We almost didn’t write this review. Why? We were waiting and waiting for the second version of the Click bar to reveal any faults. After we discussed two weak spots on the 2017 edition, it was all about evaluating if those weak spots were solved. And after 6 months we have to conclude they are. This expensive – 600+ Euros- bar is just a fraction different from its 2017 version. Just by adding a protection on the lowest part of the safety line and on the area were the V-distributor is located the quick wear out is eliminated. The waiting made us almost forget reviewing it.
Of course the Click bar kept al its positive aspects; Always untangled front lines, comes with 22m +2m set up, a low V-split, at 6m and at several other higher settings. So it can be used with almost all other kite brands. But most important: no wear out on the thick plastic depower cord and the absence of any safety line wear out (which is an issue for the standard North Trust bar), If you are a very frequent kiter, you will understand the value of hundreds of sessions without a fail of this 2018 Click bar.
Okay enough compliments. Does it have any pitfalls besides the price (between 660,- and 680,- Euro’s depending which chicken loop you want)? Maybe a bit. Take the lines Some major users -even sponsored ones – take the standard North lines (all bars come with the same ones) off. They replaced them straight away with stronger ones. We assume (North didn’t reply to our questions) that they still use the Fl-10 lines from Teufelberger. They have a breaking strength of 330 daN (336Kg) and 1,0% stretch on a load of 80kg.
Compared to other lines they feel kind of rough (typical North coating) and have an average strength (some brands go up to 500Kg, but this doesn’t mean those lines are better). A funny little fact is that the North (as many others) don’t stretch but even shrink over time when used due to their pre-stretching.
We estimate that at average use the North lines – on all North bars- will last about 2 years. The depower rope, safety line and the insert on the standard Trust bar how ever will last significantly shorter. We know most people need to replace it each year. This isn’t the case for the big plastic depower “cord” on the Click bar. What a relief! After 6 months there is not a sign of any wear out.
The size of the Click bar compared to the standard Trust bar is a few cm wider. But the width where the lines are attached is the same (44/49cm) as a medium sizes Trust bar on the wide setting. Which means the feeling on the kite with a standard and a Click bar should be the same.
But this isn’t entirety true. The stiff plastic depower line makes the kite feel a bit more rigid or heavy when steering. Which can be nice when you need some support during a not so perfect landing for example.
In light winds however it is a bit of a disadvantage. Hydrofoil users don’t seem to like the Click bar too much because of this reason.
What is different for the Click bar is the weight. The click bar is about 15% (1.17kg) more heavy compared to the standard North Trust bar. Which is not as much as we would have expected from using the bar.
A small hick up is the need to rinse the bar after use, especially when used in salt water. Less important; the bar isn’t adjustable in width. Something to get used to is when picking up the bar straight of the beach the auto swivel system tends to jam due to the sand in it. Nothing serious, just wash it in the water. But it can be quite shock the first time it happens.
The last uncomfortable aspect is during replacements. Getting a new line through the long depower cord needs a special fish line (and some patience) to guide it through. Some more tips while we are at it; wash your bar on the inside from time to time and add bigger knots to prevent your lines slipping of (which did happen to us after a year or so on the standard -small knot-).
Did we mention anywhere the pro’s and con’s how this bar actually power/depowers? We can’t be bothered. It works. And to us it is much more about the (side) effect of the system, and less on the system it self. Capiche? The 2018 North Click bar is an expensive but brilliant bar and will suit the very frequent users above all since it has so little wear out. We can’t stop thinking; not swimming around in the middle of a perfect sessions due to a problem with your hardware can be worth a lot more than the extra money this bar costs…
North Click bar 2018 with 22m+2m lines and a leash 599,- Euro (without chicken loop)
Freeride kit 59,- Euro
Freestyle kit 79,- Euro
Rope Harness kite 69,- Euro
(for 2019 2 more bar sizes will be added)