When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Here’s why you can trust our tests and our affiliate partner.
The Rebel saw a big change a couple of years back when it made the transition to a 4-line kite (with the option to run on five lines with the upgrade kit if that’s still your preferred safety option, or you haven’t upgraded your bar for a few seasons!), the results were pretty much overwhelmingly positive, with last year’s Rebel providing refinements to give it more of that ‘Rebel’ vibe. So it seems that the naysayers have been silenced and the Rebel has kept its core audience happy.
For 2020 there are some changes with construction, most noticeably with the new trailing edge which you can find across the Duotone line up with the ‘up and down’ reinforcements replaced with a narrow ‘wave’ shaving a vital few ounces of weight from the rear of the canopy. The implementation of this also enabled Ken Winner and Sky Solbach to improve the leech tension and thus the overall torsion of the kite and its overall stability and responsiveness.
We flew the Rebel in a range of sizes from 8 through to 12m. The first thing to say about the Rebel is that when it first arrived on the scene it was nothing short of revolutionary in terms of its design and performance, and few people would argue that where the Rebel went, much of the rest of the market followed. Nowadays the kite landscape is pretty well populated with kites which have elements of the Rebel’s DNA so it has to work harder to stand out.
In the air and you can see that the Rebel continues to set the bar for pure silky handling. The relatively short bar stroke takes you from zero to full power without ever missing a beat and the canopy refinements have delivered improvements here. Paired with the Click Bar and the clean bar-end experience this provides and there are few other kites that provide such a reassuringly responsive ride. For cruising (on a twintip, surfboard or foil) the Rebel drives you around without excessive lateral pull and provides a light and efficient connection between kite, rider and board. Upwind performance – particularly on a foil – is excellent, and certainly solid enough for a credible performance around the racecourse. Overall in the smaller sizes the Rebel is a great kite for foiling in moderate wind with the immediate power on/off making the take off easy to manage and the lift you get when you sheet helping to manage foiling transitions. For boosting the Rebel is reassuring and provides a smooth and stable take off followed by some floaty airtime – this is where the Rebel has always excelled and it continues to do so.
In a sentence: The Rebel has found its place in the marketplace and continues to perform here: if you want one of the smoothest kite flying experiences on the market coupled with the ability to sheet in and head for the stars, then look no further.