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2015 North Neo Review

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Created by BillyHampton > 9 months ago, 8 Sep 2014
BillyHampton
WA, 78 posts
8 Sep 2014 10:42PM
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2015 North Neo review.
review done by two people, Dad and I.
I am a sponsored team rider by WASurf & North kiteboarding Australia.



The Hype from NORTH

BEST DRIFT CAPABILITIES IN THE RANGE
USE A SMALLER SIZE THAN USUAL?
BRILLIANT SHEET AND GO POWER DELIVERY
RESPONSIVE STEERING WHEN DEPOWERED
EASY WATER RELAUNCH
.OCT. 20 Last year the Neo was redeveloped as a pure wave-riding kite, focusing on the qualities that riders demand in waves. The kite not only im- pressed the riders, but also won several magazine tests in its class. This year the kite has been completely reworked to further improve its per- formance. The Neo still has amazing drift capa- bilities, but the top end has also been improved while keeping the amazing low end. The kite has excellent sheet and go characteristics, meaning you can either dump power, or use it according to where you are on the wave and how it is breaking. This will get you out of difficult situations, but it also makes riding waves easier and flying the Neo is very instinctive. For 2015 we recommend using a kite 1-2 sizes smaller than you would normally as the low end is so impressive! The world’s best wave riders all love the Neo and when you fly one on the waves, you’ll fall in love too!

My Notes about the 2015 Neo.
Dad used the 7m Neo on the 2015 Wam 5’11’’ with straps.
I used the 6m Neo on the 2015 Wam 5’6’’without straps. we both used 2015 North Quad control bars. I weigh 60kg and dad weighs 80kg.
The Neo’s were tested in winds ranging from 16-47knts and cross off to dead on shore winds.
The waves from waist high to double over head, tested in Margaret river.

When getting the 2015 north Neo 6 and 7m out of the bag, I noticed North has reduced the size of the bag, and weight. The Neo has the legendary airport valve to get you out on the water quicker, which I love. After pumping up the kite I’ve noticed they have got adjustment on the forward and back lines, which alter the flying characteristics, like adjustments for bar pressure, turning speed, type of turn, depower and drift. The trailing edge force control seems to be rounded off more compared to last years. Their is less Dacron to make a lighter better drifting wave kite. Self launching the kite was very easy due to the shape. The Neo has a very nice smooth power delivery when sending, but might be a bit powerful for beginners. The sheet and go is exactly what the hype says which is satisfying. There are two types of turning settings, 1. Being pivotal and 2. Being rounded, I prefer the the more rounded turning due to the more power it gives you during turns. But I did find it didn’t go up wind as fast as the other setting. I got the kite to fall out of the sky on me (which took me over an hour to do) and fall into the waves, the kite got flipped and tangled in lines, but when the wind got into the canopy it re-launched without me even trying, the bridles cant get tangled around the wing tips because they are quite short. I tested the kites in onshore, cross on and cross off, they drifted superbly, preferably on cross off & cross on. In dead onshore conditions the lines go slightly slack , but the kite doesn’t fall out of the sky, you can still steer it and generate power. The turning when depowered is insane, I tried the 6m out in 40+ knots with full depower and the kite reacted like their was no depower on. The stability in high winds is slightly sacrificed.
This review was from both of us and coming to the same conclusion, that this is the best wave kite North has produced so far.
Thanks drew from WASurf for giving us the opportunity to ride these kites.


hope you like it,
Billy.

Puetz
NT, 2097 posts
9 Sep 2014 12:35PM
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... got a pic you can share?

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1346 posts
9 Sep 2014 3:34PM
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Have you spent much time on the Neo 2014 Billy? Ive had mine since march this year and really like them.

Just wondering if you see much difference, it sounds like minor tweaks rather than anything major.

Cheers

LostDog
WA, 444 posts
9 Sep 2014 4:07PM
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I am a North fan, but now I am really confused.. does the Neo make the Dice obsolete?
Based upon the graphics below one would be forgiven for thinking so.


Then again, I'm most likely not skilled enough to feel the subtle differences with each.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1346 posts
9 Sep 2014 4:28PM
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Gee, Im not skilled enough to figure out the difference between what those graphics are saying!

BillyHampton
WA, 78 posts
9 Sep 2014 4:58PM
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Select to expand quote
Dave Whettingsteel said..
Have you spent much time on the Neo 2014 Billy? Ive had mine since march this year and really like them.

Just wondering if you see much difference, it sounds like minor tweaks rather than anything major.

