North Reach Review

Brand          North
Kite Model       Reach
Sizes Tested(m) 12, 9
Sizes Available(m)    5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15

Control Bar                           Navigator Control Bar

 

Review Synopsis:

The Reach is North’s new three strut, “Desert Island kite”, that features reactive handling, power and performance that caters to any kite discipline from waves, to foil, and freestyle.

The Good Stuff

As the fourth model of the growing North kite line, the 2020 North Reach is a three strut, hybrid shape that has a crisp and light weight frame, and is equipped with North’s ultra-compact and pulley free bridle system. Flying the Reach, you can definitely feel the familiar DNA of the of the other North kites in the line, which include the big jumping, 5 strut, model called The Orbit, the C- kite inspired, freestyle kite called the Pulse and their wave specific model, the Carve. Compared to the Orbit and the Carve, the Reach feels a bit lighter kite in the air, and has a more crisp and reactive feel. Light touch steering nicely directs the Reach into quick pivotal turns and the lighter built, three strut frame, gives it nice drift capability, while still being able to steer the kite at low levels of line tension. It steers easily with one hand, making for easy toeside riding, and carving transitions on a foil or wave board. The Reach pivots slightly off center, giving it access to some nice smooth pull through the loop at more direct angles of attack down wind. It’s also got some amazing lift and boost, with nice feedback and feel from the bar, the Reach can react quickly and loop easily when you need it to. All these features give the Reach top marks for versatility across the kite disciplines of waves, foil, or twin tip style riding. The 12 meter Reach is also built with lighter weight bladders, along with the 13, 15 and 17 meter models. These kites are great for light wind foil sessions with comparable low end power to the single strut models. But with the added performance provided with a three strut canopy the Reach offers more range and crisp handling in the upper end of its wind range. They may not be able to relaunch as easily in ultra light winds as some of the single strut models, but the Reach will easily reverse off the water by pulling on the back lines, so light wind relaunch is respectable. We had the 12 meter on a larger surf foil in under 10 mph winds and it’s stability and light touch handling is impressive. The Reach is very well balanced and floats nicely up to the apex in the lower wind range. With some nice pull through the loop you can use some aggressive down loops to get that extra bit of power into your foil. The 9 meter is a truly a maverick with nice boost and lift, good on shore or side on wave performance, the Reach can handle a wide range of skill levels and has accessible performance for any skill level. It sits more forward in the window than the Carve, and pulls more off the front lines than the balanced and low harness pull offered by the Carve. It may not have the set and forget it back stalling, drift action of the Carve, but it’s good balance and stability make it a suitable wave kite for most conditions. With its easy jumping, quick handling and high performance across disciplines, the Reach is instantly poised to compete against some of the best in class cross performance kites like the Eleveight RS and the Naish Pivot.

Trade Off

Not as much glide for big air jumping.

Best For

A high performance all-rounder with the added light wind performance on a foil that many three strut models lack.