The North Click Bar—Married In Less Than a Year
Have any of you ever had one of those "ah-ha" moments with a new piece of kiteboarding gear? Something that made you grin from ear to ear the first time you tried it? Here are my thoughts after spending a whole year riding the North Click Bar.
At first sight, I was blown away at how simple the Click Bar appeared. Ben Skaggs, our North sales rep, put one in our hands last August, at the North dealer meeting in Hood River, Oregon. It actually looked less complex than the North Trust Quad or 5th Element bars. I did not see that coming. The only noticeable difference was the little button on the bar winder and the sheathed mainline—that was it.
When news first came down the pipe about North developing some sort of a control bar that had a winding mechanism inside of it, we were definitely scratching our heads. "This thing is going to be way too complex", we thought. Jokes started flying around about the NEW North "pepper grinder" bar. We just couldn't wrap our heads around this concept.
Ben sent me a Click Bar shortly after that meeting and I've been using it exclusively ever since.
Freeriding in steady winds with the North Click Bar is not much different from using the standard North Quad or 5th Element bars. The trim is easy to reach and the front lines untwist easily after a loop or roll, but other than that, it was no big deal for me. When I had my first go on the Click Bar in the surf, however, my mind was blown! Like shifting gears on a mountain bike over varied terrain, the North Click Bar allows me to easily adjust power while on the wave face.
When kitesurfing in the waves, I usually ride pretty lit up so that I have enough power in the kite when the wind lulls. Whether dropping in from the back-side of the wave or turning and burning from the front, I used to never touch the trim. Probably because it wasn't easy enough to reach and I didn't want to risk falling on a good wave while trying to make an adjustment.
With the North Click Bar, however, kitesurfing in the waves has never been more natural for me. As soon as I drop in on a wave, I can quickly make trim adjustments with the click of a button, right there at the end of the control bar. I can access the speed of the wave and be right in sync with it in just a click or two. Each click is approximately .75" or 1.9cm worth of depower adjustment, so you can be very accurate with the power.
Why is this such a big deal to me?
Well, I highly regard every moment I have in the surf and the North Click Bar helps me to be right in the sweet spot nearly every single time. Prior to using the Click Bar, I would just drop in and deal with the power in the kite as best as I could and try not to get pulled out of the pocket.
Could I have reached the trim cleat and gave a little pull?
Maybe—but I never did, because it always threw me a little off balance at the worst possible time.
Could I have just adjusted the trim before dropping in on the wave?
Again, I probably could have, but never did because it just wasn't the right time. I always want all of the kite's power until I'm actually riding the wave. With the North Click Bar, these challenges are a thing of the past for me.
Is the North Click Bar worth the additional cost?
In my opinion, YES. I proposed on our very first date and we've been together ever since—ha!
Easy to reach the de-power button. Note how much further you'd need to reach up to hit a standard cleat system. (Rider: "Young Mitchell")
And easy to power back up with a couple of twists.
Please email any questions that you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org and direct it to my attention. We're always here to help.
Thank you, and good winds,