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North introduced their first single strut kite last year and are now back with V2. The Mono borrows extensively from the Neo platform, but they have stripped out two struts to produce a lighter kite that packs down smaller and is also at a cheaper price point than its 3 or 5 strut compatriots. You’ve probably noticed that there has been a massive increase in the number of brands producing one strut kites – and it is no coincidence that this mirrors the massive increase in the number of kiters taking up foiling! So the Mono is pitched as a good kite for foiling, but also for riders looking for a lighter weight kite for riding in the waves and for freestyle, and also for schools.
In the air and the Mono ‘feels’ light. There is no twitchiness and even when the wind drops out, it stays put. The low end is excellent and there is a nice smooth delivery of power, the Mono seems to fly quite deep in the window but we tested it alongside some other kites and were really surprised by its upwind performance. There is very little lateral pull and we found that it powered upwind. When it comes to turning a one strut kite, the fact is that less struts equals more flutter. We found that the first version of the Mono had a lot of flutter, but this has been significantly reduced for V2 and overall responsiveness and turning speed is improved. For foiling, having a lighter kite is clearly a plus, and the Mono’s quick ‘power off’ also means that you can get up on the foil and then sheet out for a reassuringly quick reduction in power which makes a big difference, particularly when you are starting out…
In the surf the Mono really does fly like a Neo, but is slightly more nimble – it is a whole lot of fun and an ideal kite for those ‘just right’ days when the waves are consistent and the wind is steady.
In a sentence: The Mono is an easy and enjoyable kite to fly – it’s lighter in the air (and lighter on your wallet!) and if you closed your eyes you would have trouble telling that it wasn’t a three strut kite…