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 Post subject: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:46 am 
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Location: Santa Barbara/SF bay
Rhino 2008 12m review

Board Underground 07 Flx 138
Weight: 195 lbs naked
3rd ave San mateo, wind 12-20mph averaging 15mph


So I need to be clear this is only my first impression. I have no affiliation with North other than that I switched over to Rebels when they came out mostly due to my vow to get away from Bridles and to give myself the added safety of a fifth line. I have and 07 Reble 12 and 16m and the Rebel 08 9m. Previously I flew the Cabrinha Contra mostly in Socal. Been riding for 3 seasons and am fairly aggressive, back roll kite loops, front rolls. I suck unhooked I wish I didn't... So enough about me.

So this kite shows up in a huge bag. More like the size a 16m Rebel comes in. It is nice and loose in there from the factory, but when I rolled it up at the end it took up the whole damn thing. I think the swept shape makes it roll up less compactly, i'll need to experiment with different techniques. The bag is nice, regular upside down north system, so just make sure you zip up the side pouch before you go to avoid the yard sale.

Out of the bag the kite looks great, good lines, solid reinforcement, and Finally a One pump!

The Next huge thing I noticed that still sticks out in my mind is the extremely long front line bridle. This thing must be 3-4 meters long. Now because it is just 3 lines connecting to the kite without the spiderweb like system of other bridles I am not sure how much trouble this thing could cause. That being said there is definitely room to snag a wingtip. Coming from the Rebels with their simplicity this bridle gives me a little bit of an uneasy feeling, but maybe i'll get over it. Additionally the rear lines now have a 3-4m single line to attach your bar line to. And the 5th line is now a single attachment no longer the Y on the kite.

I used the standard 08 north bar set up for my 9m reblel. The rebel setting is to attach to the farthest knot out on the bar. Effectively shortening the front lines so the kite doesn't back stall. I don't think this is the best setting for the Rhino since it felt like the kite was flying a little too much off the front lines.

I also had the rear lines attached to the factory setting, which is farther from the Wingtip. This I also plan to change as the Rebel is a different kite on the fast setting.

FLYING: I had the distinct impression that I had not tuned my bar and kite to the optimal setting. The kite flew a little bit on the Slow side, actually I should rephrase that... The kite required a lot of bar input to turn, I very much feel this was due to the setting and not an inherent flying characteristic. If anyone has tuning tricks I would love to hear them. I was also flying my kite all the way powered up, but the wind was a little light, only 5 kiters out. The kite is extremely stable in the air. The bar pressure is just right. I have to say I like it a lot more than the 07 rebel. Very smooth but a great sense of kite feedback. Felt comfortable heading out, I couldn't make it back stall, but I would like to try it up a knot on the bar to see what it does with more back line tension. The kite Jumps HUGE, I was eating it all over the place because I was way off my timing, a great amount of float as well, soft landings once I dialed it in. I was watching the other kiters and honestly feel I was getting so much more out of the wind. One time when I was slogging along through one of the lulls I thought i'd just do a little jump and see what happened. I sent the kite and pulled the trigger and was hauled up 10 feet no joke. It really surprised me, I had no business jumping in that situation. Anyway, the next big difference I noted was the fact that I was pointing way into the wind. I initially wasn't all that impressed with the power and soon realized that I was pointing at such an extreme angle to the wind. Once I took a more reasonable tack I was flying. Now I don't have any objective measure of this kites upwind ability, but I was jumping like crazy in mediocre wind.....really trying to loose ground, and always found myself back in line with the launch after my tack back.

I remember when I got my rebel for the first time I had a crappy time on it, then got it tuned up and it was amazing. If I had to take the kite as it is now, I would keep it, but I think there is a lot more potential after guys like dazza and dwight have the time to mess with it. I look forward to putting the rear lines on the faster settings. I also am curious to try the kite with the 4 line EVO bar. I looked at the front line bridle and see that when released to one line it really flys off the line closest to the center, very close to a fifth line system. I always like the added safety of a 5th line, but this may be a good compromise.

So in Summary: on a 1-10 scale

Stability:9
Upwind:10
Jumping:10
Turning speed/bar input: 4
Bar pressure: 4- as in light bar pressure
Construction: 9

can't think of anything more....... I hope to tune it up and give a more informed opinnion. Would love feedback on how to optimize the performance, and anyones experience with a 4 line bar.
Hope this helps someone

-Dave


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:41 am 
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Location: North FAN located in Kure Beach, NC USA
DO NOT fly it on the EVO bar. The safety system doesn't work with it. It becomes a suicide leash when the EVO bar is used on the Rhino.

Find a friend with a REV and ask to try his bar on your Rhino. Then you can make a fair comparision on whether you want to ride 5 lines or 4 lines.

The Rhino is NOT sensitive to bar tuning. Go ahead and set your lines equal length, but you don't have to be anal about it like you did with past North kites.

North riders often mistake light bar pressure for less POWER because we are used to riding kites with more pressure. It takes a few sessions to adjust to lighter bar pressure.

I would use the fastest turn setting. Only someone trying to transition from older North kites might like the forward setting in my opinion.

This kite can be scary jumping in big wind :D


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:07 pm 
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i want to get one..where did you buy it from?


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara/SF bay
http://www.kite-line.com has them. I think Aquan sports carries them in the Bay area.

