Year-after-year the North Vegas always seems to deliver quality and performance, making it one of the most popular freestyle kite on the market. How can it be possible to improve on a kite design every year and make it worth parting with your hard earned dollars? Have North reached perfection? Should we be upgrading every year? Let’s see…
Build and Construction If you have owned a Vegas before this will all look fairly familiar, with a five strut setup and a very similar canopy cut as last year. Really strong Dacron tips and a thin leading edge make the kite fast and responsive. Set up and tuning Traditional C kite shape with a loaded 5th line which means the kite relies on the support on the centre in order to hold its shape and stops it from requiring a bridle. On the wing tips you have quite a few options to help you tune your kite, three attachments on the back lines to adjust turning speed and two points on the front lines, freestyle (more depower and faster turning) or wakestyle (less depower and slower turning). Bar and trim For 2013 the North bar has had a massive facelift with several new features which have really improved the bar to make it fit everyone’s needs without being too complex.
Turning speed, handling and feel Comfortable and familiar is what comes to mind when I launched the kite. I have flown the Vegas for a few years so for me it feels like putting on a comfy pair of shoes. The change for this year is that they have removed the wingtip batten from the end of the kite which I thought would make the handling a little but spongy but it still feels sharp and responsive. Lift, hangtime and looping The handling when going for a boost is nice, with a smooth release when you throw it across the tip of the window, not quite as much float as the 2012 as the canopy looks as though it is a bit narrower. Unhooking No adjustment to the trim required before unhooking which is a positive sign that the kite is tuned in for freestyle, the pop off of the water is smooth and consistent. Trim, depower and range Considering it is a real C shape the kite has a lot of depower which makes it friendly to use even if the wind does pick up. The low end of the kite isn’t its strongest suit, and it does take a little bit of time to get it up and going when the wind is lighter.
I’ve always loved the Vegas, it’s the kite I have flown the most and I have become very comfortable with its feel. It’s genuinely a very hard kite to pick faults with, and when I think of quality freestyle kites, I tend to think of the Vegas. 2013 will be no exception.