On holiday in Spain we went kitesurfing in the Bay of Roses and grabbed the first chance to see the North Reach 2024 kit to test. When the wind started to blow considerably I exchanged the Reach 11 meters for a North Orbit 2023 8 meters. The wind was blowing about 25 knots. The gusts against the wind were quite strong: up to about 34 knots, which is not exceptional in the Bay of Roses. The choose the right size kite is not always easy and changing kites in time is therefore logical. With my 87 kilo weight I went for the North Orbit 8 meters with the North Atmos Pro Carbon board of 138 x 41. Check out my findings in this North Orbit 2023 review.
North Orbit big air kite
The North Orbit 2023 will continue North Kiteboarding presented as a big air kite. The big air kitesurfing style stands for extreme and controlled kitesurfing sessions. The kitesurfer jumps high and preferably in combination with tricks. Tricks like kite loops, kiteloop combinations, contraloops, megaloops, double kiteloops and even triple kiteloops in the roughest conditions. The latter is only reserved for a handful of kite surfers. Big air kites give a lot of lift, good and long hangtime and hold up extremely well in the toughest conditions.
Predictable in the unpredictable” this is how North Kiteboarding characterizes the Orbit kite.
Quality North Orbit
North is a so-called A brand among the kitesurf brands. We should therefore not have to argue about the quality and that is immediately visible on the kite. So we don't dwell on this for long. The Orbit 2023 has been further developed compared to the 2022 version. For example, it has been made lighter and the large sizes are better suited for kite surfing in low wind. The Orbit has also been made faster. In addition, the Orbit has no less than 4 points on the wingtips to adjust the bar pressure and speed. So if you go for a double kiteloop, you can trim the kite a little better for that purpose.
Orbit for big air kite surfers
- Huge hang time. The North Orbit is known as a kite with a lot of lift and hangtime. From the first moment it is noticeable that the Orbit has a lot of lift and hangtime. What struck me is that this goes fairly unnoticed. I believe this is due to the following finding in this North Orbit 2023 review.
- Kite is always ready for a jump. Even though I kitesurfed through wild water with a lot of chop and gusts of wind. Timing the jump was never an issue. Almost in the moment, after entering the Orbit quite powerless, I was able to pull the bar to jump high. Of course you also go through the process of determining the right take-off option, sending the kite hard, edging the kiteboard hard and pulling the bar at the right time. However, the kite will never limit you to jump high. My experience is that it steers quickly and fairly powerless until you pull the bar.
- Strong frame. The frame with 5 ostrich is very stiff and remains intact at all times. This makes the North Orbit direct and steering corrections are passed on immediately. Still, the Orbit remains friendly and efficient with the power. I had a few times after a high jump with a downloop that the Orbit got stuck in the neutral zone: the wind didn't pick up the kite properly and then the kite could suddenly go forward or back stall. By pulling the bar back and forth, the wind immediately picked up the kite again.
- Steer tight. The Orbit also flies tight and very predictable through the wind in the wind window. For example, the Orbit does not make unpredictable speed in a gust of wind and does not go into reverse when the wind is just a little less hard. The Orbit remains neatly in check, even in strong gusts of wind, and that is nice.
- Reliable. The Orbit is a fast and yet reliable kite. It does not snarl and faithfully executes what you ask of it.
- Sends easily. The Orbit is easy to steer, has a light bar pressure. It does not turn gracefully through the wind window, but it is not made for that. He turns the kiteloops and downloops all the more gracefully.
- High jumps and soft landings. As mentioned, jumping high is no problem for the Orbit. But perhaps important is how a kite catches you when landing. The Orbit also does this excellently. I even dared to do a kiteloop with downloop during my first session and was surprised at how nice the landings are with the Orbit.
Conclusion North Orbit 2023 review
The North Orbit belongs in the list of best big air kites. I can confirm this. I can jump at any time even in a rough sea and the power and lift is so efficient that I hardly noticed I was jumping so nice and high. In addition, the Orbit can be steered very pleasantly and the kite is very predictable. An advanced kite surfer can still get a lot out of the Orbit and in my opinion the kite challenges ambitious kite surfers to practice new tricks. Furthermore, the Orbit is a beautiful kite of high quality.