The Fuse is a freeride / wave kite that can be easily switched between four and five line mode, with a huge wind range, light, predictable feel and great jumping qualities. Its unique and simple Attack Control Bridle gives the Fuse smooth, reactive steering that is especially evident when depowered, taking a huge step forward in terms of manoeuvrability and direct feeling on four lines. Additionally, the new AC Bridle gives you the ability to safely and completely depower the Fuse on to its back, similar to a five line system. The Fuse is built to last, utilising the newest Technoforce canopy material D2 that is more resistant to tearing than conventional material. Lazy pump simplicity will get you on the water quickly.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Everything in a North kite is always balanced between quality and performance. The Fuse feels really tough, is robustly manufactured, good looking and, of course, comes with one of the best bars on the market. We like the four or five line option on this kite, with the kite performing well on each and the fifth line neatly tucking up into a pocket on the leading edge in four line mode. A lot of thought has gone into this product. It makes life easy on and off the water.
The canopy is rigid and taught in the air and the kite feels solid, stable and has a beautiful power delivery. Really predictable, you know where the kite is the whole time. There's no lag between the power generated in the kite and what you feel at the bar, despite the bungy on the tips. There's no forward surging and no back-stalling, it's just very constant, even when the gusts come up. Turning with purpose, it's quick but retains a good feel throughout giving precision control. When you change direction you feel the kite generating power above you, not so much that it pulls you off your edge, you're just aware of it. Very smooth, but you're always aware of the power, North know how to make a kite feel at the bar, similar to what you feel at the steering wheel of a quality car. Things like transitions are incredibly simple: edge, pop into the air, bring the kite over... it's all so predictable. The hangtime is really, really nice, and all so easy. It's a fantastic jumping kite. You may think this sounds and looks like it isn't going to be for unhooking looking at it, but for us it ticked a lot of boxes, although for wake-stylers, it probably flies a bit too far forward.
The Fuse is a lot of fun in gusty conditions. The water relaunch is pretty easy too... it's an all round performer. One minute you can be unhooking and going for a pass and the next boosting big hang-time, inspired to bring out some old school stuff because it has such a lovely lift pattern at the top of the window. A fairly fast ten metre, it's absolutely great for anyone who wants to go out and enjoy kitesurfing.
Everything from build-quality to all-round performance. This is a perfect kite for most people.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The pretend (or actual) fifth line gets caught in the trimming cleat from time to time, so you occasionally have to move it out of the teeth before you adjust the trim.
14, 12, 10, 9, 7 and 5m
This test is in issue #52