Now I have flown the 7m and the 12m and I feel quite ready to comment fully on the new Rebels.
The 7m version shows the real diffierence between the 2010 and 2011, although the 2010 is the best small kite I had flown, this new kite just refines things perfectly. the kite is so smooth and takes all the bumps out of the gusty winds you are likely to use it for, and I realised how much I expect out of these kites when underflying and letting it sit in no wind on waves to float, I really felt a few times that I had totally forgotten that I even had a kite up, which although I had experienced this a little before, I really felt I had flown it with such comfort that I forgot it was the reason I was being towed into big waves out the back (not shown on the video as it was too far out of view).
the 7m and therefore I suspect, the other smaller sizes are such nice kites to fly in serious winds, highly recommended and definitely a tweak on the 2010, if that was possible.
Update on the review:I finally got to fly the 2011 11m in some normal winds which were around 20-25 knots and then eased back over the session to 15+ and then glass offI feel that it definitely has more low end than the 2010, just a bit more feel of that low end through the bar in a very smooth power arc. The 2009 had lots of bottom end but that was more a bow feel (a little tiny bit of bow feel)and the bar stroke was a fraction longer in the 2009 with that new bottom end, this kite was very popular and I think that was because it had the freestyle bottom end power market keen on it.2010 put back some more traditional Rebel with lighter feel and shorter bar throw, with very quick on and off depower, this was fantastic and once you get used to this as a Rebel rider you cannot go back to longer bar throw power. The 2010 felt extrmely light in the air.2011 has put some more bottom end power back into the kite but its only a tweek and is not 2009 in feel because the control over this little extra power is with you and not the kite. I think tweeking it so that there is a very small part of the bar throw at the end that has this smooth additional power but it allows for ease into the off feel of the rebel when you throw it out that fraction more. Its a feel that is very nice and the feeling of power with lightness in a kite is very user friendly and comforting.the kite does turn a fraction quicker and is slightly lighter in the bar pressure as mentioned in more over powering conditions, but this is consistent through the entire power range including stong and light winds. The 2007 Rebel had a massive windrange but the kites feel did change with lighter or stronger winds. The 09 -10 had very consistent feels in various winds particularly the 2010 but the 2011 is exactly the same in all the contions I have ridden it in.
Okay so another session under the belt with confirmed (from the local wind station) winds of 20 - 29 knots in various gusts and lulls but the session had both top end power wind and a long section of probably about 15 - 20 knots. the day before I had my 2010 7m out as the wind was 25 - 35 knots and so my brain had a 7m gig going on. Even on the beach we were thinking wow these kites are big. So on launch I did feel the size of it and thought it will take a bit of getting used to, however on the water quickly the extra power was apparent but the feel of the kite was easy to adjust to after the 7m. It did feel really powered up again, but was so comfortable as experienced before. the extra low end power was great fo the lulls and yet I was never uncomfortable with the size of the kite in near 30 knots. It runds dow with the wind on the wave really nicely and I was boosting at the end of each ride. This was the first session now after 3 that I thought yes I can actually put my 2010 11m Rebel on the market as I am happy with this new kite, not really because of anything more than how much I loved the 2010.
Old report:Well I have not really put together a good review for my new 2011 11m North Rebel yet as I have had 2 flies and both have been insane extreme conditions which makes it only half a review. However I will try and give a quick speel until my actual review gets up, which might be monday as there are some smoother north winds potentially.I flew the kite first at Kent reserve in what could be said was 5 - 30 knots with lulls and gusts that would have upset any kite.The first thing on this kite was that it is slightly different to the 2010. Now I love the 2010 kite as it is Rebel perfection - it is exactly what Rebel is all about. My immediate feeling on the 2011 is that it is full on more power, in fact it was so windy that I took the steering lines out 1 knot and that immediately gave it a more Rebel on and off feel, however these conditions were extreme off the land and it was hard to judge.Impressions on flying, smoother power stroke than the 2009 and 2010, which seems hard to imagine as the 2010 was pretty good, but the 2010 worked its power stroke from beeing able to quickly release the feel of power from the kite, the 2011 does it by keeping some easilly controlled power in the stroke. It amost feels like as a rebel rider you think, ah they have put that bit of residual power back into it like the 2009, which took a bit of getting used to, but that's not the case, its more like the curve of power is there but its so smooth in and out of power that it just feels different. So Rebel riders don't panic, they have not gone away from the best formulae its putting some more power in the Rebel (which is quite powerful enough) with control. This does lead to more hang time - seriously very good, and a very smooth feel on waves or just freeriding.the bar pressure is lighter but a smidge again, and it does turn easier, to me it does not need any more work here or you will loose the direct feel. Its as close to light bar pressure and light turning as you would want before it would be non direct in the feel, another important Rebel trait.Short bar throw is still there, I think maybe with the factory setting it is a longer throw and not 100% depowered - more like the feel that some people like in a kite, for me I slipped the sterring knots out one (under the floats) and it was just like the 2010 in throw.the next session was just crazy 25-30 knots solid pumping wind, and boy can this kite hold power, it was so steady in these conditions that it outbmatches anything else I have flown or seen for steadiness in a kite. sure I started to feel a bit over done, but the kite was not over done, just my 68kg on a directional / surboard. You do notice the slightly softer feel of the kite - the 2010 was quite direct and harder on feel, this does have a slightly softer smoother bar line, which means that you need an hour to forget the 2010 on first flight, then its hard to remember that anyting was different.I have to say that the 2010 and 2011 are so good that it gets hard to compare too much in benefits, but I have a feeling that the 2011 with the ability to change the feel by letting the steering lines in or out a knot will make the Rebel appeal to those outside the rebel camp. the Rebel camp will be stoked with the refinements. I really have to update after a normal wind session as currently I have this 'wow this kite is totally full of power' in my head. I really need to fly it in more average winds