I have had a few hours on the new 08 Rebel and I thought I would provide the details.
A couple of years ago I flew nearly every kite on the market and reviewed them all in this forum. I can not provide a thorough comparison and contrast as I did at that time.
I weight about 80kg (or for those of you on the old system about 175lb ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“and for the really old system, about 13 stone)
I ride a 2006 132 underground twintip.
I am reviewing the 12 meter kite, and in fact, all kites mentioned in this post are for 12 meters.
The Rebel 07
I have flown the rebel 07 and was unimpressed. I felt that it provided too much bar pressure and not enough de-power, and a somewhat indirect control of the kite.
The Rebel 08
The big deal for me was how improved the Rebel is from last year. The kite handles very well with very direct control. Rebel is fast from side to side, providing lots of power. De-power is excellent. Bar pressure is adequate for feedback, but not noticeable as a hindrance to the enjoyment of the kite. The kite Jumps excellently. I feel comfortable enough with this kite and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s response to try tricks I would never have tried before. I rode and jumped this kite in 7knots (8mph) with my standard board with no difficulty at all!
-The long version-
There is just the right amount of bar pressure. Not so little that you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t tell where the kite is, but not so much that you feel like you are lifting weights.
The Rebel depowers when you ask it too, just sheet it out and it looses power. (no pulleies required). It is not the immediate shocking de-power of a pulley kite, but a gradual even release of power to the point of none at all. So if you let go of the bar, what you get is no power.
Here is a big big deal that North should be pasting all over the web. This kite allows as much control of power in as small a space as a pulley kite, but without the pulleys. It is very responsive, but in a manageable controlled way. Compared to the exponential release of power one gets with a pulley kite, (whether those pulleys are on the bar our on the kite or both) the Rebel provides a more linear power control.
Some kites have tried to achieve this with pulleies on the kite only. But ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“One- of these kites in particular experiences a distinct side effect. As the wind changes, and the kiteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s angle of attack changes, and the kiteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s movement changes the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsweet spotÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚
I just bought a 7m Rebel 08 to use as a snowkite (I weight about 75kg) and I am very pleased with it. You comment on the sheeting control is very accurate (as well as the rest of the post). It has plenty of depower, as much as my bow kites, but with the simplicity of no pulleys and the added safety of the 5th line. I am seriously thinking of replacing my 9m and 12m bows with Rebels. Do you think that the 12 meter Rebel will have the same low end as my Cabrinha Contra.
As you all know I have been flying North Rebels since their release. I think that the North Rebel is by far the best kite around, I do realise that this is more subjective than objective, however I have flown many different kites and recently elected to try something different which was a small pulley kite and a very technically excellent and perfect little number. However after a few hours of flying and then flying my North Rebel back to back with it I just could not keep using it and sold it. Now that is really based on personal preference to the style of kite. The Rebel 07 especially the 7m 9m and 10m had super quick response and as suggested by dksurfer very short bar response to depower and power. This is especially apparent with the forward steering pigtail setting but also effective on the rear (quicker turning) settings. The purchaser of the other kite had tried Rebels and did not like them, preferring a pulley bow style, for me I needed that direct feel and super quick response with short in and out depower. I agree that the bar pressure on the 07s was more than a lot of other kites, for me I really liked it and it was not a problem for me. I find that with the new 08 Rebels the bar pressure is lighter but not too light. I aliken it to riding a push bike, you need something to put your hands on and equalise the pressure with your arms, if a push bike had very light steering and rubber like flexible handle bars with no feedback you would be uncomfortable. For me having some where to 'rest' your hands against the bar is necessary, I really don't kite a very light bar pressure kite. but that's personal preference.
anyhow the 08s are a very nice kite and having had the choice I now continue to ride them both 07s and 08s. if you want a grunty high depower quick responding kite with direct feel and moderate bar pressure which is comfortable you cannot go past a Rebel.
I think I gave you some tips on the snow kite forum for your new Rebel. I am stoked to hear that you are happy with it. I was also a former Contra 14m owner. I replaced that 14m Contra with an 08 Rebel 12m. I have found that the Contra was a little better in really light air (8-10kts) on a traditional light wind board (Nobile 666 EXT). However I can use my Rebel in the same light air just by using a skim board and activly flying the kite. After 10 kts the Rebel kicks in with amazing low end for a 12m kite. All in all I find the tradeoffs for the Rebel severly outweigh the lightwind preformance of the Contra.
McGillicutty, That is great news... I am thinking of replacing my light wind kite (Contrac 12) wiht a 12 Rebel 08... I might be giving up a bit on the low end but I definetly like the no pulleys, no bridles and having a 5th line a lot more.
My 7m Rebel 08 has turn out to be an excellent winter kite.... I just wish I had a 9m as well!
I have '07 Rebel 9 and 12 and have liked them for their windrange. Having purchased an '08 14, I can see the difference in bar pressure, less and it seems to have great low end, turns fast for a 14 and doesn't fall back, as long as you lengthen the back lines. Will probably get a new 12. I know that seems tight to most riders, but I like to be dialed in.
Do you think there will be much difference between the 12 and the 14? I am planing to replace my Cabrinha Contra 12 with a 12 Rebel... but I am not sure if the low end of the 12 Rebel will be equivalent to the Contra. If not, maybe I need to get the 14 instead! Any opions? I just don't like big kites much... take longer to inflate, overpower faster and usually turn slowly!
Tough call dk. The 14 seems significantly larger to me than my 12. I will say it turns very quick for a 14. You might be surprised. I use the 12 70% of my time. If there are little white caps, that is what I use with either a NOBEL 666EXT 143 or a 555 135. or JL 133. I cannot imagine needing anything larger than the 14 with that EXT, if so, go to skim. I could probably get by with a 10 and 14 but then the 10 might be a bit small for me some of the time and the 14 too big. I have flown the 12 to almost 30 knots. My buddy has a 14 Contra and it seems like I get more lowend from my new 14 than he gets from his '07 14. It may be the rider or board though. I'm not that impressed with his Contra. I'm about 85 kg, How about you? My suggestion, get the 14 if you are looking for a lightwind kite, if not so needy, the 12 should be awesome! If its as good as my 14 you will love it. The '08 seems to be better than the '07s for all the reasons previously posted. Just wish they weren't so expensive. My 12 is for sale. PM me if you are interested.
DSZ, I weight about 80Kg. My Contra 12 is my biggest kite. I have a SS Glide which is great for low wind and also a surboard. I find the the Glide just as good as the Surboard. I don't like the glide much when it gets choppy though! I think I would prefer the Rebel 12 just because it would be smaller. I also snow-kite, so the 12 would be definetly good enough for the light days. Is your 12 and 08?