Duotone Rebel 2019 review

Duotone Rebel review 2019

If you like jumping – read this test!

 

THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #98 IN MARCH 2019

 

Duotone Rebel 2019 review

 

TEST TEAM NOTES: 

We’ve had several good sessions on the Rebel this year, across the full wind range, and what should have been a bit beyond it. In strong wind the Rebel has awesome amounts of sheet-and-go boosting performance. Not only can it transport you higher than you’d normally go, but it’s going to hold you up there. You cover a lot of ground. Within two jumps in Cape Town, it’s possible you might have cleared a kilometre downwind. 

If your main objective is to spend most of your time sky high, the Rebel is perfect. What’s really good is that the relationship between boost height and hangtime are well matched. The over riding quality isn’t just that the Rebel can help you do massive jumps; it’s that it’s so constant and you can do great jumps every single time – not just on the odd occasion that you really get your timing perfect. 

Some of our biggest jumps came off the flat water, not just relying on kickers, because the sensory feel and performance is so good. There wasn’t another kite on test this issue that gave such good flat water boosting performance. You can come in, drift the kite up, sheet out as you load up your rail and then sheet in as you’re finishing your carve into wind and take-off with such carbon copy technique results every time. The sweet spot in the window overhead is big and the lift is like you’re being sucked up a vacuum. Whooosh. As long as you keep sheeting in the Rebel will keep on lifting. Most kites deliver just one plane of lift, but we’ve all heard our mates chatting on about that time they got their jump so right and timed it with a big gust that it gave them two or three extra phases of lift. In decent conditions the Rebel takes you high and then further up again with startling consistency. It’s like pulling yourself up over ledge. 

 

Duotone Rebel review 2019

 

Looking at the Rebel, it’s not a trendy, rounded three strut shape and the flatter profile looks racey and more bow-like, which these days gives the impression of it being floatier rather than tuned for fast lift. But it’s awesome. The faster you go into your take-off, the more and more the Rebel gives you and the power control is just so accurate at the bar. Even for transitions you can really run through the text book technique in your mind: cut sharply upwind, move the kite back, lift up your front leg while pushing off on the tail of the board as you sheet in. The flight characteristics are sensational and so involving. Avoid that nasty bit of white water by sheeting in a bit more, or spot the perfect flat spot to land on… or try a downloop transition for a fast exit speed. You’re so well connected. 

Of course if you’re looking at the Rebel, you may well be looking at the Core XR4 which commands a large percentage of the WOO records and is a supreme big air weapon. Both kites get you up there, but the XR4 sneaks you up there with Gin and Tonic in-hand. The Core GTS also gets you up there, but it snatches you up more. The pace of the Rebel’s flight is always so well formatted for pace. It’s addictive. 

Yes, this is a phenomenal high wind kite, but unlike the Dice, when you’re at 90% and above in its wind range, you can’t really turn the power down; you then have to rely on your legs. Aerodynamically the Rebel is incredibly solid and the airframe remains stable at any wind speed with zero shudder. It just comes down to what your legs can handle in order to urge the kite forward in the window. 

The great news is that we got the most out of it in more regular strong wind conditions. This eight is just incredible at around 30 – 35 knots when you can really move it with comfort and without holding back. Pound for pound it’s Roy Jones Junior – punching above its weight but not purely through brute force (FYI he’s the only boxer in history to have started as a light middleweight and go on to win a heavyweight title). 

The Rebel’s jet engine is clean and well serviced. At the bottom end of its range the jumps are still good, but when you’re in its happy place, around 60 – 90% of its upper end, the mix of sheeting control and turbo-charged launch performance is just beautiful. 

Coming down from height the heli-loops are pivotal and soft, helping you drop to the water like a feather and yet with beautiful forward momentum. 

The Rebel raises the question of whether you could live without kite looping in strong winds. You can kite loop it, but it’s not like the Dice that has really modern and reliable loop performance and a higher top end ceiling to be able to turn the power down in nuking winds. There comes a point with the Rebel where you just won’t loop it because it’s not the right shape to smoothly drive round the bottom of the window like the Dice every time in howling winds, but then it’s all about boosting and unleashing that tightly coiled spring. 

 

Duotone Click Bar 2019

 

Pair this up with the Click bar and you’re in high-performance freeride heaven. There are a couple of brands this year, Duotone being one of them, who have provided us with some seriously first class freeride tools for strong wind performance control. 

Watch the Rebel product video below:

 

SUMMARY: 

The Rebel brings Cape Town jumping performance home. As soon as your spot gets windy enough for jumping, the Rebel is going to give you added performance. The jumping thrill is so reliable that it’s like buying a scratch card and finding a winning symbol every time. On a windy day a good jump isn’t as much of a lottery. It’s a dead cert. 

 

KW LIKED: 

Strong wind sensory control. Strapping into the cockpit and being able to hit the same high standards for take-off and boosting every time. There may be kites that can ultimately go higher with good technique, but the joy in the Rebel is the consistent feel and how it transports you. 

 

KW WOULD CHANGE: 

The Rebel hits its upper limit before the Dice, and at its top 10% really takes some skilled edge control to get it to the edge of the window for some relief. But that’s only at its very top end. On the other hand, if you like the sound of that sort of tension, you’re gonna go so high and so far. 

 

REBEL BALANCE POINTS: 

Build quality: 9.5

Full package: 9.5

Low end: 8.5

Top end: 8.5

Steering speed: 6.5 

Turning circle: 4

Bar pressure: 5 

Water relaunch: 9 

Drift: DT  

Boost: 9.5

Hang-time: 9.5 

Unhooked: 4

Crossover: 5 (Pure performance twin-tip freeriding) 

Ease of use: 9 

 

SIZES: 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m 

 

www.duotonesports.com

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