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North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

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North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby _zeta » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:07 pm

I switched my quiver a few months ago before starting hydrofoiling.
Sold my 2015 Cabrinha Switchblade 12m, and got North Mono 12m and NEOs 10 and 8m.

NEO 10 is the one I use the most now, either for foiling or rinding TT/Shinnster directional board when blowing harder.
The Mono so far gets less use than I though, since I preffer taking the NEO 10 for foling from 10 knot winds, and the Mono feels overpowered from 13 knots...

Also, I don't find the top end in the mono so good when not foiling. At arround 20 knots, there is a lot of flutter (specially on the sides) when sheeting out, and the kite does not respond to bar input properly.

So I am looking to buy a freeride kite for lets say 18+ knots days, to enjoy riding nicely powered on the TT (my local spot is choppy, no waves...)

I am decided on the REBEL, although not sure about the size. I weight 105kg, and I am a competent freerider, riding since 2014, but more regularly for the last year. Far from freestyle/unhooking, but looking to get some nice air time. The 12m Cab SB was OK for me from 15 kn up to 25+ at least. But I did not feel it was enough power for proper jumps (more than a couple of meters). Addmittedly, I never focused so much on boosting technique, but since I see guys 20/30kg less than me on the same size, I asume 12m may be small and a bigger size may make it easier to jump and more fun.

I understand the Rebel is not a lightwind kite (that is the Juice), so I guess it is basically what I look for, a big but stable kite for riding powered and geting nice floaty jumps. The thing is I dont find reviews the larger 13/14/15/16 m sizes. I did read about Toby's 18m AS rebel, but that seems like a niche kite, 2015 only, and maybe not suited for someone just trying to get into jumping...

Anyone has experience on the larger rebels? What size do you recommend for me?
should I go for 2017 or 2018??


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Re: North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby Dan-at-Duotone » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:34 pm

I try to never recommend sizes... It depends on so many factors, weight, experience, style, current, board, etc. I've done demos where people are out on the same kite at the same time and come back with one saying they needed a smaller kite and the other saying they needed a larger. So I won't address size recommendation any more than to say that the Rebel has a pretty average amount of power... I'd say it probably is on-par with the SB, however I know the SB has some years of being extremely powerful and other years of being not so I'm not sure. The Rebel probably has slightly less grunt than the equal size Mono or Neo, but more top end (WAY more top end than the Mono).

Also, I've never flown the 2018 Rebel in larger sizes, so I'm really not going to be a ton of help, but Ken (the designer) did tell me that the largest improvement to the Rebel line was in the smaller sizes, which gain from the longer depower stroke of a 4-line kite, and the larger sizes, at which the shorter depower stroke that 5-line kites are famous for stopped having a noticeable effect because he needed to make concessions to increase stability without a bridle, so the 2018 larger kites are more stable, faster through the window, and better jumpers in general than 2017.

So... From what I know, A. The Rebel is a good choice for what you're looking for out of a kite... It's a great freeride/jumping kite, and B. I'd recommend going 2018 over 2017... All the 2018 Rebel sizes I've flown have outjumped the 2017s. Plus you'll be used to the feel of a bridled kite coming from Cabrinha/Neo/Mono. Plus you'll be able to use the same bar that you use with your other North kites (2017 Rebel requires a 5-line bar).

Hope this helps, and if anyone has any specific information about sizing experience on larger Rebels (or corrections to what I've written) feel free to chime in.


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Re: North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby balticswell » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:10 pm

Rebel 14 2018 is a good kite, 4 lines, not very powerfull, but has great highend, with your weight you'll be riding it anyway not at 10 knots wind.
Forget the the Rebel 18 - that one was a disaster.

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Re: North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby _zeta » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks guys for the feedback.
I add some more background to my request.

I started kiting on a 2013 LF Envy 12m. Shortly after, I got a 15m Envy for more power/lighter days. It was a disaster. so sluggish that it made no sense, I could not dive /sine fast enough, so less power in practice than the 12m.

So I still carry on that impression that smaller and agile is better than going bigger. But my 12 felt not enough for jumping at my weight as I said....

I am quite decided to go with a 14 or 15m rebel (2018 based on Dan's comment), but just want to hear from someone with first hand experience to be sure that I wont repeat the dissapointment I had with the 15m Envy...

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Re: North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby badgb21 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:12 pm

I haven’t flown the Rebel, but I’m heavy and had a ton of lightwind gear and wanted to help with your plight.
Firstly, if you couldn’t jump with a 2015 12m Switchblade, then there either wasn’t enough wind or you may need to work on that technique, or both.

With respect to your Envy 15m experience, I know what you mean, however you may need to adjust your expectations generally for how kites 14m and over perform, especially higher aspect ones.
They can feel slow to turn and cumbersome at times, though some will jump ok, but they won’t compare to a 10m or 12m on a very windy day!

At your weight to make the most of your time available on the water you are likely to need a kite up from a 12m. The Rebel has been around a while and now as a 4 line, I wouldn’t mind a demo.
I’m sure it’ll be as good as is available out there, for what you want to do.
But the magic 14m that pulls like a train, turns like a 9m and jumps to the moon, is still in development 😉 despite what you might read.
Demo’s are a pain and rarely do we make enough time to organise, but if you can get to try some options, then it’ll be worth the effort, even to find they all feel slow!

Good luck with whatever you choose and let us know how you get on.

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Re: North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby matth » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:53 pm

SB are very powerful kites and great for heavy weights IMO. They also jump as good as Rebels so don't believe all the hype, I have owned both and like SBs better.

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Re: North Rebel sizing for heavy rider

Postby a99 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:58 pm

Im not havy rider but if you want to start in quite very light winds plus have long jump hangtimes i suggested to look maybe also to SB Apollo or foil type Flysurfer kites as Speed or Sonic 18 or 15 meters.

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