First and foremost we want to create a freeride and wave kite that is opti- mized for the fifth line. The Rebel 09 shall be a further development of the successful Rebel 08 concept. The goal is to improve the handling without losing performance:
- Optimize flying feeling
- Improve light wind performance and unhooked handling
- No backstall
- Make the kites livelier, increase turning speed of the larger sizes
- Maintain low and top end
- Improve the quality of manufacturing and durability
The 2009 Rebel is bashing down the barriers of free-riding and surfing! The clean, simple 5 line design delivers smooth, reactive steering, extreme resistance to back-stalling when over-sheeted and the most direct bar feedback yet. Our unique quad strut configuration produces a light weight kite with quick turning and a snappy feel which makes the bigger sizes feel more crispy and lively than ever! The quad strut also helps create a very clean center profile that delivers constant, predictable power for free-ride comfort. The Rebel is heavily reinforced with Dacron to take some severe thrashings in the surf and come out in one piece. The combination of decreased weight and a rounder arch helps prevent the Rebel from falling quickly when the lines go slack while surfing making it easier to recover from steering errors. One pump inflation for added simplicity.
- Direct Depower
- Reactive Steering
- 5th Element Safety
- Light Weight
- Heavy Reinforcing
- Quad Rib Design
- Lazy Pump
Our revolutionary and patent-pending Cam Battens are made of flexible nylon and improve the stability of the canopy and reduce the drag of the kite. The Cam Battens allow us to achieve a deeper profile and make the kites more powerful. The deeper canopy combined with a round entry profile gives better stall resistance, which yields not only better low end power but also better hang-time. Cam Battens also give the kite much better upwind abilities and very good stability in the sky.
These connectors prevent the number one cause of kite accidents by ensuring that front lines cannot be attached to the back of the kite and back lines cannot be attached to the front.
Self Rescue Handles
These loops attached to the inside of the wingtips make it easier to hold the kite for bodydrag rescue.
New for 2008 are the Aramid Reinforcements, added in highly exposed areas such as the Micro Batten pockets and the leading edge scuff pads. These reinforcements reduce wear from everyday use and increase the durability and life of your kite.
Load Distribution Panels
More powerful kite profiles means that the canopy has to carry higher loads resulting in a distorted profile and loss of efficiency. The Load Distribution Panels spread the load from the lines to a wider area keeping the profile smooth and distinct and allowing the kite to perform with maximum efficiency at all times.
The North Lazy Pump System allows you to inflate the kite through a single valve and get it ready for take off. The “Lazy Pump System“ has safety clips at the tubes that are protected with neoprene sheaths to secure the tubes after inflation and separate the air chambers of the individual struts to the leading edge. The neoprene sheath is simple and effective, just pull it back to open or close the clip. The tubes are secured on the especially developed valves with NKB molded safety rings and can easily be removed by pulling them upwards.
The combination of Re-launch Bungees and our new low profile batten pockets and thin strut ends helps prevent any lines from snagging anywhere on the kite during relaunch.
Anti Snag Concept
In order to make the relaunch easier and to avoid any possible line tangling, we have added Relaunch Bungees at the kite tip (Rebel 08, Rhino 08). The bungees keep the lines lying slick against the inside of the leading edge, preventing any line from going over the top of the kite during the relaunch.
In order to produce a lightweight and durable kite, North uses T9 polyester ripstop for the canopy. This material does not absorb any water and is coated with UV-protection on both sides.
Our UV-obstructing polyester polyurethane bladders proved to be very reliable and are now also equipped with return valves at the small transversal tubes.
Dacron Leading Edge and Ribs
All areas exposed to peak stresses are made of top-quality 170g or 175g Dacron. This material helps achieve maximum tear strength in combination with conventional kite materials and will never delaminate.
