I have flow the 9m and then the 11m on different days. I flew the 9m demo from Onboard a month back but reserved my comments until I had flown the 11m once it arrived as I needed to confirm the initial feelings I had on the first run.
What's new, check the video and you will see what the difference is as far as construction and features, dual position tip pigtail, different cut and shape in the wing tips for better aerodynamics.
BUT what does this mean when you and I ride it? I Love my 2011 kites and was considering the upgrade before I tested the 9m in 20 knot winds, as soon as I put this kite in the air it felt different, not different from the true rebel feel, but on the beach immediate taking it into the sky you can feel something, or rather 'nothing' there was no flutter, bump, wobble at all, now rebels are smooth, since 2009 onwards the smoothness of the rebels is without question, but this new feeling cannot be described easily as it takes it to another level, put simply once I started flying it, in very gusty north winds (our north winds are very gusty) this kite truly felt like I was on a tow line pulling perfect 18 knots.
This is the immediate striking feeling that keeps on giving the whole session, no flutter, just pure oil, One review stated that 'it might sound funny but you can't hear this kite' well its true, it was quite a staggering feeling to eliminate totally what I have been used to with many different kites over the years having flown many (not just Rebels).
I have ridden rebels from the beginning 2007 and stuck with them purely because they just keep getting better and better, this year I could not think how they can improve on 2011, but they have and its striking. The 2011 kite is super and I still love it, to me its now about taking a great kite and making it greater, as rather than having to fix things with improvement, they have just made it better, silky smooth, clean and crisp.
the power for the kite is perfectly even though the whole stroke, the power gradually increases as it goes into the power band and gradually dissipates coming out of it. this is what you want, no spike, no jolts and no weird dull spots which so many kites have (I'm sorry but they do).
For guys like me I want a kite that I can dump speed and power instantly, the Rebel is the ultimate kite for this, when you don't want power let it out in a short bar throw, that's still all there for you, but pull that bar in and feel the smooth power again. For free ride and wave ridding it cannot be beaten. The big point here is that making a kite with stability and extremely quick depower but with meaty low end grunt is not easy, that's why so many kites have power left in them after the bar throw is out, its the easiest way to keep a kite stable, but you can't ride waves like that, you can't progress when you are over powered and the bar is fully out and the kite is still pulling you, you can't compete well if your kite is a handful.
With the new stronger bar feel option on the pigtails (see video) and the regular stopper system on the centre rope, combined with the unique chicken loop option (freestyle suicide BUT with complete safety release option still active) freestylers can twirl till their heart is content, feeling more confident than ever as the wind is evened out and smoother giving confidence to throw moves at will.
since 2010 the kite has become a butterfly in light winds, it stays in the air in the lightest of windows, my 11m session confirmed all my feelings in 20knots plus wind but at the end of the session the wind dropped out suddenly to 3-5 knots and I was way out the back (with my new kite,... ahhh) I stepped off the board and hit the water to body drag and keep the kite in the air, hit by a couple of waves I thought that was the end of it as the kite headed down in NO wind, then a puff of a few knots and it stayed up, I kept it up there in apparently no wind until I got past the reef and then a few more knots and I could down wind on the board until I was back safe. Thanks Rebel, better than an hour swim.
Kite world mag: Recently voted by Kiteworld magazine as 'The most complete all-round, fun free-ride kite we've ridden."
I am not hyping this kite, I can buy and ride any kite I want to, I ride rebels as they are more than ever, the best kite ever made, they are the Rolls Royce, Toyota Lancruiser of the kite world and you will never be disappointed with them. Mke no mistake, you get what you pay for, and with Rebels you get the best. North have 2 full time kite R&D specialists, they design test and design again, North do not outsource to the cheapest kite manufacturers but have their own North factory in Sri Lanka.
21/01/2012A few months on I have had my new 7m now for about 1 month and the stability and supersmoothness of these kites is so awesome. after some really gusty conditions I am never finished being in awe on these new kites. So reliable, steady, smooth, responsive and just all round love on a line.
The Video here is at Robe Long Beach and this day was so gusty, so gusty that you had to stop and wait for the holes to fill in, coming off the land in swirls, but you can see just how steady the kite is like its made of balsa wood, like a plane wing.
NORTH WAM 2012
Well a review on the North WAm is really easy, it is exactly what it promises to be, an alround kiteboard, very light and very responsive underfoot, but not a loose as the Whip or as rail perfect at the Kontact, with the quads in you can whip it around to your hearts content, but it will take some serious chop and waves. When chosing betwen the kontact and the whip for a session its simply do I want to have a great playfull session on these waves and try and bang off some reos, or are these waves more serious and for the same reos i will need a tighter more driven line that the Kontact offers
I really like the new lightweight feel of the boards, they are so free and easy to throw about on the water.
you get the pads, all 5 fins and foot straps, nothing more to buy, FAB, great board.
when choosing a size just go to size, bitg riders for the larger board and the 5'10" is perfect for my 72kg.