NORTH KITEBOARDING REBEL 2013 VS REBEL 2012 WHAT´S THE SAME AND WHY (BY KEN WINNER)

5 lines
The Rebel remains a 5-line kite, of course, and for all the usual reasons:

- Short depower stroke and crisp feel. Anyone who rides waves or has short arms or just likes a responsive kite can appreciate the importance of achieving full depower with a minimal movement of the control bar.

NORTH KITEBOARDING REBEL 2013 VS REBEL 2012 WHAT´S THE SAME AND WHY (BY KEN WINNER)

NORTH KITEBOARDING REBEL 2013 VS REBEL 2012 WHAT´S THE SAME AND WHY (BY KEN WINNER)

- Super stability. If it weren´t so easy to keep in the air you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s made of rock, it’s that solid!

- Easy relaunch in light winds. Even riders who like four-line kites often add a fifth line to make relaunch possible in super-light wind.

- Safety. When you need to get total, complete and perfect depower in half a second, nothing else works as well as a 5th line.

Size-specific tuning
Sizes 5 to 8, which naturally end to be a bit too crisp and responsive, have been tuned for a crispness and responsiveness that’s just right. Not soft and slow but not uncomfortably harsh and fast.

9 meter kites can go either way, a bit slow and soft or a bit fast and harsh. We spent some time tuning this one for what we think is just the right feel in a wave and all-round kite.

Sizes 10 to 14 have been tuned for short bar stroke and a maximised crisp feel.

Tolerant of low inflation
Rebels work best when inflated to 6psi. They lose some performance at lower inflation pressures, but will still fly pretty well. By contrast, many kites on the market these days need 8 or 10 psi to fly correctly.

 

Segmentation, rib configuration
Aspects of the Rebel’s overall geometry have not changed. There are still five struts, with the centre strut being a floating strut for momentary depower and luffability. Segmentation is much the same from tip strut to tip strut. Multiple segments through the centre of the canopy give good profile fidelity, while one straight segment on each side gives a flat profile where it can do the most good in resisting unwanted luffing and flutter. Five struts give needed structure while allowing for good performance at low inflation pressures.

 

Leading edge diameter
We kept the overall LE diameters fairly large right out through the tips to ensure rock-solid stability and tolerance of low inflation pressures. The new square tip is more tolerant of low pressure than the old one, so we could have reduced tip LE diametera bit, but chose not to in the interest of ensuring stability and reliability.The Rebel is an all-round and wave kite, so there’s no need to try to minimize diameters at the expense of convenience, stability and easy relaunch.

 

Aspect ratio
The Rebel retains the moderate aspect ratio befitting an all-round kite. The wider tip helps us tune the kite for quick turning and precise bar feedback. The risk of the wider tip is that the canopy fabric can be less tightly controlled and can luff and flap more. We have paid particular attention to this issue and ensured a clean canopy shape in this area.

 

What´s different and Why

 

Smoother feel
Every year we try to reduce undesirable luffing and fluttering in
the Rebel and this year we have made a further step in that direction, mainly achieved through fine-tuning of canopy profile. Luffing and fluttering occurs most when a kite is overpowered, or when it is turning tightly. In both cases, the feeling of the bar is one of vibration and imprecision. Reducing luff and flutter gives the bar a smoother and more precise feel. Most Rebels now are smooth enough themselves that much of the vibration we feel on the control bar comes from the flying lines vibrating in the wind.

 

Wider tip
The wider tip helps us tune the kite for quick turning and precise bar feedback. The risk of the wider tip is that the canopy fabric can be less tightly controlled and can luff and flap more. We have paid particular attention to this issue and ensured a clean canopy shape in this area.

 

New strut shape
The new struts, we call it the STREAMLINE STRUT are larger in the front for a more rigid connection with the leading edge tube. The quarter struts are thinner for less drag and weight, and because the need for rigidity is least at this point. The thin quarter stuts give the Rebel some of the flexibility and lower weight of a 3-strut kite without the big losses of range, speed, boost and top end that 3-strut kites suffer from.

 

Improved construction
Most obvious of the new construction elements in the 2013 Rebel is the element we call the “TE Force Spread” a layer of wave-shaped cloth situated at the boundary between our durable 50-gram D2 canopy ripstop and our super-tough 160-gram trailing edge Dacron. The dissimilar cloth weights between the two materials can result in excessive flexing and thus weakening of the ripstop just in front of the Dacron. The addition of the “TE Force Spread” layer mitigates and spreads the flexing of the ripstop and prolongs the life of the kite.

 

The new Rebel has a beefed up leading edge construction that allows for more durability at high inflation pressures. Frankly, one of the big advantages inflated kites have over ramair kites is relatively high inflation pressure. Pressure gives better shape stability and responsiveness to bar input. Being able to pump to a higher pressure has no downside. Other details, such as scuff pads that cover stitching and improved Lazy-Pump valves help ensure the Rebel is built to last.

 

Power vs. Depower
Recent Rebel designs have had a lot of power. In 2011 and 2012 we refined canopy profiles and angle of attack to improve depower, and for 2013 we have carried this process a step further to give a bit more depower without hurting the overall power.

