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NOBILE THE ONE

Polish powerhouse Nobile, perhaps most famous for their twintip boards, have developed an increasingly complete kite and hydrofoil line up.

The One, slightly unsurprisingly, is a mono-strut kite geared, as this product sector usually is, for lightwind free riding, early low end and hydrofoil use. But that’s where adopting a formula in line with the more mainstream brands stops for the One, as it really is a standout product lurking quietly in this now busy little market sector.

Out of the bag, you’re presented with a purposefully minimalist product with Teijin D2 cloth canopy and a narrow diameter and slightly angular leading edge. It sits mid-aspect compared to most single-strut kites and sports a very thin and efficient looking Dyneema bridle with twin pulleys. On more aggressive bar inputs, you can watch those pulleys shift and the whole kite twist across its wingtip, and make some seriously fast pivotal rotations on turning. Lively handling would be understating its cornering ability; it is one of the most perky and agile single-strut kites we’ve tried, even in the lower reaches of its wind range. Considering how intentionally light the build is and the complete absence of battens, there is very little vibration in the canopy, even under aggressive steering across the window.

We took the One hydrofoiling in some waves in some slightly onshore light wind, which is always a very telling situation for a kite’s low-end stability. The drift it is capable of, and balance when running down the line fast on a foil, is extremely impressive. If you do manage to push the kite to start freefalling, rather than tip out, it hangs for a long time, giving you time to correct so the recovery is very predictable.

With a twintip, The One makes a good platform for lighter riders in underpowered conditions. If you’re on the heavier side, whilst The One does an admirable job of controlling its shape, you will start to deform the kite a little if you really load it; this is forgivable as it’s clearly not the intended design brief. It is perfectly adequate for trundling around in light wind, but perhaps a little too reactive on the bar for a school kite. The relaunch is pretty much instant, in fact keeping it on the water is perhaps the main challenge. 

It is great to see a more boutique brand like Nobile going off the beaten track design-wise, and taking some risks with their products and in this case it has really paid off as they’ve produced one of the most playful kites for freeride foiling available. It turns on a dime, produces power exactly when you require it to, and remains very composed throughout its quite wide wind range. It has enough bar feedback and ground pull to get you round your transitions consistently with zero fuss. Nobile have made a big entrance to the single-strut market with The One – it is exceptionally light, agile and composed as a hunting cat.

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