The Dyno offers parked power similar to a parafoil along with superior dynamic power, better depower, smooth but crisp bar feel, good turning speed and superior safety. A versatile kite, it will fly on either a four or five line set-up. Low weight is clearly one of the Dyno's main features. The Lazy Pump inflation system has been removed to save weight and thinner bladder material and lighter Dacron have been used in the inflatable elements. Two extra segments have been put in the arc between the quarter ribs, producing a slightly truer aerofoil in the central lifting area. Construction details that contribute crucially to function and durability remain, others have been eliminated. A new Dynosty in lightwind performance has just begun.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Unrolling the Dyno you'll notice the texture of the leading edge material feels quite different to other Norths. It's not that it feels delicate to the touch, but it's certainly extremely light in weight and feels very soft and malleable. As there's no one pump you can get every strut and that long leading edge rock hard. The Dyno is also very long in shape with a good amount of width kept in the tips, which helps in the turns. As with all North kites, the bar system is the usual beautifully refined product and when you put the kite up, you immediately become aware of a stunningly crisp feel at the bar. The bar throw is a comfortable length, but the actual throw range isn't as big as you might expect on a kite this size. At first you might feel like there should be more, (and there's actually not a huge trimming range, but there's enough), but because of this, you get a lovely, powerful connection to the kite at the bar all the time. When you sheet out, the kite will still turn and the constant, predictable power delivery really is a cut above. As soon as you put the kite in the sky you can feel how much power you've got. There's no lag and the kite doesn't rely as much on building up apparent wind as some other big kites do. The power doesn't sneak up on you on the Dyno.
Another particularly outstanding asset is the Dyno's canopy rigidity, which is really impressive in a big kite and is reflected in the way the kite turns with such positivity. It's obvious why it's a good racing kite; there's feel through all of the turn and it loops nice and steadily, but quickly. Big kites can struggle on the up section of the loop, this doesn't. It all feels very positive and easy and flies forward in a lovely controlled manner. The feel through the bar and positive flying characteristics also make it a useful jumping machine. It's a 16 metre, so you're not going to be throwing it really aggressively around for boosts, but the Dyno has a lovely liftiness to it and piloting it while in the sky is all very easy and a composed experience. The good performance at the top of the window also gives you a lovely lifty feeling in your harness for some neat floaty transition work.
It might not be designed for it, but the Dyno actually performs well for some lightwind unhooked riding as well. In 10 – 15 knots, the water conditions are usually nice and flat and so great fun for practising your unhooked moves. At the moment when your lines go loose the Dyno remains balanced. If the wind coughs and the lines go loose, it still stays balanced. In really lightwinds the fifth line is actually a benefit when it comes to relaunching. There's still a technique involved, but it means that you have that extra line connection point on the kite to be able to better manipulate the kite to turn over where you want it, without relying more on the light wind to do all the work for you. Switching between four and five line set up is easy, there's just a change to be made on the front bridle knots and then the spare bit of fifth line from the kite tucks neatly into a pocket on the leading edge.
A stunning high performance sailing machine. The Dyno has a lovely, direct feel for a big kite with a surprisingly light and nimble nature. It doesn't have as much depower as the other kites on the throw, but the feedback at the bar and feel you get makes this a stand out in what are usually quite flukey lightwind conditions. The lightwind power factor is packed into this kite too. It's definitely the ticket and with it North have taken a huge step forward in the constructors' championship.
Beautifully refined feel and handling. Even as a 16, it could never be described as sluggish.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
You may be used to relying on just sheeting out to ditch large amounts of power. On this you have to trim the depower down for the same amounts of depower, which is why it flies so cleanly and smoothly with such lovely feedback through the bar.
18 and 16m
Truth be told, we haven't really been interested in light wind kiting for a long time because the equipment has been quite hard work to use. Having a handful of raceboards has certainly changed that, but so too have these kites. All very dynamic in their handling and now sitting further forward in the window than any 16 or 17 metre kites used to, they actually all now have credible upwind performance. They are not just downwind chuggers any more. They can all also hold a fair amount of power and cross-over into that 12 metre wind territory quite comprehensively. You don't need to worry, thinking, 'what if the wind picks up a bit?'. You'll be able to cope on all of these, making them actually good value for your sessions. We'll miss not having them in the office. For the last month, we've known that if it's been around 12 knots, we'd be having a good session, even on a regular twin-tip, and steadily learning some tricks in manageable conditions.
This test is in issue #52