Cheers


Hi dave,
I've used the 2014 for about 2 months, there is not a huge difference between the 2014 and 2015 models, they have been refined more. the top end has also been improved a lot.

WA Surf
WA, 333 posts
9 Sep 2014 5:09PM
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Lostdog, no, not at all. The Dice is, and always has been, a wave AND freestyle kite. It is not exceptional at either but performs very well in both.

However, as with everything there is a flip side.

The Dice is better at boosting and freestyle tricks and with a different power delivery, a little more aggressive than the Neo. The Dice also kiteloops a little more like a C-kite.

The Neo is superior in every single way in the waves. It has a progressive power development that doesn't pull you off your board. It turns faster and tighter, creating less power. It does not boost as well as the Dice (and nor should it). The Neo drifts much, much better than the Dice. The Neo needs to be ridden at least a size smaller than the Dice which means in any given conditions you get a smaller kite that turns faster and drifts better - which is a win win for wave riding. This was an aspect of the design that North worked on for 2014 to get their team guys out on as small of a kite as early as possible.

If you only wave ride - Neo
If you wave ride but also want to go and boost around when it's windy or hit the flatwater and do some freestyle - Dice

I haven't ridden the 2015 Neo yet but it will be interesting to see what changes were made and how the different bridle settings effect the kite. We have a 7-9 2014 & 2015 in demo and will back to back these as soon as possible and let you know.

Drew

WA Surf
WA, 333 posts
9 Sep 2014 5:10PM
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Neo is due for release early October, we should have stock in 3-4 weeks.

Puetz
NT, 2097 posts
9 Sep 2014 8:28PM
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... just found this:



Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1346 posts
9 Sep 2014 9:07PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
BillyHampton said..
Dave Whettingsteel said..
Have you spent much time on the Neo 2014 Billy? Ive had mine since march this year and really like them.

Just wondering if you see much difference, it sounds like minor tweaks rather than anything major.

Cheers


Hi dave,
I've used the 2014 for about 2 months, there is not a huge difference between the 2014 and 2015 models, they have been refined more. the top end has also been improved a lot.


That's good to hear, thanks Billy...

WA Surf
WA, 333 posts
10 Sep 2014 4:26PM
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Sounds like the new adjustments on the bridle make a bit of difference to the performance. Now we just need some more wind! Come on seabreezes!!

dazza5172
SA, 311 posts
15 Sep 2014 9:27PM
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Its Dazza's time to finally review the 9m Neo coming off a 10m Rebel for 2 years and bigger Rebels before that, rider weight 68-70kg

Yes what has happened after 7 years of Rebel Riding?? Rebels, Rebels, Rebels, they were my reliable purchase year after year but last year the introduction of the dice and riding my mates kites meant that I started to see the limitations of the Rebel in Waves. - that's all another story, my evolution with the Rebel.

Tonight I got to ride my 9m Neo, I was really worried about this as it was such a leap of faith. I had also heard about bar pressure which concerned me, but here we go, I used the softer setting on the pigtails and bridle and turned the bar lines to an inward position (the North Bar allows for inside or outside adjustments, 4 line bar, last years Proseries board):

1. Bar pressure was perfectly fine, coming off the Rebel it was different, and compared more to the dice. The difference is you have a slightly longer throw than Rebel but its not far to depower, you can also feel a bit of spring and bounce on the bar from the wind but pulling the bar in and its not heavy at all, I would have actually said its quite light. You do use the depower strap a bit more just to allow a comfortable arm length in changeable wind or tracking up wind in strong conditions vs wave riding. After the 2 hour session I really started to forget I was on a different kite with bar feel, although it is slightly different from the Rebel feel.

2. Turning speed, the 9m turned fast, definitely faster than the Rebel, here again I was a bit worried off my 10m Rebel as I do like to boost and pull a few rolls etc, I thought it would be too whippy and out of control, it was still easily controllable and has a constant turning speed from the first part of the bar pull. Turning speed was perfect and it was easy to turn under power and when stalling or in lulls. Pulling transition rolls was fine and quite easy to feel the control of the kite (rather than some out of control kitelooping)

3. Boost - I love coming off the lip or hitting chop and hanging off transitions, just sit in the air, this off all things I noticed with the 2014 dice having a less boost power than the Rebel, the Rebel is the boost hang time machine, but the Neo had nice boost and hang time, no drama

