North Click Bar review

NORTH CLICK BAR

Please note: the design and management team that produced this North product are now producing as Duotone Sports

 

north_clickbar_kiteworldreview

 

 

TEST TEAM NOTES:

And so we come to the product that North have been heralding as the ‘Game Changer’. To be honest, we’ve known that this product has been coming for quite some time as North spent a long time on it and needed to get it absolutely right on first release. When something is so different, there’s not much room for a second chance.

First up, North have to be complemented for their manufacturing prowess. The Click Bar looks like it’s been in production, modified and tweaked for years. Always clean and clinical in their finish, the Click bar is no exception. If you haven’t heard about it yet, the Click bar basically trims the rear lines instead of how we’ve always done it, via the front lines. As a result, the tidiness of the bar is the best we’ve ever seen – and is one of the biggest selling points outside of the functionality of the new back line trimming system.

Sheet down on the bar and the rectangular sheath over the lines automatically untwists the lines through the centre of the bar. It’s very neat and clever, though is a little grippy when new. You still also have the ‘grenade’ manual untwister below the bar above the chicken-loop which maintains its smooth, ease-of-use.

 

North Click Bar 2017

 

In the last seven years or so, we don’t think we’ve seen a product come to market that has been so vastly different and yet so well thought out. This year, clearly, we also have the Cabrinha Fireball (and emerging news of Ocean Rodeo’s version of a rear line trimming system, called Stick Shift), but there’s no denying that this is a brilliant piece of innovative design.

So, is it for you? Well, it’s almost the same price as an all-inclusive short haul holiday to somewhere nice and warm, but if you’re willing to accept that, for your average rider it’s brilliant. For starters it’s neater and definitely sexier than a cleat and there’s nothing dangling in front of your eyes.

One of the smartest assets is the adjustable position for the V in the front lines, meaning that the bar can be quickly adapted for use with any kite from any other brand. For example, the F-One Bandit V has always been really high. No problem for the Click bar, with a couple of minutes adjustment of the settings you can be all set up.

Where the bar functionality makes most sense and offers the most benefits is with regard to the close reach of the trimming handle and clicker button. No matter how short your arms are, you can always reach the end of your bar and rather than having to reach inboard and upwards to get hold of a trimming cleat, you can maintain your natural riding body posture. Lighter riders and girls will particularly appreciate this.

Wave riders are going to love it too, and anyone who rides in an environment where they need fixed movements of trim. For example, when riding waves, you’ll head out on full power to get upwind, and then once you get on a wave you might want to put on three clicks of depower. You’ll work out what’s perfect for you and the best thing is that each click is very precise in terms of the amount of depower you get. Once again, there’s no interference with your riding position to depower. Another group of riders who will benefit are park riders who want a quick dab of depower before hitting an obstacle.

 

northclickbarreview

We feel that the depowering click element is the best part of this system. The more you ride the Click bar the more you’ll get used to the action, but the several half twists you need to quickly power the kite up isn’t the best characteristic for people who like to combine big boosting with unhooked moves in the same windy session. You want quick response in that situation. Land your unhooked trick, bang on all the power again, head out, boost, turn back around and then right before your trick go to maxiumum depower again. You’ll get used to the motion on the Click bar though, and the benefit on offer is that you don’t get the worn out sections on your trimming line from being repeatedly jammed in a cleat. Trimming straps are notorious for depowering reasonably quickly, but then jumping back into power with force and you can over power yourself. There’s none of that with the Click bar because it’s all about measured adjustments.

You just need to be a bit more patient with your powering up of the Click bar, that’s all.

 

SUMMARY:

The North Click bar is a super slick product. Featuring a gauge on the top of the bar that tells you how much depower you currently have on may seem like a gimmick at first, but you feel like you’re in the cockpit of a high-tech vehicle. For waves, freeriding, lighter or smaller riders and those who want the ultimately clean piece of kit, the Click bar is ideal, and can be adjusted to work with most kites on the market.

Basically, this isn’t a vital item that everyone must have. It is one that you’ll really appreciate the more and more sessions you have with it. It’s a classic example of Apple user-experience over PC functionality.

 

Here’s the official Click Bar product video from North

 

For more information on the Click Bar and North Kiteboarding product range visit

www.duotonesports.com

 

This test appeared in Issue #83 of the magazine. Subscribe to Kiteworld for the most comprehensive tests out there!

 

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