I wanted to add to my review that the relaunch on the kite was very good. Probably better than the rebel. I also did a few kiteloops, the kite seems to loop fine for transitions and jumps. I'll bet it has a hell of a yank in strong winds.


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Pacific Coast, USA
see the next one.....


Last edited by Stefan on Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Pacific Coast, USA
Flew the 10 (late proto) in bad wind, gusty to nothing heavy wind. Rhino wants to fly high at the edge of the window. If wind is dropping below this kites optimal wind range it gets heavy and falls back-I find Rebel better in the same low end wind. That being said the kite stays in the air really well. Does not like rear line tension, stock 08 .bar settings seemed to work OK this way. Center line will have more slack than 07's, this is normal according to designer. Board speed and upwind ability are scary impressive and kite will handle a ton of wind when at speed- but can feel a bit grunty at slow speeds in gusty wind......so once up and cruising kite seems to have unlimited range. I don't think this kite generates its own pull well unless your moving at a reasonable clip in which case it drives upwind like a bat out o' hell! Didn't get a chance to send it but judging by the direct pull this thing will probably go up better than 07. I would classify this as an advanced kiters kite, it requires some finesse in variable wind and it's target audience are kiters who want to go upwind, carry alot of board speed and jump high. It is not a wave kite or freestyle kite although in steady wind I think smaller sizes are useable in waves(far from ideal). I will have my production 9 next week so I'll post an updated review of that one. I think Dwight has alot of experience flying the 10 on 4 lines and his take may be different but I would stand by one thing ....if you are looking for an all around kite....get the Rebel, If you want a kite to push the envelope of speed and height, this is it! :D


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:30 am 
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Location: San Francisco!
Calikites 16 Rhino Review...

Felt exactly the same as Dave out of the bag. Big bag, long front bridles etc. Everything is up to North's high standards of construction, etc., though the bridles kinda threw me... There's a weird double pulley system. There's definitely some crazy engineering going on there.

A word on tuning... Hopefully those who have already purchased and are trying them out know that they all came with an extra pigtail on the rear lines. The little 3 inch pigtail is unnecessary. Remove them and keep them to replace the ones on Rebels or Vegas'. Also, the kite comes from the factory with the rear line connected to the forward connection point, but they tend to fly better if you move them a few inches back to the rear connection point. I'm attempting to attach a photo, but if you have any questions feel free to contact us.

I've had the 16 out for myself and a bunch of locals in a variety of wind conditions. The general consensus is that it's not a wave kite, or even a real all-around kite. It's speed through the window, which makes the kite perfect for racing and jumping, can be annoying when trying to surf, and is probably best suited for intermediate to advanced kiters. It is an aerial monster. It jumps like crazy and goes upwind well. The pull is good and steady, without risk of backstalling like last year's Rhino or this year's Rebel. Most of the Rebel fliers still prefer the Rebel for it's faster turning and superior depower. Guys doing advanced jumps preferred the Rhino for it's serious jumping ability and hangtime, even in light winds.
Relaunch is ridiculously easy, like the Evo, probably due to the delta shape.

If anyone has more specific questions or you want to demo this kite (or a bunch of others) feel free to email or call us. For those in San Diego, the North tour is here now and will be around tomorrow (Saturday). We'll be standup paddling and kiting as conditions warrant.

-Dan
danny@calikites.com
http://www.calikites.com
619-522-9575


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:21 am 
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Forgot to mention that 10 felt close to a 12 in low end grunt so that might leave the 9 as a better option. (195lbs) :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:24 am 
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Dan thanks for the tip that was what I was looking for. I did leave the extra pigtail on the end of the rear lines, that is why the kite felt a bit under sheeted. That being said, I'm curious on your comment about the rebel having superior depower. When the rhino is sheeted all the way out on a long throw setting I felt the kite had almost no pull, sorta like the Cabrinha's when you go past the override. I wonder if this is related to the inside setting I was using, or the fact I had that extra rear pigtail. The rebel when flying off the front lines still gives a bit of yank from time to time, that I attribute to less than 100% depower more like 85%. The Rhino being so much flatter must have an aerodynamic advantage to the Rebel, North is touting it as having the most advanced control of angle of attack yet... but then again claims are just claims. Maybe the wind was too light to tell on the Rhino but i'll know more when I use it this weekend. I really want to use this as an all around kite, maybe not specifically for surf, unless in really light wind, so we'll see...


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 Post subject: Re: North Rhino 2008 Review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:53 am 
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Location: North FAN located in Kure Beach, NC USA
dpca10 wrote:
That being said, I'm curious on your comment about the rebel having superior depower. ..



I disagree. The Rhino has some differences that could mislead someone with limited experience with this kite. I've had mine for months.

The depower STROKE at the bar is longer than the 08 Rebel. More like the 07 Rebel, or maybe even slightly longer. With the Rhino, when you depower using the cleat as you go through the kites complete wind range, handling does not deteriorate. Bar feel remains precise throughout the additional depower range offered by the cleat. Something most kites do not offer. Some may not notice this or care, especially if you're not particularly fussy about handling.

The goal was smooth linear depower with precise handling throughout the kites COMPLETE range. This it achieved.

Therefore for me, the USABLE fun range is comparable to the Rebel.


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