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7m Rebel 2008 Review by Alisdair Cunningham Smith

North Rebel 08, 7m.On Sunday 13th Jan it was blowing a hoolie – SSE, seldom less than 25 kts and gusting over 40. Too much for my old faithful 9m Crossbow, so I borrowed a 7m Rebel. I was rusty and conditions were difficult, but the Rebel did its best to smooth things out for me, and it felt great just to be out in such wild weather. Having got used to complicated bridles with sticky pulleys and serious bar pressure, it was a joy to ride an SLE kite without such contraptions. I’d tried the Atom and the RRD type 9, both in 9m form, and I felt that especially the Atom had sacrificed the range of control available on the bar in order to give that lighter feel. Not so on the rebel – in the gusts I just let the bar out then sheeted back in for instant power. Steering was light, fast and natural without being twitchy. Its speed did catch me once and I dipped one tip in the waves, but it didn’t get bogged down – I just steered it up and out again, panic over before it started. To be honest I was a bit scared by the force of the wind and I didn’t try anything fancy, but I was able to pop over the mush going upwind just by yanking the bar – pretty much an SLE only trick. I also tried a couple of jumps, and it did what you’d expect, but again, I wasn’t up for anything radical. Looking back, I realise that it didn’t fold up, turn inside out, or any of those other bow kite nasty tricks, although to be fair it was pumped “well hard”. All in, a really good kite – predictable performance delivered in style, and all the more impressive for being a 7m