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 Post subject: North range - unhooked comparison
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:09 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Nassau / London
Hi all,

Was hoping for a bit of help with picking out a replacement for my 2009 12m North Rebel. I loved the kite, incredibly stable and a massive wind range. I seem to be going more and more down the route of unhooked stuff, though still love waves and boosting. I unhook with it at the moment, but don't have anything to compare it to in terms of how good / bad it is (pop doesn't feel great, and if it's too windy, the it keeps pulling until you land, but it has served me well getting to S-bends at least).

The obvious choice would be the Vegas, but the other issue is that I am pretty heavy at a nice round 100kg.

So my question is (as my biggest kite) which kite is likely to give me a better day for those 15-16 knots marginal days that I seam to have by far the most of:

- a 2012 12m Evo, which is meant to have a good low end, and be decent for unhooking and is more of an all round kite (like waves if they are around)

- or a 2012 12m Vegas, which is obviously great for unhooking, but isn't meant to have a great low end.

As a bonus question - does anyone know what the largest size of the 2 kites you can do decent kite loops with? Imagine the 12 Vegas probably works, but not sure if a 12 Evo will??

I suppose I could go a bit bigger in sizes to get more low end, but I really want to only have 2 kites for travelling so I currently think a 12 and an 8 is optional.

Sticking with North at the moment as I have a couple of their bars and the brand has done me well, but happy to take recommendations on other good low end, unhooking, kite looping 12s :D

Cheers in advance for your collective wisdom :thumb:

J


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 Post subject: Re: North range - unhooked comparison
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:09 am
Posts: 264
Location: Hood River
J-

It sounds to me like you've got a pretty good idea about the lineup, but I might be able to add a few thoughts...

The 2013 Vegas has significantly more power than the 2012. For the last several years running (perhaps it's always been like this), the Vegas has had about 1m less power than the Rebel. For 2013 they are almost on par. The new Vegas has significantly more low end than previous years.

At the same time, I've historically thought of the Evo as having about 1m more power than the Rebel, and that seems to hold true for 2013, so the Evo will still give you more pure low-end power than the 2013 Vegas, however it won't be as dramatic a difference as in years past.

As far as the Evo being an all-around kite, it's true, but that doesn't mean that it is a slouch at freestyle. I've had some team guys switch from Vegas to Evo for a session to test it and remark how they were able to get the slack to do all the same tricks as with the Vegas. In comparison, most freestyle guys will say the same thing that you did about the Rebel... It is too forgiving and tends to pull too consistently to work well for unhooked pop-and-slack moves. Both the Evo and the Vegas should be good for this type of thing.

Just as a little addendum, the 2012 Evo and Vegas will both give you the slack you're looking for, but the 2013 Vegas has really stepped it up in this regard. The most slack I've ever gotten in a kite.

As far as kiteloops, I'm assuming you mean unhooked... I tend to think the "can you loop them" question depends more on you than on the kite. If you mean unhooked kiteloops, at 12m, they will both work great. Even the 14m will be fine... it's just a matter of timing. If you are talking about a hooked in kiteloop where the kite catches you on the way down, I'd say that the Vegas will probably be the quicker to climb back overhead, but I've never heard any complaints about the Evo, so I don't think that it would be bad. I know the 12m Vegas from 2012 is fine for hooked in kiteloops, and I know that the 2013 is even quicker to catch you than the 2012, and as I said, I'd imagine the 12m Evo to be fine as well, though I think the 14m might be pushing it in either model (though I know guys who kiteloop the 16m Dyno, so anything is possible).

As far as waves, the Evo is meant to be a wave machine, and the Vegas is not. However I just got back from a week of wave kiting in Maui and I was on the Vegas the whole time and thought it was perfect (and I used the 2012 Vegas in the waves as well with no complaints). If you're unhooking on the waves, either kite will work great, though the Evo will probably have the edge in terms of drifting and quick relaunching. If you're staying hooked in, you may find that your Rebel gives you better depower (the Evo especially has tons of grunt and can pull you off the wave) and will be more reactive when hooked in (the Vegas especially seems to lose it's reactivity when depowered or running down a wave... It drifts ok and stays in the same spot really well, it just doesn't want to respond to your input... This can be good or bad depending on what you're looking for in a wave kite).

For boosting, either kite should work well, but again maybe not as well as your Rebel, though I have lots of team guys who swear by both Evo and Vegas as boosting kites. Feedback on 2013 models seems to be that the new versions both jump better than previous versions, but they were no slouches to begin with. In general I tend to think that the Vegas will pull you up high and quickly while the Evo will give you better hangtime, but I'm really not a good judge of how or how well a kite jumps.

Anyway, as always, your best bet is to demo the gear, but it sounds like either the Evo or Vegas will work for your needs. As you are coming from a Rebel, you're probably used to the positive feedback of the 5-line direct-connection kite, so you will probably feel more at-home with the Vegas, plus you already have 5-line bars. For the sake of the bottom-end, I'd recommend the 2013 Vegas over the 2012 or earlier, but in terms of performance, they should all do what you're looking for. If you go with the Evo for its grunt, either the 2012 or 2013 should fit the bill you're describing as well.

And as a side note, I know I'm really pushing the 2013 Vegas here... It's not me trying to sell the newest stuff, it's that the kite has just had a huge redesign and I just got done with testing it for a week and I'm astoundingly impressed with what they've done to that kite. Waves and freestyle I was completely stoked with it at all times.

Hope this helps and if you have any other questions feel free to hit me up.

-Dan


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 Post subject: Re: North range - unhooked comparison
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:09 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Nassau / London
Wow Dan, thanks so much for the reply - more detail than I ever could have expected - you are certainly flying the North flag in a positive way :thumb:

What was particularly useful was the your thoughts on power of the kites vs each other. Based primarily on this I think I am going to go for a 12 Evo - being the heavy dude I am, I find I have so many days where there isn't quite enough wind to have fun, so anything I can do to help that is a bonus.

Though based on the positive stuff you have said about the 2013 Vegas, I might spoil myself and pick up a 9m at some point :wink: - bonus question - what do you reckon a rough wind range be for me to have fun at my petite 200kg :wink:

Cheers again

Jamie


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 Post subject: Re: North range - unhooked comparison
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:09 am
Posts: 264
Location: Hood River
I'm terrible at wind range questions... It depends so much on the rider and the conditions and the board and and and... bottom line, I will not list what I consider to be a reasonable windrange for any given kite or board. Every brand lists their recommended range for each kite, and every so often someone on this forum will bash some brand for listing a huge wind range, but the truth is, some people are extremely efficient, or riding in flat water, or using huge boards, and other people may be in on-shore conditions with current running with the wind, using a smaller board, and their wind-ranges will be extremely different, and most published windranges are extremely wide based on this fact.

In general I think of the Rebel as a baseline... It is about as powerful, meter for meter, as most other kites on the market. So if your 9m is about average for a normal 9m, the Rebel will be similar (though it tends to have a larger windrange than most other kites). I think of the Evo as being about 1m more powerful (more low end, less high end), and the pre-2013 Vegas as being about 1m less powerful. The 2013 Vegas probably is about on-par with the Rebel. Again, I highly recommend demoing to test this for yourself.

-Dan


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