4. Power, good grunt and power bottom end, I have under recommendation gone from 10m to 9m, and so far that seems perfectly fine. the wind at the start was about 25+ knots. maybe gusting to 27, obviously the 9m was super comfortable and great fun. The wind dropped to 15-20 knots and I was well powered and easily staying upwind, the kite felt nice and the bar pressure the same in gusts or light wind. the difference is just adjusting the depower strap to let the bar site where you are comfortable with it. I was keeping up wind from down wind wave riding and back up in 1 or 2 tacks, so that was very nice. The wind lulled to on and of with holes all around 15 odd knots but I was still okay and then once the wind dropped out everyone came in with no wind. I really liked the fact that when there was almost nothing the kite just sat up in the air until I was ready to land it.

5. Wave riding, the actual bomb of this kite, the drift is insane, I really pushed this kite hard turning down wind in the side onshore gusts and holely conditions, a couple of times I really thought I pushed it too far, and it would land straight in the water, but it just sat where ever I left it. the stability and drift were brilliant, that's everything really as its a dedicated wave and freeride kite so it does all that it promises there. The other thing that I started to dislike about wave riding with Rebels is that they do tend to drop if you turn down wind too far and then as they are a powerful kite if they repower up that can be a bit too much wrenching suddenly, this is yet another wave specific issue. I had the Neo slack lined and dropping and when it repowered it produces a soft reengagement, that is something that was really nice.

6. Fun feeling free riding style, this kite really does feel fun, it does not let you think at any point it will punish you for your insolence, it kind of lets you throw some moves in or out of the waves and you don't have to worry about the trucking kiteloop of overpower.

7. Relaunch, normally something I don't report on as I really almost never had any water time with kites, this thing with this kite is that as you are able to push the wave riding limits way past most other kites could even dream of, it might happen, I did test it so fat in a lull down the face of a wave with a downloop that it did land in the water, there was such little wind at that time I thought that it would be the end of the session, but in spite of the couple of small taps of white water, all I did was pull on the bar and it realaunched itself, totally so easy, that really bought a smile to my face. Super easy relaunch. The reality is that you would actually get this kite in the water more often as you can push the limits beyond what you think is possible, and then you know you can relaunch it quick as you want.

8. Negatives and differences. - this is really hard now as I really do like this kite. I have ridden other brands wave kites and I did not really like the harder pressure you had to put into the bar to boost, which seemed the only way to boost where as the wave or tracking was lighter pressure, the Neo does not have a difference with bar pressure for extra power, but if you love the perfect constant Rebel feel where there is no fluttering or feel of the wind puffing on the kite, you might not like it. I have been a devoted Rebel man and the bar feel and short throw the main reason. So I approach this cautiously, but I do like the bar feel of the Neo as its a softer feel and the spring response is quite fun. Massive boosting: you are not likely to pick a smaller Neo for boosting and if you are a jump obsessed kiter you will want a bigger Neo, but then a Rebel is your pick really so it just would not make sense to go neo.

I cannot agree that the Neo is inferior to the Dice for boosting, it does boost well, I found the Dice lighter on the boost, but the new Dice apparently is better in bottom end so that story is not yet complete.

The summary is that it is a really nice kite, Wave machine, drifty, fun springy feel, and really you cant go past one if you have any wave riding preference, but it still works as a fun free rider, chuck some jumps.

No doubt I will have some more reports as I get some more sessions in

To try and be distinct from Rebel to Neo:
Rebel: If you have flat water and are a flat water rider, or just look at waves as ramps, love to boost huge, need as much power as you can get your hands on, big riders or lighter wind. You want a 5th line kite safety only. You want a kite that is like a fixed aeroplane wing in the air, solid, no fluttering nothing but a jet wing

Neo: You predominantly ride waves but want a kite that has grunty bottom end, still want some boost and freeriding, don't want to be overdone in freestylish wave moves or where the kite reengages from slack lines (waves), you want a kite that truly drifts but that does not mean at the cost of all other features. you want 4 line kite that has a true flag out safety.

Dice: you really need to be doing freestyle in the flats and city beach then hitting the waves on the weekend something to do both. you want 4 line kite that has a true flag out safety.

that's my take at the moment and it will probably change a bit later with testing the new Dice.

Dazza

LostDog
WA, 444 posts
16 Sep 2014 7:14AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
dazza5172 said..
Its Dazza's time to finally review the 9m Neo coming off a 10m Rebel for 2 years and bigger Rebels before that, rider weight 68-70kg

Yes what has happened after 7 years of Rebel Riding?? Rebels, Rebels, Rebels, they were my reliable purchase year after year but last year the introduction of the dice and riding my mates kites meant that I started to see the limitations of the Rebel in Waves. - that's all another story, my evolution with the Rebel.

