North claim this to be an Evo-lution in freeride kiteboarding. The Evo can be ridden on four or five lines and bridges the gap perfectly between the Vegas and Rebel, uniting new school and freeride in one kite. The Evo's delta shape offers great sheet-and-go riding, excellent wind range and high de-power. The roundish shape helps the Evo turn quickly and predictably while the new bridle geometry stabilises the arc for a soft, consistent bar feel and extreme back-stall resistance. The 4 line mode boasts an innovative new safety system and bar-feel perfect for those who prefer soft, easy handling. In 5 line mode the 5th Element additionally stabilises the arc, providing a very direct bar-feel for new school riding and the ultimate fifth line safety. Auto re-launch means that you can just take your hands off the bar and let the kite do the work for you. The Evo is built tough to take some thrashings and the new connection between strut and leading edge easily withstands the high loads of the delta shape.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Evo comes with a high quality bag, canopy and lines. The bar is slim, unfussy, well-designed and comfortable with big floats at either end and a smart, effective chicken-loop safety system. The set up is fairly straight forward with three obvious settings on the kite. We set the kite up in standard four line mode as it arrived from factory. Other things to note are the lack of one pump, but also only a small and simple amount of bridling.
On the water the kite has lots of low end power due to its mid-aspect ratio. We had the ten metre out in 16 – 22 knot gusty winds and the power delivery was excellent, with lots of feeling through the bar. The kite doesn’t have 100% depower, but very close to it. As you sheet in on the bar the kite powers up very effectively with a positive and progressive feel. The kite is super stable in the sky, the canopy remains totally solid with very little distortion and flexing throughout. One of the most impressive things is its air speed. It's so quick through the sky which results in very fast ground speed for you, the rider. We were really screaming along, overtaking everybody and never once feeling like we were about to get pulled over the front of the board. This aspect of the kite is very impressive; you dive the kite, get some board speed and the kite just starts pulling really well, driving itself forward and upwind with really good acceleration. It also packs a lot of power for its size.
Sent jumps with this kite are also a lot of fun, with serious hang-time and plenty of height making things seem easy as you get so much time. Landings are great as the kite brings you down very smoothly and gently, and the feeling on the bar means you always know where the kite is, so can bring it back into the power at exactly the right time, every time.
The Evo behaves well, with no hint of back stall at all when unhooked. Although the kite is always flying forward it has very little change in power delivery hooked and unhooked. The wing-tips are quite wide and these are evident in the kite's speed of turn. You can quickly and accurately position the kite where you want, giving you great confidence and control. Also, when riding unhooked, the kite will sit there and behave while you throw a few grabs. The constant pull of the kite is a joy.
Having said all that, the downside of the kite for advanced kite loopers is the pull that you get when you send it into a spin. There's not a lot of bottle to it. However, the flip side to that is that it's good for first time loopers and it's general nimble handling is brilliant for deft kite manoeuvres in many situations, such as in the waves.
This kite suits almost everybody else, but is best for intermediate to progressing advanced riders looking for an easy time when riding and when learning new tricks.
This is a great all-round / freestyle kite for the masses. Suiting anyone, from intermediate riders looking for an easy time when riding and learning new tricks, through to freestyle riders who like to ride in and out of the loop with a quick and stable kite.
KW LIKED: The great personality: it's easy, fun, fast, jumpy and comfortable.
KW WOULD CHANGE: The only thing stopping it being a great kite for everyone are the tame kite loops.
SIZES: 14, 12, 10, 9, 7 and 6m