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Vegas 06 Test Reports (Del 1)

Skrevet av Gordon Hauge
16.12.05 20:16

Klippet fra Kite Magazine (Tyskland) dec/jan

Probably the most exciting test this year – is the new Vegas able to beat bow kites with its semi-conventional concept?

The Headquarters in Oberhaching sent a word to the Columbia River Gorge: Ken Winner, we need a new Vegas that is better than the Crossbow. But please without fourteen strings on the front tube, without high holding forces and design experiments. Just a Porsche Cayenne in a Volkswagen design.

Ken knew that the distance between the attachment points of steering and depower lines was not sufficient for effective depower. In order to tip the kite further forward for more depower, the depower lines had to be moved further forward. Ken Winner therefore bent the front tube backwards and attached the front lines further up on the leading edge. This increased the leverage when the front lines were pulled and the Vegas had increased its depower potential substantially.

The true strokes of genius are the leading edge battens, though, that we already know from the Rhino 6.

They keep the profile so stable that the kite flies closer to the edge of the wind window. The further the kite moves to windward, the less pull it develops. In conventional kites without such support, the profile tends to collapse and the increased drag pushes the kite back towards the region of greater pull.

Our pre-tests with close-to-production prototypes prove that the mission was accomplished. The new Vegas has not only been dramatically improved compared to its predecessor, it also beats the Crossbow in several test criteria. In kiteloops, the Vegas Cleat turns directly and without any delay around its own axis. The depower effect at the bar can be adjusted by the pilot through the Vario. If the cleat is O.K. all the way, the rider gets a huge depower travel from full power to almost completely depowered (approximately 5% power remains).

With regards to steering and holding forces, the Vegas is more comfortable than the bow. The Crossbow’s pulley system at the bar causes friction losses, whereas the Vegas has a conventional line system that permits effortless steering and keeping the bar in the desired power position. The relaunch is a clash of two different philosophies which is better, an active relaunch that works almost always or an automatic system with (occasional) failures?

The Vegas requires a simple procedure and then launches almost by itself, while the Cabrinha has a virtually automatic relaunch, as long as the lines remain taut.

Safety is another controversial subject for the experts. The Crossbow can be completely depowered as long as it is not hopelessly overpowered to begin with. North has a fifth line for an emergency brake. The Vegas also offers a safety leash for emergencies, whereas the Crossbow features a quick release.

Product Intro – Wave & Freestyle Kites – North Vegas 06:

This is why the Vegas 06 is a completely new kite, its construction differs greatly from its predecessor. The Vegas is also a clearly different product from the contest model Rhino. Inspired by the great success of bow kites, the main target was to create a wave and freestyle kite with a huge wind range.

Its revolutionary depower ability was achieved by a new tip design that NORTH calls Trim Tips. The attachment points of the front lines [flying lines] were placed higher up and further forward. This allows the kite to be “tipped” further [change the AOA] to increase its depower ability. The Cam Battens [small battens above the front tube], known from the Rhino 06, help keep the profile in shape. “The combination of Trim Tips and Cam Battens is responsible for the Vegas’ huge depower range”, says Eberle.

In October we had the opportunity to test close-to-production prototypes in the sizes 7, 12, 16 and 18 during a NORTH product presentation in Ras Sudr. And truly, the new Vegas is another revolution in kite design – we saw riders struggling close to the limit with a size 10 RHINO 06, while test pilots with a similar weight were playing around with a size 16 Vegas in the same conditions.


Compared to the Crossbow, the VEGAS jumps higher but not as far. The bar forces are considerably lower in the VEGAS, particularly its larger sizes. The VEGAS responds more directly to steering impulses. The range of both kites is similar. The VEGAS is available in eight sizes from five to eighteen square meters, while the CROSSBOW only comes in four sizes (7, 9, 12, 16).

VEGAS 06 vs. VEGAS 05:

The VEGAS 06 is not as easy to fly as its predecessor. It flies faster, is extremely agile and turns easier. However, the main difference is the substantially higher range of usage, which is achieved through its enormous depower ability. The entire range of the classic sizes (8-12-16) is now covered by only two sizes (10 and 16) since the new VEGAS has clearly superior highwind performance.

We were impressed with the prototypes we tested and we are looking forward to the production kites that should be in the shops by the end of February. A thorough test of the production kites will follow in the next issue of kite-boarding.de.