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Different brand name. Same kite. As the dust settles on the big re-branding, it’s nice to be reminded that what’s at the heart of ‘Duotone’ is the kit. And with the kites there have been no changes with who is designing them, or the materials that are being used, or how and where they are produced. So this Rebel is still a, err, Rebel. For 2018 the Rebel made the transition from 5 to 4 lines which was BIG news to Rebel devotees but essentially well received so for 2019 it has been more about tweaking the new design. The primary change (which can also be seen in other kites in the 2019 lineup) is that the LE is skinnier and has been flattened in the middle section. The aim here is to reduce backstalling and increase depower and turning speed. Also new for 2019 is a shorter Click Bar, and we tested the Rebel on this.
On the water and the Rebel immediately feels reassuringly familiar – we have ridden Rebels for over ten years and the feel and philosophy of the kite has stayed true to its ‘top end freeride’ brief… We were testing the Rebel in gusty and busy Tarifa and it is the perfect kite to keep you perfectly powered and trucking around with the masses. With the super-precise power deliver you get a real increase or decrease in power from the smallest of adjustments and the amount of depower is massive. We felt that the turning was more pivotal for 2019 making the Rebel a more appealing option in the surf, and for boosting the Rebel can be what you want it to be. If you want to really send it then you can really load up the power and it delivers some serious boosting. Or if you want to take it a bit easier then you can sheet in, send the kite, and you’re completely in control of how far you go up and how long it takes you to get down. Which is what you want from your Rebel.
In a sentence: No big surprises, but some nice refinements and an all-round smoother feel for the 2019 Duotone Rebel.