Tonight I got to ride my 9m Neo, I was really worried about this as it was such a leap of faith. I had also heard about bar pressure which concerned me, but here we go, I used the softer setting on the pigtails and bridle and turned the bar lines to an inward position (the North Bar allows for inside or outside adjustments, 4 line bar, last years Proseries board):

1. Bar pressure was perfectly fine, coming off the Rebel it was different, and compared more to the dice. The difference is you have a slightly longer throw than Rebel but its not far to depower, you can also feel a bit of spring and bounce on the bar from the wind but pulling the bar in and its not heavy at all, I would have actually said its quite light. You do use the depower strap a bit more just to allow a comfortable arm length in changeable wind or tracking up wind in strong conditions vs wave riding. After the 2 hour session I really started to forget I was on a different kite with bar feel, although it is slightly different from the Rebel feel.

2. Turning speed, the 9m turned fast, definitely faster than the Rebel, here again I was a bit worried off my 10m Rebel as I do like to boost and pull a few rolls etc, I thought it would be too whippy and out of control, it was still easily controllable and has a constant turning speed from the first part of the bar pull. Turning speed was perfect and it was easy to turn under power and when stalling or in lulls. Pulling transition rolls was fine and quite easy to feel the control of the kite (rather than some out of control kitelooping)

3. Boost - I love coming off the lip or hitting chop and hanging off transitions, just sit in the air, this off all things I noticed with the 2014 dice having a less boost power than the Rebel, the Rebel is the boost hang time machine, but the Neo had nice boost and hang time, no drama

4. Power, good grunt and power bottom end, I have under recommendation gone from 10m to 9m, and so far that seems perfectly fine. the wind at the start was about 25+ knots. maybe gusting to 27, obviously the 9m was super comfortable and great fun. The wind dropped to 15-20 knots and I was well powered and easily staying upwind, the kite felt nice and the bar pressure the same in gusts or light wind. the difference is just adjusting the depower strap to let the bar site where you are comfortable with it. I was keeping up wind from down wind wave riding and back up in 1 or 2 tacks, so that was very nice. The wind lulled to on and of with holes all around 15 odd knots but I was still okay and then once the wind dropped out everyone came in with no wind. I really liked the fact that when there was almost nothing the kite just sat up in the air until I was ready to land it.

5. Wave riding, the actual bomb of this kite, the drift is insane, I really pushed this kite hard turning down wind in the side onshore gusts and holely conditions, a couple of times I really thought I pushed it too far, and it would land straight in the water, but it just sat where ever I left it. the stability and drift were brilliant, that's everything really as its a dedicated wave and freeride kite so it does all that it promises there. The other thing that I started to dislike about wave riding with Rebels is that they do tend to drop if you turn down wind too far and then as they are a powerful kite if they repower up that can be a bit too much wrenching suddenly, this is yet another wave specific issue. I had the Neo slack lined and dropping and when it repowered it produces a soft reengagement, that is something that was really nice.

6. Fun feeling free riding style, this kite really does feel fun, it does not let you think at any point it will punish you for your insolence, it kind of lets you throw some moves in or out of the waves and you don't have to worry about the trucking kiteloop of overpower.

7. Relaunch, normally something I don't report on as I really almost never had any water time with kites, this thing with this kite is that as you are able to push the wave riding limits way past most other kites could even dream of, it might happen, I did test it so fat in a lull down the face of a wave with a downloop that it did land in the water, there was such little wind at that time I thought that it would be the end of the session, but in spite of the couple of small taps of white water, all I did was pull on the bar and it realaunched itself, totally so easy, that really bought a smile to my face. Super easy relaunch. The reality is that you would actually get this kite in the water more often as you can push the limits beyond what you think is possible, and then you know you can relaunch it quick as you want.

8. Negatives and differences. - this is really hard now as I really do like this kite. I have ridden other brands wave kites and I did not really like the harder pressure you had to put into the bar to boost, which seemed the only way to boost where as the wave or tracking was lighter pressure, the Neo does not have a difference with bar pressure for extra power, but if you love the perfect constant Rebel feel where there is no fluttering or feel of the wind puffing on the kite, you might not like it. I have been a devoted Rebel man and the bar feel and short throw the main reason. So I approach this cautiously, but I do like the bar feel of the Neo as its a softer feel and the spring response is quite fun. Massive boosting: you are not likely to pick a smaller Neo for boosting and if you are a jump obsessed kiter you will want a bigger Neo, but then a Rebel is your pick really so it just would not make sense to go neo.

