The North Click Bar – Will you know how to fix it?

So it´s out, the “Real Game Changer” from North Kiteboarding and judging by the social media and various forum comments, it is creating quite a commotion. While there are many that applaud North for pushing innovation in our sport, others think this is all going a bit too far. It seems as if we will be seeing an even stronger divide between two kitesurfing groups: The ones who lean more towards the simplicity of sailing equipment, avoiding anything that would complicate their equipment and possibly ruin a windy session on the beach because of some kit malfunction and the second group, that is happy to spend extra money on the latest equipment that lets them enjoy the sport even more.

This split is also reflecting in the way kite manufacturers lead their innovations. While North is aiming for very integrated and “German” engineered bar, Cabrinha looks for a more natural feel, simpler solution to the spreader bar with their Fireball system.

But with such “complicated” equipment, you also have to accept that maintenance is not just a rinse in clear water and instead requires you to either read a manual or at least watch instructional videos. Judging by how often we need to explain how to correctly trim your bar, it´s safe to say the majority throws their printed manuals for their bars and lines into the bin as soon as they unpack their kit, so it´s a good thing North has decided to release a whole series of videos that explain in detail how to take the Click Bar apart and replace every single part in it.

Here is the one that explains how to replace the EVA floaters, which nicely shows the inner workings of the North Click Bar.

The Game Changer from North Kiteboarding is Here

Last month I wrote about how the depower systems on all bars are a bit of a crutch and would be the next thing that kitesurfing companies will be looking into changing. Now North has finally spilled the beans and released the Click Bar.

As most of you, I have my reservations on how this will last through sand, sun and salt but if you have a look at the patent that Boards & More (the company that owns North) registered back in 2010, you can see this is not a newfangled idea and has been thoroughly tested for many years.

B&M-Patent

 

The idea is laid out in detail and as I already wrote in last months post, other companies such as Ocean Rodeo and Best Kiteboarding, are also working on a similar solution to trimming the kite via the backlines. So it is safe to assume that North has put the Click Bar through some rigorous testing to ensure it will not seize up, no matter how much sand and salt water you throw at it. In fact, during the wave competition in Tarifa, a few teamriders were already seen riding on the Click Bar and considering that pro riders would not be too happy with gear failures during a competition, one can assume that this bar is a solid piece of kit.

Alas my wish for a grip shift system has not been realized yet but I would not be surprised to see something similar coming to the market soon. While I am sure that using the ratchet to wind and release the back lines will become second nature, I still think the ideal solution would be to be able to do the same without having to release any hand from the bar, similar to the grip shift systems on bicycles.

Sarah and I are now on our way to our latest spot (still a bit of a secret but let´s just say this will become the next Gökova in Europe) and will be busy shooting new instructionals as well as making a few gear reviews for North (PIQ vs. Woo….) and maybe we will get a Click Bar too, so stay tuned!