2 small repairs/reinforcements on leading edge
The big change in the Rebel this year is the transition away from a loaded 5-line setup where that extra line is integral to the sheeting of the kite towards a 4-line design that uses the 5th line as a leash. While the rigging and underlying design might be different, the Rebel is still very much the high performance freeride boosting machine of years past with a high aspect canopy and 5-strut layout. The Rebel uses North’s large diameter inflation valve dubbed the ‘Airport Valve II’ which connects directly with North’s pump hose without the use of a nozzle; the inflation system’s twist valve rotates with the insertion of the hose to keep air in the system. Deflation happens through both the inflation valve and a dump valve on one side of the kite, making both inflation and deflation quick and easy. The Rebel comes with North’s adaptive wingtip design which offers two options for a soft and hard setting. The front bridles use a single setting layout with a single pulley to change the angle of attack. To think that we would be testing a 4-line Rebel this year was a bit of a coupe as this single kite model has been the major champion of dedicated 5th line kites since high depower kites were invented. Yet, with that substantial change the Rebel continues to offer the same unique handling and high performance big boosting that testers have loved in the past. The Rebel features medium bar pressure, perhaps a bit more than the Evo but less than the Neo, but overall an excellent combo of comfort and feedback. The sheeting continues to pack a large amount of adjustment of kite angle of attack into a fairly small throw, yet the power delivery may be a bit smoother this year. When it comes to jumping the Rebel continues to shine with a tremendous amount of lift for really boosty airs and the hangtime continues to feel like forever. In the right hands the Rebel’s forward flying and crisp steering response can yield explosive airs that earned high praise from most testers. The turning arc compared to the Evo is a bit less of a pivot style steering path and the Rebel tends to generate good power through its turns. The Rebel goes upwind with ease and when it comes to getting the kite out of the water, the kite’s relaunch was instantaneous from nose down in the middle of the window. Overall, the Rebel’s move to a simplified 4-line rigging system this year was applauded by our testers who mostly preferred the simplicity of 4-line rigging, but this change seems to also meld the classic Rebel feel and its high performance freeride performance with a slightly more user-friendly feel that exists in the rest of the North lineup.
The Rebel can now be flown with the Trust bar or the Click bar, both in the stock 4-line configuration or with a 5th line add-on.