I cannot agree that the Neo is inferior to the Dice for boosting, it does boost well, I found the Dice lighter on the boost, but the new Dice apparently is better in bottom end so that story is not yet complete.

The summary is that it is a really nice kite, Wave machine, drifty, fun springy feel, and really you cant go past one if you have any wave riding preference, but it still works as a fun free rider, chuck some jumps.

No doubt I will have some more reports as I get some more sessions in

To try and be distinct from Rebel to Neo:
Rebel: If you have flat water and are a flat water rider, or just look at waves as ramps, love to boost huge, need as much power as you can get your hands on, big riders or lighter wind. You want a 5th line kite safety only. You want a kite that is like a fixed aeroplane wing in the air, solid, no fluttering nothing but a jet wing

Neo: You predominantly ride waves but want a kite that has grunty bottom end, still want some boost and freeriding, don't want to be overdone in freestylish wave moves or where the kite reengages from slack lines (waves), you want a kite that truly drifts but that does not mean at the cost of all other features. you want 4 line kite that has a true flag out safety.

Dice: you really need to be doing freestyle in the flats and city beach then hitting the waves on the weekend something to do both. you want 4 line kite that has a true flag out safety.

that's my take at the moment and it will probably change a bit later with testing the new Dice.

Dazza


Great review ... Thanks!

HappyG
VIC, 259 posts
16 Sep 2014 11:37AM
Thumbs Up

Dazza, Thank God someone has reviewed this against the Rebel Fantastic review.

I must admit I have had rebels for ages and want to get a more Wave and freeride specific kite.

I will be off to demo one now, Great review.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1346 posts
16 Sep 2014 2:36PM
Thumbs Up

Top review Dazza! Was that the 2015 model you were riding? I'm enjoying my set of 2014 neo's and am not seeing any reason to change to 15's which I'm pretty happy about. The best thing about me learning to ride waves downwind with the Neo is that I know I'm the limiting factor not the kite!

dazza5172
SA, 311 posts
18 Sep 2014 6:52PM
Thumbs Up

Yeah thanks heaps guys

I really try my best to get the feeling into words that are useful

this is definitely my brand new 2015 Neo

I ordered it ages ago and got the first shipment from the shop and was lucky that there was an advanced order for Neos as they are becoming super popular.

I cna rave for ages about the difference between Rebels and Neos, certainly they look completely different too. The Neo has a thicker boxier leading edge and the struts are as close to the wingtips as I have ever seen, the rebel has sleek thin leading edge and obviously stiffer with the extra strutts.

for me the big risk was always being overpowered in the early days, I am light weight, so a kite that did not depower like the rebel was a risk, this is definitely not an issue with the Neo as the depower and quick bar throw out is super

Daz

hotballs
VIC, 112 posts
26 Sep 2014 10:37AM
Thumbs Up

took a 9m neo out for a demo the other day in gusty 20 to 30 knots. i was pretty impressed with the power of the thing. after the session i checked the wind graph and found that it was actually only blowing 18 to 25 knots. i was really surprised by this and now wonder if i can get away with 11 and 8 or even 7 as a 2 kite quiver. i dont really go out in the surf much but like kiting on a directional board when the wind is a bit lighter, I also found the kite boosts really nice and like the fast turning even when depowered as well as the feel of power on the bar, though i do wonder if the heavy bar will go on my tits after a while.
Managed to try the new dice 12m the following day in 14 to maybe 20 knots and in comparison to the neo it has nowhere near the power. even on the surfboard when the wind got down the 15 knot mark i struggled to stay upwind with my lard arse. a lighter friend on a new 10m pivot had no problems at the same time and i used to be able to stay with him on my old 12m evo. The dice did feel very nice though when in the 20 knot end and felt like i could hang onto it easily up to 25 plus knots. I much preferred the Neo , but horses for courses.

Nath
WA, 110 posts
27 Sep 2014 6:36AM
Thumbs Up

These are excellent reviews. As others are suggesting, this is an amazing wave kite! Here are some more thoughts from my first rides.

