Four lines good, five lines bad? Why did they change the North Rebel 2018?
The North Rebel 2018 - Since the beginning of time (or at least the beginning of the Rebel), North Kiteboarding have led their product range with the legendary Rebel Kite. Based around it's 5 line, direct attachment set-up, this was one of the best selling kites in the world....why change it?
North Rebel 2018 - 4 and 5 Line Set-ups
The original idea of the 5th line in the Rebels case initially gave early versions of the kite excellent stability, plus gave a very direct power development on the bar control. The kite was super stable, and this short bar stroke power development was very unique to the Rebel at the time. The second feature of the 5th line was a dedicated safety line, that gave virtually instant de-power on safety release. This was a huge feature when many manufacturers were still developing various release systems and line set-ups for flag outs. We're glad to see the disappearance of the velcro release systems. By 2018, virtually all manufacturers have now gone to a single line flag out system. Previous to these developments in the early 2000's, North were well ahead of the game in terms of safety.
North Kiteboarding - Iron Heart Release System
Over the past number of product cycles from 2013 - 2018 there has been a shift away from the type of kites the manufacturers are marketing for the masses. For instance, Ruben on the Fuel, Youri on the RPM, and back when Aaron was winning virtually everything on the Flexi Hadlow, there were no 'Pro's' on mass market 'weekend warrior' kites. North identified an opportunity here. If they can get a mass market 'Delta' to perform on the big screen, with big named Pro riders on them, this could be great for sales!
Up steps the likes of Lewis Crathern and Tom Herbert. Tom was killing the old school moves and big air on the Evo (which we rate as one of the very best all-round kites on the market), but North's flagship model didn't have the marketing boom it deserved. Lewis used the Rebel at various comps over 2017, but we thought perhaps the Rebel looked a little sluggish for some of the moves, especially on the bigger sizes. So there needed to be a change. Not only this, but the design development to build stable kites in terms of canopy panel layouts, leading edge construction and bridle configurations allowed North to drop the necessity for the stability adding 5th line.
North Rebel 2018 Kite - New Colours for 2018!
What about the safety? North went to a single line flag out on their Quad Trust Bar in 2014, and several manufacturers followed suit if they didn't already have that style of system. It is generally accepted that a single line is safer, and as our sport continues to grow, so will the opportunity for incidents, so continual safety development is paramount. In essence, the modern single line safety is every bit as safe as the 5th line system, so there is no compromise going to 4 line these days.
The North Rebel 2018 development has been a superb move from North Kiteboarding. The 5th line traditionalists will still love it, the 5 line haters can drop the 5th line, and overall, we think we have a better kite for it!
If you are after a top of the range all round performer for all abilities, look no further than the North rebel 2018.
Watch Now - North Rebel 2018 Video