INTERVIEW WITH DESIGNER KEN WINNER

THE ALL-TIME CLASSIC HIGH PERFORMANCE FREERIDE KITE, BENCHMARK IN BIG AIR SUPERIORITY AND STUNNING HANGTIME.

WHAT DID YOU SET OUT TO ACHIEVE FOR THE 2019 REBEL?

We spent an enormous amount of time on the 2018 Rebel in order to make it four-line capable. Whilst the 2018 model performed similarly to the 2017 Rebel, it was in every respect a totally new design. For 2019, we tried to address the small weaknesses that some riders had mentioned. By focusing on small tweaks, we were able to gain improvements in one quality or another, without affecting existing ones.

 

WERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

We went through 25 or 30 prototypes for the 2019 Rebel. One goal was to improve backstall resistance, so we tried something that worked on the latest Mono. By flattening the Leading Edge arc in the center we were able to give the canopy a lower angle of attack, also in the center. Ultimately this worked, but as one can imagine, making exactly the same adjustment to a 5-Strut kite that was initially designed for a 1-Strut kite doesn’t work, so we needed to dial in the right arc curvature gradually and over several prototypes. We also wanted to fine tune the Leading Edge diameter which took a while to get it right.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE UPDATES FOR THIS 2019 REBEL?

The Leading Edge arc is flatter in the middle for better resistance against backstall. This Leading Edge arc also gives slightly better depower and quicker turning. The LE diameter is a bit smaller in the middle which helps the Rebel fly closer to the edge and jump more vertically. The two bridle anchors are now closer to the center of the Leading Edge. This ensures that the bridle can keep the thinner central Leading Edge sections from deforming under high loads.

 

WHY CHOOSE THE 2019 REBEL?

There’s no better jump oriented, all-around kite than the 2019 Rebel. It’s especially good for heavier riders who need an extremely stable kite that can handle high loads and big power spikes.

 

WHICH LINE LENGTHS DO YOU RECOMMEND ACROSS THE DIFFERENT SIZES?

Sky and I use 22 m most of the time. For kites above 10 m, 24 m lines work best.

ANY TIPS FOR USING THE DIFFERENT SETTINGS?

The Adaptive Tip adjustment allows the user to adjust bar pressure and choose between a light feel through the bar and a more direct feedback from the kite. A lighter bar is easier on the arms, but gives a less direct ‘eyes-off’ feel for the kite. Sky, Patri and I like the more direct feel. You always know where the kite is without looking and we think it feels better and more secure in jumps.

 

IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT’S NEW FOR THE 2019 REBEL?

We gave the 2019 Rebel small performance gains without sacrificing anything. It has improved depower and jumps are more vertical with the same impressive hangtime. Turning is much smoother and it still remains to be the ultimate jump orientated high performance freeride cruiser.