Update on the Reach.
We've had not much for wind for the past month or so, and had a great session on the Reach 9 last night - wanted to share my thoughts.
The main thing that I notice about the Reach compared to other kites I've flown is the Reach's snappy and precise turning ability. You can grab the middle of the bar with one hand and the kite immediately reacts. It's a very predictable yet lively turn. Something I sorted out, personally (maybe one of the North reps can chime in on this) is the inflation level and how it effects the kite's performance. I found that my typical "pump it up hard" approach doesn't work as well with the Reach. (Yes, I have a pump gauge. No, I don't think it works as well as they should.) I pumped my kite up to a point yesterday where I felt that it could use a little more - not quite to the "stiff" point that I'd typically go to. I feel like the kite performed much better! Additionally, I thought a drawback was going to be luffing/surging in the gusts we had - not any more than it would have had pumped up stiff. On that note, the Reach handles the gusts incredibly well. Anyway, just a thought on inflation points and kite design - I'd love some input from someone who might actually understand what's going on.
I rode the Reach on a twin tip, and simply love the kite. It's truly my favorite kite I've ever flown. It jumps well, loops well, goes upwind well, goes downwind well, is stable, fun to fly - blah, blah, blah, haha. It really rocks! I'm pretty amped on the kite, obviously. I've passed it off to friends on the beach, and they all feel the same. I even had a buddy pick up a 12 after trying my 9!
I enjoy kiteboarding because of the many options and aspects of the sport. I love surfing as much as riding a TT (probably more, I suppose). Foiling is awesome, and riding a boots board is a big focus of mine as well. My issue has always been developing a quiver and deciding between kites that can focus a bit more on one aspect, but leave behind another. The Reach is truly the first kite that I feel only compromises a little bit in the areas I'm willing to compromise - freestyle (I'm terrible nowadays, anyway. A front to blind is probably my best right now), but I can still do everything I'm able (and want to do) on the Reach. It's exceptional in the surf, and jumps/loops better than any kite I've flown that can perform so well in the surf.
Sorry for the long winded write-up, haha. Loads of coffee this morning and leftover stoke from a good session. Anyway, if you guys have any more input or questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best.
I remember when the Cabrinha Drifter came out in 2012 and it changed the way I kite in the surf. The Reach gives me the same feels all over again, but for nearly every aspect of kiteboarding.