5 strut construction vs. 4 strut construction
The Power- and Steering Area behavior while the Kite is depowered
Pretensioned Leading Edge for more structural stiffness
Rebel 2009 Product PDF
Rebel 2009 Promo Video
Sky Solbach Interview
Ken Winner: Rebel 08 vs 09
The design plan for the ’09 Rebel called for improving incrementally in the ’08 Rebel’s strong areas like low-end power, total depower, direct and precise steering, good lift and good hang time, while improving significantly in the area of power development. This latter goal came from the chief weakness we saw in the ’08 Rebel which was a certain inconsistency of power development in varying wind strengths. For example, at the low end of its wind range the ’08 Rebel can be oversheeted and caused to backstall. Not really a problem for expert riders, but confusing for less expert ones. And at the high end of its range, in high winds and under high loads (i.e., 100-kilo riders), the ’08 Rebel could distort in such a way as to adversely affect power development.
We felt we could improve in all areas of performance by (1) adjusting the profile shape, (2) tweaking the overall geometry, (3) adjusting the number and position of ribs, (4) changing the cloth mix in the canopy, and (5) refining construction details.
The profile of the ’08 Rebels varies somewhat from size to size. Sizes 6 and 7 sported one profile; sizes 9, 10 and 12 another; sizes 14 and 16 yet another. In general we used a powerful, fairly draft-back profile shape with subtle tweaks that seemed to work best in their own size ranges.
For ’09 we kept this size grouping – (6,7,8) (9, 10, 11, 12) (14, 16) – and the related profile shapes, while at the same time tweaking the profile shapes to be slightly rounder in the front. A profile which is rounder in the front is generally less prone to stalling, so this was one step toward improving stall resistance.
The overall geometry of a kite comprises features like arc, sweep, taper and leading edge curve. The ’08 Rebel has moderate sweep, low taper, a curvey leading edge and a fairly flat arc.
By way of explanation we can point to the ’08 Vegas as having little sweep while the ’08 Rhino has a lot. The ‘08 Rebel lies between. The ’08 Vegas and Rhino are similar in taper (the ratio of center rib to tip rib) to each other, and both have quite straight leading edge tubes (from center to front pigtail as viewed from the side). The ’08 Rebel has a lower taper and curvier leading edge. As for arc, the’08 Vegas has more than the ’08 Rebel and the ’08 Rhino has less.
Sweep: With the ’09 Rebel we went for approximately the same amount of sweep as in ’08. More sweep doesn’t work in a basic 5-line design and less sweep results in unacceptably high bar loads. Interestingly, sweep has be fine-tuned to work with the desired profile, as a more draft-back profile requires more sweep. We worked hard on sweep, profile position and front pigtail position so as to get the right bar pressure – enough so that you know where the kite is without looking, but not so much as to tire your arms.
Taper and Leading Edge Curve: Building on knowledge gained with the development of the ’08 Rhino we went for slightly more taper and quite a bit less leading edge curve. The straighter leading edge leads to greater shape stability and less distortion under high loads.
One little tweak we made to the ’09 Rebel was to move the nose line attachment points farther from center. This results in the nose line distorting the leading edge less when the kite is sheeted in. We also doubled the nose line attachment points so as to ensure their strength and to distribute their load on the leading edge cloth.
To further reduce leading edge distortion, we positioned the nose line attachment points near the middle ribs. Since the ribs provide support to the leading edge, the overall rib-leading edge-nose line structure is now more solid and resistant to distortion. One more tweak we made on the leading edge was to increase the intersegment arc angle at the seam where the middle ribs attach and where the nose line attaches. This is the point where the nose line tends to pull the leading edge into a straight line, so increasing the angle here is like putting pre-stress into the structure. There’s more angle at rest, but less under load.
Arc: The arc of the ’09 Rebel in sizes 9 to 16 is a bit more round than that of the ’08 Rebel. We went this way because big kites naturally tend to feel more mushy and less precise than small kites and by having a bit more arc we knew we could get handling a little more like that of a C kite – a bit more precise.
