Unboxing & Testing the New North Kiteboarding Click Bar
From Jeremie Tronet
Since I ever started Kitesurfing over 16 years ago I have always been interested in all the innovation people or brand would bring to the sport to make it more accessible and user friendly.
We have now come a long way with great product coming out every year but the basics of using a kite, a bar or a board haven't changed much for the last 10 years until now.
I was extremely excited when North kiteboarding introduced their new game changer "Click Bar" which rethink totally how the rider de-power his kite by making it super easy and intuitive.
This video goes through what to expect to find when you receive your new Click Bar and a few of its main features as I take it out for a first test on the water.
This new bar design also allows for a lot of improvements beyond simply de-powering and powering the kite in a more efficient way, it allows allows for a cleaner design and safe flag our release system together with great features like auto front line untwist, etc ...
After rotating the handle (powering the kite, it took forever) he says "this is one of the best things what I have tried on the bar - that's for sure" .. Yeah right..
I would not want that kind of complex and slow power adjust system - otherwise it looks a great bar.
There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation from people who haven't ridden this bar.
The click system is unarguably faster, easier, and safer to depower in all situations, especially when overpowered, than a standard front line (above or below the bar) depower system. It is far less effort to reach a finger around the bar end and push a button than to release one side of the bar and reach up (or down) to grab a front line (which carries most of the load) and pull it in and reseat it in the cleat. If there's going to be an accidental kiteloop, it will be on a standard front-line-depower bar when you release one hand from a bar end and hinge at the waist to reach up and grab the depower. This kind of movement is completely eliminated by the Click system.
We have used these bars in schools in the Gorge (and elsewhere) where winds often average over 30 and gusts/lulls can easily be over 20-30 kts apart easy. Instructors reported that students had a far easier time depowering the Click bar than the standard bars for any brands the school uses, and they found that students ended up becoming more familiar with the system because of the ease of use.
At no point have I said this bar is for everyone, and I agree that it may require a little more effort to repower (crank the bar end) than it does to pull a front-line, unseat it from the cleat, and allow it to pull out, however the extra effort is pretty minimal, and for many people with shorter arms who have difficulty reaching an ATB depower or getting the leverage to pull a BTB depower, the Click bar is definitely far easier and safer to both depower and repower. However, as I said in the beginning, there is no arguing that the Click bar is definitely quicker, easier, and safer to depower than a standard bar.
If anyone has any time on a Click bar and wants to chime in and/or if you have any questions feel free to reply here or hit me with a PM.
I haven't heard anything about testing in the snow. The entire system is pretty well sealed against sand, and the tolerance is pretty tight for the click mechanism so as long as the bar isn't dunked in water before being exposed to the cold I would expect it to perform well in freezing conditions. That said we have some team guys who will be putting the bar through the paces in NA as soon as the first snows arrive, so I would hope to have definitive word in the next couple months. If I hear of others who already have snow experience with the bar I'll convey it here.
As far as adjusting the trim with snowboard gloves/mittens, the click/button mechanisms are pretty big so I tend to think it'll be at least as easy as grabbing the little depower loop, but I'll see if I can dig my winter gear out and give it a shot tonight. If I remember/find the gloves I'll let you know.