Gear used:
2015 9m North Neo
2015 5'6" North Pro Series

Gear supplier:
Action Sports WA (now in Balcatta)

Conditions:
20knt SW Scarborough Beach
Waist high waves

Observations:
Very similar feel to Reo with all of the best flying characteristics but more grunt
Very smooth and progressive increase in power as you sheet in
Clean, predictable turning with consistent power
When turned hard, there is a slight, comfortable increase in power without excessive surge
Instant, full depower - won't pull you off back of wave
Still turns well with bar out
Gust absorbing
Very easy to fly, direct feel
Able to concentrate on riding wave with very little attention required to fly kite
Jumps well
Light, responsive, fast turning
Trucked up wind surprisingly well
Great bottom end power - trust them when they suggest using a size smaller
Highest quality materials, design and workmanship
Loads of extra design features and options to customise feel and performance
Compact, quality bags and collections of backup parts

Adjustment options:
Bar ends can be rotated to effectively increase or decrease bar width
Kite mounting point for leading edge lines can be adjusted to change handling and improve drift
Rear line mounts can be changed to alter bar pressure and turning response

Overall thoughts:
Love at first flight. Manoeuvrability and smooth, responsive flight makes for a perfect wave kite. Really looking forward to using in good down the line wave riding conditions. I've enjoyed using Reos and Dice lately but the Neos have taken the fun factor up another level for me. Action Sports WA have some in their demo fleet, these reviews are spot on, definitely worth a demo if you're after a top performing wave kite.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 652 posts
27 Sep 2014 2:32PM
Thumbs Up

Hi Peeps,

I haven't read all of these reviews, but skimmed many. Here is my 2c worth.

From the beginning of the North dealer meeting, North was hyping the hell out of this kite and moved the production cycle up from late Feb to October delivery. With the move of the Dice further away from the waves, this has opened up a clear position for the Neo in the wave area. Unfortunately, due to poor/no wind at the demo week, we went away with a couple of demo kites and no clear feel from the kite apart from the hype. Hype from North is usually justified in my experience when they introduce something fresh, but I try to stay objective.

The Neo started with a lot of expectation and so had to deliver the goods, everyone was expecting nothing short of miracles and luckily, although not really a miracle, the kite is incredibly good.

I won't rabbit on about the review as so much has been written by others and it's mostly been said already so I will focus on the things that struck me the most.

Obviously, everyone has spoken of the power, it has power to burn and has now forced us to order 5m Neo's in an emergency airfreight. All riders will need to down size 1 or maybe even 2 square meters in size from what they have been riding. Perspective? I left the beach at Graveyards to ride the few kilometers upwind with another rider who was riding a 10m 2013 alternative brand kite, I was on the 7m Neo, we were both on surfboards. I had made it up to the break and had caught 5 waves by the time the other rider made it upwind. No one could believe it.

The upwind performance is also very good so getting back to the peak is quicker than normal. The kite of course drifts and turns like a class leading wave kite as you would expect, so no further comment on this.

Here is the kicker though. A few of our guys tried it as a freeride kite on twin tips as well and absolutely loved it. I took biggest boost of the week on a powered up 9m Neo and a twin tip. The jumping of the Neo is really surprising, it will go quite big and hangs nicely. This kite will suit all wave riders of all skill levels, but will also suit twin tip riders and heavier guys to a tee. The power and smoothness will make it work as an excellent freeride kite for beginners to intermediate riders.

The only downside to the Neo, is it's limited wind range. Unlike many other kites, this kite has a definite top end and once you get over powered you will need to downsize. The bar pressure starts off as the lighter side of moderate when in the correct wind range but increases to moderate to slightly on the heavy side of moderate when really outside it's wind range. The Neo required average turning force to turn the kite and average bar input travel (amount of turn).

The Neo is a real winner and has lived up to North's hype. I strongly advise of a demo to get the feel for the power before making a selection on size.











PS. Sorry about the blurry pic. Somone got a salty finger print on the lens.








ActionSportsWA
WA, 652 posts
27 Sep 2014 3:04PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
LostDog said..
I am a North fan, but now I am really confused.. does the Neo make the Dice obsolete?
Based upon the graphics below one would be forgiven for thinking so.


Then again, I'm most likely not skilled enough to feel the subtle differences with each.


Hi Lostdog,

Those graphs are a little hard to read with the characteristics not being in the same order.

Yes, there is a lot of cross over between the two kites but no, there is no obsolescence of the Dice, they still both have a very real purpose.

Neo is wave specific, but has great freeride performance for beginner to intermediate riders.
Dice is an awesome freeride kite with great freestyle properties, but can also do a stint in the waves at a pinch.