However, small kites tend to feel harsh, overly quick and erratic. One thing we were pleased to achieve with the ’08 Rebel 7 was a fairly soft, comfortable feel. Not gutless, but not intimidating. To keep that comfortable feel in the ’09 Rebel we had to go with a somewhat flatter arc than in the other sizes, which left us with an arc similar to that of the ’08 sizes 6 and 7.
One of the things a kite designer looks for in a kite is good agreement between the arc taken by the leading edge and the arc taken by the trailing edge. For example, most designers don’t like it if a kite flies with a more “U” shaped arc in the trailing edge than in the leading edge. Of course, depending on rider weight, sheeting angle and wind strength even a good kite can take on a “U” shaped or even an “A” shaped trailing edge, particularly in very light wind. When this happens the kite can lose power and sometimes fly backward. Something we learned from our work on the ’07 and ’08 Rhinos is that having single center rib can contribute to this problem of an “A” shaped trailing edge arc. Setting two middle ribs fairly far apart, however, can minimize the problem and help keep the trailing edge in a smooth arc, even when over-sheeted in light winds.
This is one of the reasons we decided to go with four rather than five ribs on the ’09 Rebel.
Cloth Mix: With the ’09 Rebel we wanted to gain more shape stability and hence less drag in the tips. This meant having to choose between going with more battens, or more ribs, or with a stronger, more stable cloth in the tips of the kite. The stronger cloth promised to be the simple solution, but was also expensive and heavy. Favorable results in tests with four-rib kites settled the issue for us. We were able to eliminate a rib and get better lowend performance, then use the saved weight to add more stable cloth in the tips and get better high-end performance. The net effect on performance is all good; the effect on weight is about neutral (it varies with kite size); the effect on price is brutal, but what hell, North customers are rich (desiger’s perspective).
Construction Details: The ’08 Rebel has held together well, so we didn’t want to make too many changes to construction. Aside from Kevlar leading edge scuff pads being reshaped near the tips and the addition of two extra nose line attachment points, the area that got the most attention was the rib. We went back to our old “Fusion” rib joint between leading edge and rib. There’s not much difference in strength, but it looks a little nicer. We also went to a five-segment pentagonal rib construction. This works just like the six-segment HexRib construction but eliminates the bottom rib seam which is the one most vulnerable to damage and stress.
Bottom Line: When we started working on the ’09 Rebel we had real doubts about whether we were going to be able to make major improvements. After a few false starts, however, we hit on a 10-meter four-rib model that had no back-stall, smoother power development, smoother high end, more linear bar feel and quicker turning. It made the ’08 Rebel 10 feel to us like ... well, like last year’s kite. That’s when we knew we were on the right track. After many more missteps we whipped the bigger and smaller sizes into shape. The only thing left to say is try one.
Recently we received some hints about the flying characteristics of the Rebel 09. In extremely gusty winds, when you crash the kite to the ground/water with a special angle of the tip to the ground/water or at extreme steering manoeuvres, while blocking against the kite pressure, it might be possible that the kite collapses.
To avoid misunderstandings in advance, please always make sure, together with your customers, to be aware of the following points:
- always branch off the side tubes from the leading edge using the security clips
- always inflate the tubes to a maximum of at least 6 PSI, up to 7 PSI
- for heavier riders (95kg plus) or to have an additional option, we offer a special line
solution, connected to the middle of the front tube and the top of the “V”
As the wind increases, the bar will start to feel heavy. Correct this by pulling the depower rope. The Rebel feels best when it’s set to totally depower when the bar is sheeted out halfway to the cleat.
Nose Line Lengths
Rebel Size - extra nose line length
- 6 qm: 1700mm
- 7 qm: 1880mm
- 8 qm: 1900mm
- 9 qm: 2170mm
- 10 qm: 2240mm
- 11 qm: 2280mm
- 12 qm: 2390mm
- 14 qm: 2635mm
- 16 qm: 2825mm