I've got a 4G Epic bar here and have had a chance to look it over and get it out on the water.
Some thoughts about it:
The ball end on the chicken loop is the cleanest configuration I have ever used.
The loop on my Ocean Rodeo has always been simple and foolproof and I have always liked it best ...until now.
The wire loop seen below on my Switch and North are said to be the best release system in the business but they sure are way more difficult to put together in deep water, this Epic ball and socket is a piece of cake.
The wire loops on the Slingshots have been known to break, so I worry about the wire loops on the others as well.
The core piece of the chicken loop system is a single piece of plastic composite (probably Delrin).
The chicken loop core has two huge ports to eject sand/dirt (pic 521).
The CL does not have a bunch of metal or many moving parts, ...simple just like the Ocean Rodeo has always been.
The cuff is large round soft and comfortable in your hands.
The depower rope is standard Amsteel Dyneema available at all marine supply and sailboat shops.
It loops simply around the front end of the CL (pic 526) and is knotted and kept under a neoprene boot just below the depower strap (pic 530) .
Easy to take on and off, took me five minutes to take all apart and put back together.
The pull/pull depower strap now has a metal buckle, don't think it needed one, but there it is.
I've used straps and a handful of Clamcleats and some Clamcleat systems are great and some are not, the ropes flop around and the velcro keepers don't work.
This strap system has worked well for me since 2010.
Used to like below the bar depower but have decided that it can be a bad idea when you are holding a 17M kite in too much wind.
The below the bar CL swivel mechanism uses a simple nylon washer between two plastic composite parts of the chicken loop core body.
Been using a system like this since 2010 on one of my bars and it works without fail with no rust or seizing issues from salt or sand/dirt.
Still have never seen an above bar swivel system that works, and they sure are expensive.
The single line safety release has a nice clean bungee cord than runs up the middle of the CL (which has a proper sized hole) and goes to the ball pictured (pic 531).
The ball slides off properly and the single line safety does what it was designed to do.
The thing I like about it is, that all of the parts of the system can be replaced with standard stuff from West Marine.
The replacement parts would not be exactly the same but can absolutely be used until a stock part arrives.
These simpler systems have always proven to work better for me and I appreciate having gear that I can fix, ...I can hardly do shite on my car or truck anymore!
Epic is still providing an "oh shite" handle on one side (pic 532).
I prefer to have them on both sides, but many companies don't provide them at all anymore.
Would like to see plastic tubing covers over the steering line leaders, it helps keep the steering lines from wrapping on a bar end when getting tossed around in a crash.
The bar length is super easy to change from 45cm to 55cm (pic 535).
I've done it on the water a couple times, not a good idea, but do-able.
WRONG WAY printed on the back of the bar is still a great idea, like when you need to grab the bar fast and relaunch before a wave beats your kite up.
The bar ends are hard and I don't mind that, but many would like to see soft bar ends.
The bar end is epoxied onto the composite bar and a stainless screw is put in the bottom with epoxy.
You can see the epoxy filling the phillips head in pic 538.
I like the donkey stick with the cloth cover, of the five bars I own, the ones with the cloth cover never kink, or come out by themselves.
The bar covering EVA is more dense than past Epic and Blade bars.
Some folks with small hands might like a thinner bar near the center but this one feels normal to an average sized man.
The bar has finger ridges which feel good.
You can kite with this bar for five hours and not come away with blisters.
My Slingshot and Switch bars will beat your hands a bit.
I don't mind harder bar coverings because I'm a super manly man and my hands are tough like leather!
Those are my thoughts on the new bar for now.
Hope some of the information is useful.