Rebel 2017 an inside view from designer Ken Winner
What was your vision for developing the 2017 Rebel?
The Rebel is a Freeride kite that has been fine-tuned across the varying size categories in order to emphasize the different aspects of its performance and capabilities. Whilst last year we adjusted the aspect ratios, this year we focused more on improving the range with an enhanced steadiness of bar feel, prevention of back-stalling and smoother turning abilities. The Rebel has long been known for that exceptional bar feeling which is extremely smooth, stable and shake-free. But this year it's even better.
Do you work with any Team Riders in the R&D process for the 2017 Rebel, and how does that help?
I live on Maui, so its' only natural for me to call on Team Riders who are also based here. I work closely with Sky Solbach and Patri McLaughlin who of course provide great feedback from the top end of the skill scale. In addition to this, I also worked with riders who have less experience and are less accomplished. It’s always good to get people of varying riding abilities to test an all-around kite like the Rebel.
What are the main differences between the new 2017 Rebel and last year's model?
This year we doubled the segment between the quarter struts resulting in eight, rather than the previously seen four segments. This design update gives the canopy a rounder shape in the front which eliminates tendencies to back-stall and gives a smoother, more precise and consistent profile overall. This consistency also ensures a larger wind range and smoother bar feel. We also moved the quarter strut slightly down towards the trip strut, which helps to keep luff and flutter in this particular area to a minimum. It also creates a rounder turning style similar to that of the Neo.
What are your recommendations on the different settings?
One of the features that gives the Rebel its uniquely short bar stroke and superior performance in over-powered conditions is the loaded 5th line. The cost of getting this superior performance is the need to ensure that the 5th line is the same length as the front flying lines. Riders should quickly check the 5th line length ever y five sessions or so. Anyone who finds the 5th line to be more than 1.5 cm or 2 cm longer than the front lines should shorten it by putting an extra knot on the 5th line at the V. The other Rebel adjustment can be found in the adaptive tip. Riders who prefer a harder, more direct bar feel, can use the Hard bar setting.
Which line length do you use on the different kites?
We usually use 22 m lines on all the sizes , but for extra power we sometimes use 24 m.
In a nutshell what are the main updates for 2017?
More segments in the center of the kite for a rounder profile entry and more consistent profile throughout the center of the kite. This ensures rounder turning, a smoother bar feel, enhanced wind range and prevention against back-stalling. Since the beginning, the Rebel has long been known for its exceptionally smooth, stable and shake-free feeling through the bar, but this year it's even better!