
    Which type of kite to start with is also a bit depending of the type of kiter. Especially a beginner can be afraid of the power of a kite and likes a more soft feel or when you may be a more secure person who is capable of some more power. The first situation would suit a Bandit more the latter the Evo, although it are just small differences.
    Hope this helps!

  19. Hi Dave,

    I would like to start snow kiting and kite boarding. I’ve been snowboarding for a few seasons now and have tried wakeboarding twice, but the kite looks much more exciting.

    What kite would you recommend for me? The North brand looks very appealing, specially the Evo, but I’m open for more suggestions.

    I will mostly be riding flat lakes or snow in Ontario, Canada.

    Also how many kites should I get for a good wind range? I was thinking 13m, 10m and 7m. I weight 68 kilos.

    Sorry for my newbie questions but I don’t have much else to go, kite boarding is not very popular here and retail stores and schools just want to get rid of their old inventory, no options.

  20. Hi Kiki,
    Thanks for asking. The Rally for sure is not your choice; wat to slow and with a lot of bar pressure, even more than the Switchblade.
    An Evo would be better, but you probably Will have more fun with a Bandit, FX or Dice. Mainly because they are quicker and with lower bar pressure.
    We Test Kites

  21. Hi Dave,

    is it possible to compare the Evo 2016 and the Slingshot Rally 2016?
    I am looking for a freeride kite with a good wind range, nice lift and hangtime. The kite shouldn’t be slow.
    I don’t like huge bar pressure as I am a woman. I had Switchblades 2014 before, but they are too powerful for me.

    Do you think the evo will be fine for me?

    Thank you so much,

  22. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the compliment.

    I think for sure the Rebel isn’t your choice. The Neo will be even less soft in the feeling. Indeed the 2017 Dice feels harder (especially with the click bar, due to the thick depower “rope”) as the 2016 version, so I would take the Dice.
    We Test Kites

  23. Hi Dave – good article, would love your thoughts.

    I am a long time RPM user, I like to unhook when it’s flat enough and jump on a surf board when there’s waves. This year, I have ridden with a few better riders in Brazil, OZ and the Carribean and now understand the pull of an RPM (or guess FX/Dice will be the same) vs a normal C-Kite will be different (pop&slack vs constant pull).

    also, having just come back from a wave spot for a week on the RPM and everyone else being on Neo’s I’m feeling that a mixed quiver might be the way forward.

    think Vegas 13/11 for unhooking and then a 9/7(0r 6) in another north kite for surfboard / messing around (prob less unhooking when the wind gets up i expect) plus when it goes crazy-windy you want a kite you can hang on to.

    I tested the 2016 dice and felt it was soft and unresponsive with low bar pressure but all of the north marketing say they have addressed this for 2017.

    any thoughts on what might be the best kites fit the smaller sizes – Neo / Dice / Rebel?

    p.s. keep up the great work.

  24. Hi Tino,
    We haven’t tested the Neo and neither the ’17 Evo. As I have seen changing the Dice from ’16 to ’17 I would try to wait for the ’17 version. If it also shifted a bit more to “C” it may be the best choice.
    We didn’t have the green version of the Dice ’16, but the blue one is still in good shape after 50 sessions. The ’17 we have in green…
    Hope it still helps you?
    We Test Kites

  25. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the advises.
    About ´16kite I have noticed quite a big change on the colour of the material of the kite(we gat the green one and it simply brighten a lot for 1year compared to ’15)
    It was in quite sunny and salty place that we have used them, approximately the same amount of time, without laying on the sun.
    About Dice 13m, I heard it from a friend haven’t tested it.

    Which year of Neo and size would you recommend me to try out? I am a little bit of doubt about it, cause i liking freestyle and the Neo is mainly wave/freeride.

    Also about the Evo which size and should I wait for 2017?
    I am 78kg, 175cm.

    Regards Tino

  26. Hi Tino,
    thanks for asking.
    A few reactions;
    I have never heard of problems with the Dice 13m, neither that the ’16 kite is wearing out quicker. So we are curious where you got this information!

    The Vegas and Rebel are quite different, where the Vegas but I understand your described feeling. Such a big kite (I don’t use bigger than 11m) would be a better match with the Evo, mainly of its better low end. You also may want to try the Neo?
    But between a big Evo or Dice, an Evo makes more sense.
    We Test Kites

  27. Hi Dave,
    Im looking for a big kite?
    I have 2014 Dice 7m & 2015 Dice 10m, but I have heard that is not good idea to pick the biggest Dice 13m, cause it had some problems. Also I am in doubt for which year to go? I saw that the material of 2016 is wearing quite faster then 2015.
    So far I have tested 2015 Vegas 14,5 and Rebel 14, but i think they were quite slow and heavy. Moreover that 5th line is quite annoying.
    I’m looking for the kite with the best balance between freestyle and wave.
    My question is what are you going to recommend me between the bigger sizes of Dice and Evo?

  28. Hi Dave, learning unhooked with evo , is it good choise? Or to go for dice , vegas?

  29. Hi Ermis, I mean the ones on the end of the line, not at the bar side.
    see link with an example of a bridle knot.