 

Speed
Though the Rebel has been competitive in races over the last few years, it really is a wave and all-round kite and pretty much none of the testing for the 2012 model involved race boards. That said, the canopy profile changes made in 2013 result in Rebels that are a bit faster and more slippery than in previous years.

how to learn Kitesurf kiteboard in a Day Zero to Hero power window…

It takes most people between 15 and 20 hours of practice spread over several weeks to learn how to kitesurf. But, occasionally, an exceptionally motivated individual is able to go from ‘zero to hero’. That is: learn to kitesurf in one day.

When I decided to write this article on how to kitesurf I didn’t want to waste any time. Being an experienced wakeboarder and snowboarder, as well as having some experience surfing and windsurfing, I figured I was as good a candidate as anyone to go from zero to hero. Although in my relatively short seven-hour lesson I never quite got up on a board, I did learn what it takes to learn to kitesurf, and it’s really not that difficult.

My instructor, Joe Rueger of the Tainan Kitesurfing Center, walked me through the following steps.

Lesson 1: The Basics
First you have to learn the proper kitesurfing terminology so that your instructor can communicate instructions to you clearly. This includes a few pieces of equipment and kite positions.

Equipment
Kite – Used to harness the power of the wind and pull you across the water. smaller, foil kites or inflatable trainer

Harness – Attaches you to the kite.

Power Bar – Allows you to steer the kite and control the power or ‘pull’ of the kite.

Board – The board that you stand on as you zip across the water. Similar in size and shape to a wakeboard.

Bindings – The foot holders that attach you to the board.

Kite Positions – power window Horizontal (see fig. 1)

As with flying any kite, when kitesurfing you always stand with your back to the wind. If you are facing the same direction as the wind, the position of the kite from left to right is discussed in terms as if you are standing in the center of a large clock and the kite is near one of the numbers. Straight ahead is 12:00 and 90-degrees to your right is 3:00. To your left 90-degrees is also 12:00. The kite will always remain between 9:00 and 3:00 because if it goes any farther the wind will no longer hold it aloft.

Kite Positions – Vertical (see fig. 2)


The position of the kite on the vertical plane is discussed in terms of degrees; the ground being zero degrees, and directly above your head being 90-degrees.

Lesson 2: Power Positions (see fig. 1 & 2)

Once you know how to discuss the position of the kite, it’s time to learn the significance of the positions. This is important because the position of the kite determines the strength of the pull, or power, of the kite.

The formula for power positions is basically this. The most powerful possible position is when the kite is at 12:00 (directly in front of you), at a 45-degree angle – pretty much the center of the kite’s field of movement. The farther you move away from this position in any direction the less power the kite will have. If you place the kite at any extreme – 3:00, 9:00, 90-degrees, or zero degrees – it will have barely enough power to stay aloft.

Lesson 3: Controlling the Kite
Next, to learn how to control the position and power of the kite, you will start practicing with a trainer kite on the beach. The trainer is a miniature kitesurfing kite that maneuvers just like a real one, but that is too small to pull you anywhere.

You’re first attached to the kite by a harness. Your control over the kite comes in the form of a bar about 80 cm long that you hold onto like a set of handlebars. This bar controls the direction of the kite, as well as the power. The ends of the bar are attached by strings to the corners of the kite and the bar pivots on the main cord that attaches your harness to the kite. When you pull in on one side of the bar, the kite will turn in that direction.

The bar also moves towards and away from you along the cord that attaches your harness to the kite. Holding the bar midway between yourself and the stopper will keep the kite at full power. If you pull the whole bar towards you, or let the bar all the way out, it will de-power the kite. This is a failsafe for people who feel out of control. If you panic and let go of the bar and the kite completely de-powers.

Lesson 4: Sand Skiing
Once you’ve got the hang of the trainer kite, it’s time to strap on the big boy and try dragging yourself across the beach. First, you strap into a real kite. Then, you practice moving the through low-power positions. Then, when you’re ready you move the kite into a power position. It will jerk you forward and then, leaning back against the pull of the kite, you will ski briefly across the sand. Don’t worry, you won’t be pulled far. It’s very hard to keep the kite in a power position in this exercise. You’ll move the kite through the power position, and then out do a de-powered position, so the pull will only last a moment or two. This exercise teaches you where the power really is, and how it feels to be pulled.

Lesson 5: Body Dragging

The next step is just to get comfortable with a kite in the water. This is basically the same as sand skiing, except you’re dragging yourself through the water. You just move the kite in and out of power positions, pulling yourself along through the surf.

Lesson 6: Kite Surfing Kiteboarding

This is it. You’ve mastered all the techniques. Now it’s time to strap on the board. To start you sit in the water with the board on, keeping the board near the surface of the water, just like starting on water skis or a wakeboard. Then you put the kite in the air, and move it into a power position. The pull of the kite should pull you up out of the water and, as you lean back, keeping the board’s edge in the water, you’ll start moving. And that’s it – you’re kteboarding.