The Neo is much more grunty and has better bottom end. Dice has good moderate power but kiteloops with much more power as it is less pivotal in nature in the turns.

At the end of the day, if you love waves and freeride, you'd go the Neo. If you were more freeride and love kiteloops and the odd unhooking, you'd go the Dice.

Both are really beautiful kites and in my mind, although there is a bit of overlap, the two have very different applications and will suit different riders.

DM

dazza5172
SA, 311 posts
27 Sep 2014 7:07PM
Thumbs Up

Well I seriously just had one of the great sessions ever. As my last review session was side onshore, sloppy, well today I got to ride it in North wind, down the line 2-3ft (shoulder to head on some sets and waste on others) natural foot right handers, our juice spot here.
This was the big tester for me, what can this thing really do? well, drift, drift and drift and drift some more, you can do whatever you want, just a tiny tweak up and down a bit on the bar, but you can lay full on into it all the way down the line.

the wind was 20-30knots, and I had my 9m out all day, it dropped later to 20 knots and I did not have to change my kite, this 9m having a 15 - 30 knot range is brilliant

I just love it now, I forgot all about the differences with Rebel v Dice v Neo its just comfortable now and really the best thing since the Rebel revolution in 2006.

I will rave this kite endlessly now

Daz is super happy.

hotballs
VIC, 112 posts
28 Sep 2014 8:14PM
Thumbs Up

used the 9m again today in gusty 25 -35 knots on the twin tip. boosts huge and with the kite fully depowered and on the upper knot on the front lines it still was really nice to kite with. So this 9m has been used by a 100 kg rider on tt in 18 to 35 knots. Admittedly i was pretty overpowered in 35 knots but still able to have fun. Tried 8m pivot as well today and gotta say that was really really nice too. dont know if it was just the 1 sq m difference but i was perfectly lit with this kite today when i was overpowered on the 9m neo. gotta say the choice for me this year is between these 2 kites. Btw, the above comment that its a kite for beginners to intermediate?? what does this mean? i have been kiting a while and love the thing. maybe i am not as good as i think i am. oh well, nothing new there......

JOYRIDER
704 posts
2 Oct 2014 8:17PM
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Select to expand quote
LostDog said..
I am a North fan, but now I am really confused.. does the Neo make the Dice obsolete?
Based upon the graphics below one would be forgiven for thinking so.


Then again, I'm most likely not skilled enough to feel the subtle differences with each.



Your looking at 2 graphs from 2 years.

try this years for both.

tells a much different story.






Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1346 posts
2 Oct 2014 10:15PM
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Just to add to the Neo ease of relaunch comments, Ive been well thrashed in decent waves and had no idea where I was in relation to the kite and have just sheeted right out underwater. When Ive popped up eventually the kite is just hanging in the sky. Ive also dropped the kite in reasonable waves and seen it rolled over all horribly. Every time it has sorted itself out and relaunched with minimal input from me. On my rebels, I would have been in for a big swim most of these events. I dont know how the relaunch compares to other 4 line wave kites, but compared to a 5 line rebel its bloody brilliant!

WA Surf
WA, 333 posts
3 Oct 2014 11:15AM
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&list=UUln8MEeAZCNDXBQPq_0THUw

2015 Neo Product Clip.

GSS
WA, 75 posts
7 Oct 2014 12:39PM
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So finally got my Neo's and at the same time the wind decides to show up here in Gero. I have been a huge fan of Neo since their inception and 2015 is no different. I flew a 9m yesterday on 5'10" North Kontact floating 76kg in resonably light winds 16-17kts as the biggest question I had was how good is this "new" low bottom end. Real good. I was well powered up for the most part not massively different to the 2014 model but certainly confirms my choice of quiver 5/7/9m. This really is the easiest wave kite to use in my opinion for my style that I have used.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1346 posts
9 Oct 2014 9:02PM
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To add to my relaunch comments, I'm learning to ride waves down the line at the moment and am having plenty of crashes... Dropped the Neo again today, slacklining, and it got rolled several times right through the lines and all twisted. It still relaunched even though the control and inside lines were all intertwined. Once I realised it was still fly able I body dragged back to the beach. Just can't believe how this kite recovers from a wave mangling.

Green Cherub
WA, 295 posts
13 Oct 2014 4:17PM
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Good to hear everyone frothing on this kite...question for anyone who's been riding them for few years...is there much of a performance improvement from the 2013 model (which is what i'm still riding).