  30. Thanks Dave, if I understand well,you mean for steering lines, to add another knot inside the bar to make it shorter. Have a little space for another knot. I dont know if i can do anything else

  31. Okay thanks for the feed back.
    ps while you are at it, it may be smart to enlarge the knots (with an eight knot) on both the bridles and the steering lines. Lines may slip off the rather small standard knots. It did happen to quite a lot of people already!
    We Test Kites

  32. Its trust bar 2016, 24 m. Thank you Dave. I setup the steering lines as short as it’s possible ( bar knot, hard setting) and the front lines as long as possible

  33. Hi Ermis,
    Thanks for your story. I think you kite in a bit light conditions. Can you tell us which year and which type of bar you use? There might be an option to shorten the steering lines depending on which bar you use.

  34. I just buy an 12m evo, i try all settings. I choise the hard setting cause i found the depower to much. Its like i have to stick the bar to chickenloop for to have enough power… Today i had 16 knotsand things were better, compares to my previous kite,wainman hawaii boss12m , that had less depower, slower turning. Evo is faster even in hard setting.
    I wonder about brilliant low end that you mention in your review. I wonder also if i could change the length of back lines, make it shorter , with one more knot to the bar for having better power. I don’t think that evo will stall even that… I already setup full power, from the bar etc.. What do you think?

  35. Hi Steve,
    We have never used the Fuse. And we are a bit confused on the statement that the Dice is slow. You mean in sailing speed or reaction on input from the rider? We also wonder what wind range you are talking about? If it is under roughly 18 knots things get too much into a niche where testing gets only sensible if you have the same equipement at the same time/conditions.
    We Test Kites

  36. Hi dave
    I have the same question as everyone else ,I had the fuse .,,,struggling for a replacement ,tryed the union but wasn’t for me .was thinking the evo but your comment about feeling were the kite is puts me off…the fuse you just knew were it was at all times .i found the dice and rebel really slow .though saying that I haven’t tryed a new rebel…I’m open to sujestions were wondering the bandit and rally fit in.

  37. Thanks Dave. To tally makes sense…for the extensions. I bought two, 13 and 10, I might squeeze in used 12 and 9 Dices to do something else or why not Vegas for the full Pop experience…

    Thanks for you precious reviews.

  38. Hi Kostas,
    It sounds like a good option for your. The only thing that might be disappointing could be the wave riding.
    We Test Kites

  39. Hi.
    I want to buy a kite for freeride, old school tricks, huge jumps and wave riding for small to medium waves. Do you think that the evo is the best choise for this?

  40. Hi Francis,
    The easiest way, putting them at the end of the lines, isn’t the right way according to North. The distance y-kite should always stay the same. This means any extensions on the front lines should be placed between the depower system and the y. For the back lines it doesn’t matter.

    We Test Kites

  41. Hi George,
    they actually come quite close. Some small details distinguish those kites. In general the Switchblade feels a tiny bit more direct and less vague, where the Evo may have some more low end.
    We Test Kites

  42. Hi Richard,
    The Epic Screamer has more freestyle aspects; stronger pop, more stable and less bar pressure. The Evo is more suitable for less advanced kiters, softer but much better wind range.
    We Test KItes

  43. Hi Arthur,
    Thanks for the compliments.
    I guess difference is about 1m for the low end, so a Evo can be used slightly sooner. Still the moments that a Dice is in it’s sweet spot you get much more out of it than a Dice (freestyle response, pop etc).
    So it is a good question with an open answer. If you really need more low end, maybe get extensions on the lines for the (big size) Dice. Make sure you connect them between the bar and the lines, not on the end of the lines.
    We Test Kites

  44. Dave,

    Very good and consistent review.
    I ride a rebel but now i am buying a new kite. I tested other kites and i realized something that everyone that does not have a Rebel says: it is slow. It have a great low and high end, for exemple i have a 10m and ride from 16knots to 25 knots without a problem.

    But i want some improvement. There comes Evo and Dice.
    I know that the traction of the evo is better but the dice has more stereing, is always a win loss game.
    Other than that do you think that there is much difernece in the low end of the Evo from Dice?
    I want more improvement in fresstyle tricks, but i also want to be able to ride in a wider wind range without being worried.


  45. Hi Charlie,
    I guess you need to make a choice which of the three disciplines is most important. Only if freeride is the main choice go for the Evo. Certainly freestyle is much better at the Dice.
    Although the Evo is much more like the Fuse than the Dice, I still would suggest to take the Dice if you want to challenge yourself a bit more.
    Hope it helps?!
    We Test Kites

  46. Hi,
    I had pencilled in the Evo as the replacement for my 2012 North Fuses. I read your review and your review of the North Dice, I’m left wondering if the Dice might be a better replacement, even though the comparison tool on the North website suggests that the Evo outperforms the Dice in most aspects as an all-round kite. I’m looking for the kite with the best balance of free ride/ freestyle/ wave. What’s your view on which would be better and why.


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