North Click bar 2018

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.

North Click bar 2017 (left) and 2018 (right); important difference.
North Click bar 2017 (left) and 2018 (right); important difference.

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.

Click bar depower cord, after 6 months and no sign of any wear out
Click bar Depower cord, after 6 months and no sign of any wear out

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.

Standard medium North Quad bar and the 2018 Click bar
Standard medium North Trust bar and the 2018 Click bar

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.

Weight of the North Click bar
Weight of the North Click bar

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.

Rinse the inside after each session in salt water
Rinse the inside after each session in salt water.

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-).

Tip: enlarge the knots
Tip: enlarge the knots

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…

List prices:

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)

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9 thoughts on “North Click bar 2018”

  1. Hi Pascal,
    Thanks for sharing the experience.
    We have heard similar complaints from hydrofoil kiters.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  2. Hello, I did have my first Click bar test yesterday assembled on an Enduro V2 12m, going TT and surf, with hardware I know very well except the bar. Jumping and tricking around were okay, but the disaster came with surfing, the Depower line is not free enough in the bar, when there is high angle is it stuck an I loose the control I want with the kite. My other bars are Ozone and Airush from which I don’t have this issue while surfing (or no issue at all). I think I’ll get rid of the click bar…

  3. Hi Erik,
    We have had the same on our 2017 bar even three times.
    ps fyi we got all our lines from http://www.infexion.nl but I am nor sure if he can deliver the spare parts like you are missing now.
    Getting them from North/Duotone was quite a hassle for us, but in the end we got a new bottom part (black cover).

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. Hi Dave, yup, that shows the problem perfectly!

    After the safety line snap, I immediately pulled the QR, causing me to loose the kite. Luckily I was close enough to shore and I managed to retrieve it. The snap of my safety line also caused me to loose the bottom part of the safety line and it snapped the v-splitter in half.

  5. Hi,

    I think I have found a week spot on the 2018 click bar. Last week my safety line snapped. Turns out it broke on a point that is inside the rubber tube. Bar had about 80-100 sessions of use.

    Checked my other bar (40 sessions of use) by pulling out the safely line at the chicken loop end and that is showing wear as well. Seems the safety line is rubbing against the rubber housing.

  6. Hi James,
    Only by asking over and over again to the shop we got an upgrade. So it is possible, but not easy.
    We understand your opinion on the ’17 bar, but looking at the ’18 versions we cannot complain.
    This doesn’t mean we don’t support your opinion, but they are different products.

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  7. Is there a way to upgrade my 2017 North Click bar using 2018 parts to fix the problems on the 2017 model? I don’t see how you can recommend anyone buy this bar (or other North products) when they screwed over their customers by not fixing critical safety flaws on the first model.

    This shouldn’t have been a new model, it should’ve been a safety recall to all 2017 Click bars.

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