GSS
WA, 75 posts
14 Oct 2014 10:33AM
Thumbs Up

Not a huge change from your 2013's, I have been on 2013's until now. Definitely more bottom end, which can be translated into more "sheet-and-go", I reckon like the 2014 they seem to "flip" a bit quicker and generally feel that little bit more refined.

Green Cherub
WA, 295 posts
14 Oct 2014 1:17PM
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Select to expand quote
GSS said...
Not a huge change from your 2013's, I have been on 2013's until now. Definitely more bottom end, which can be translated into more "sheet-and-go", I reckon like the 2014 they seem to "flip" a bit quicker and generally feel that little bit more refined.


Thanks! I'll have to demo it and see how she goes but may try hold off the impulse purchase

sgro
QLD, 2 posts
17 Oct 2014 1:12PM
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Select to expand quote
BillyHampton said..
2015 North Neo review.
review done by two people, Dad and I.
I am a sponsored team rider by WASurf & North kiteboarding Australia.



The Hype from NORTH

BEST DRIFT CAPABILITIES IN THE RANGE
USE A SMALLER SIZE THAN USUAL?
BRILLIANT SHEET AND GO POWER DELIVERY
RESPONSIVE STEERING WHEN DEPOWERED
EASY WATER RELAUNCH
.OCT. 20 Last year the Neo was redeveloped as a pure wave-riding kite, focusing on the qualities that riders demand in waves. The kite not only im- pressed the riders, but also won several magazine tests in its class. This year the kite has been completely reworked to further improve its per- formance. The Neo still has amazing drift capa- bilities, but the top end has also been improved while keeping the amazing low end. The kite has excellent sheet and go characteristics, meaning you can either dump power, or use it according to where you are on the wave and how it is breaking. This will get you out of difficult situations, but it also makes riding waves easier and flying the Neo is very instinctive. For 2015 we recommend using a kite 1-2 sizes smaller than you would normally as the low end is so impressive! The world’s best wave riders all love the Neo and when you fly one on the waves, you’ll fall in love too!

My Notes about the 2015 Neo.
Dad used the 7m Neo on the 2015 Wam 5’11’’ with straps.
I used the 6m Neo on the 2015 Wam 5’6’’without straps. we both used 2015 North Quad control bars. I weigh 60kg and dad weighs 80kg.
The Neo’s were tested in winds ranging from 16-47knts and cross off to dead on shore winds.
The waves from waist high to double over head, tested in Margaret river.

When getting the 2015 north Neo 6 and 7m out of the bag, I noticed North has reduced the size of the bag, and weight. The Neo has the legendary airport valve to get you out on the water quicker, which I love. After pumping up the kite I’ve noticed they have got adjustment on the forward and back lines, which alter the flying characteristics, like adjustments for bar pressure, turning speed, type of turn, depower and drift. The trailing edge force control seems to be rounded off more compared to last years. Their is less Dacron to make a lighter better drifting wave kite. Self launching the kite was very easy due to the shape. The Neo has a very nice smooth power delivery when sending, but might be a bit powerful for beginners. The sheet and go is exactly what the hype says which is satisfying. There are two types of turning settings, 1. Being pivotal and 2. Being rounded, I prefer the the more rounded turning due to the more power it gives you during turns. But I did find it didn’t go up wind as fast as the other setting. I got the kite to fall out of the sky on me (which took me over an hour to do) and fall into the waves, the kite got flipped and tangled in lines, but when the wind got into the canopy it re-launched without me even trying, the bridles cant get tangled around the wing tips because they are quite short. I tested the kites in onshore, cross on and cross off, they drifted superbly, preferably on cross off & cross on. In dead onshore conditions the lines go slightly slack , but the kite doesn’t fall out of the sky, you can still steer it and generate power. The turning when depowered is insane, I tried the 6m out in 40+ knots with full depower and the kite reacted like their was no depower on. The stability in high winds is slightly sacrificed.
This review was from both of us and coming to the same conclusion, that this is the best wave kite North has produced so far.
Thanks drew from WASurf for giving us the opportunity to ride these kites.


hope you like it,
Billy.


Have just had my first go, it's a lot of power for a 10m kite, i like it.

A technical question for anyone out there: I used it with the 5 line set up and noticed that the fifth line was just dangling without any load…is this how it's meant to work, just a a safety line or is something wrong with my set up?


Thanks,
Serge



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"2015 North Neo Review" started by BillyHampton