2023 North Mode Wing Review

2023 North Mode Wing Review

The 2023 North Mode wing is quickly becoming a shop favorite with our wing crew. Check out the VIDEO above or the TRANSCRIPT below to get some solid insight from Tucker, Jeff, and Ryan.

Check out the 2023 North Mode Wing HERE!

2023 North Mode Wing Features, With Tucker

Hey, Everybody. Welcome back to MACKiteboarding Wing Wednesdays, today. I'm Tucker. This is Jeff and Ryan. We're going to talk to you about the new North Mode Wing for 2023.

This is a really exciting wing. All three of us were really amped on it, so all three of us had to come and chat with you and give you some perspectives on why this wing is so cool and what are some of the neat features on it that you can look forward to for this coming year.

The 2023 wing is launching now—kind of in early October, or late September, and you can get it in early October, 1 shipment, if you're lucky enough. Otherwise, stick with us, and we'll be getting lots of shipments soon.

So we've got our leading-edge handle here right at the top. It's nice and stiff, big enough to really grasp it well and control the wing while you're luffing or when you're getting ready to get up on the wing. We got a leash attachment here. We don't have the leash with us today because this is a prototype, but it does have a nice wrist leash that is included with the wing.

Coming back here into the strut, you can see it has this XL strut that is really big, especially where it connects to the leading edge. So that gives you a lot of stiffness and power transfer between the two and really is a key component to the overall feel and response of the wing.

You'll notice we've got two inflation valves here, so it is possible to dual-inflate this wing to separate pressures or just to isolate the bladders entirely. You've got two of these Boston-style valves here. No adapter is needed for most pumps because it connects right to the hose end and it dumps out really quickly through both of those. Very easy to deflate.

We also have a one-pump connection on this end, so if you do want to pump it up from a single point, you can do that. If you want to pump it up in separate points, just pinch it close like it is here. I usually just leave it closed all the time so I don't forget to close it and pump it up at two separate points.

Getting into the handles here, you'll notice these from the Nova Wing. Basically, it's the same thing. Why change what isn't broke? It's an awesome handle system. Really rigid and stiff, and very easy to pistol-grip on the wave. The connection to the wing is really robust and reliable, and solid. No breakages or anything that we've seen. No tear outs or anything like that.

But you can remove the handles, replace them, add windsurf-style harness lines with a torque wrench here, or even just pack them down for travel or whatever you need to do. So that makes that really easy. And the long boom-style really does give you a lot of real estate to play with, and if you want to hold it from the center one-handed, it does that quite well. If you have a wider or more forward, it gives you a lot of room to play, almost like a boom would without the limitations of that.

You notice I got a harness line here. This is not included with the wing. It's just one that I use all the time with a lot of different wings. So you can use a rope-style harness line on this. And I just hitch it to the wing and actually kind of like this, because now I can adjust it based on my wind range or where I decide I want to put it. And that's kind of where I landed, it was what works well for the 5.5m.

For me, that's kind of a nice standard. So kind of right up here by the stanchion and then maybe four inches forward to the stanchion on the front. Works in a variety of conditions. So that's really nice, going to the canopy. It's a nice stiff but lightweight canopy.

You've got slit windows that give you a lot of visibility, especially right here when you're going into a job or especially if you're in a racing scenario or a crowded scenario. That gives you some visibility of what might be coming downwind and behind you, which is really what matters if you're going into a job.

We also got some batons here. They're removable and easily replaceable, but really just killing some of the flutter in the trailing edge, making sure they're flying efficiently and smoothly.

So this is the wing. It might look a lot like the Nova, but there are a lot of improvements on this. It's a much faster wing. It pulls forward a lot harder and really has a much higher top-end range in terms of the leading edge frame material and strut. This is not Dacron.

This is a new groundbreaking material developed by North in their R&D through sailing, windsurfing, and all their cool R&D stuff. And they found this is the perfect application for this wing because it is extremely lightweight.

It is, really stiff. Kind of like you'd get from Aluula or Hokipa. But this is not Aluula or Hokipa. It's its own material and does have some notable advantages, which include just some extra durability, easier to work with, and terms of build and repairs. And it is very easy to pack down. It's not really stiff and rigid when you deflate. It just takes a lot of pressure and holds that pressure. And that tension really does add a lot of stiffness, which is why they kind of get away with this shape that they have in the relatively narrow leading edge.

This isn't a huge bulbous leading edge for a 5.5m wing. It's plenty stiff with that material. But it does remove a lot of that drag and increase your range quite a bit.

So that's kind of the basics of the features and some of those benefits. But I'd like to get Jeff to jump in here real quick and talk about his experience with the wing and, realistically, what some of those features did for his ride.

Mr. Jeff's Thoughts on the North Mode

Right on. Hey, guys. This is Jeff MACkite. I'm really excited about this wing. First of all, color. I know color may not be the most important thing when you're looking at a wing, but I think the white is really cool and clean looking.

I obviously get the opportunity to ride a lot of wings. And let me tell you why I love this wing. First of all, when I got on it, it was very gusty conditions. And this wing seemed to have a sweet spot, even in the lulls and in the gusts. It just felt very predictable and comfortable.

I've said it before; I'm kind of an intermediate, so that's kind of important. When I got on it, I felt at home, and it felt very comfortable.

I really like another stand out I like about this wing is its tried and true, very comfortable handles. It's got a little rigid system in it. It just feels really nice in the grips and the hands. Feels very comfortable.

Another thing I noticed about this, I kind of spoke to it already. It just has a sweet spot. It has a pretty generous sweet spot, even in the lulls and in the gusts.

So I felt that those are something that really stood out that I like about this wing. It has a lot of drive and power. And when it got really gusty, it just stayed very predictable and smooth.

It just felt very easy to handle in your turns. And the jibes that I've been working on, so I'm really stoked. I think they really nailed it here with just a lightweight wing that felt very comfortable to ride. And as Tucker said, it is a wing that can take you as an advanced rider and have a lot of high performance. But for myself, as an immediate, I was not intimidated by it. Felt very comfortable on the wing. So pretty stoked to get some more sessions on it, and I think it's going to be a really good seller for us.

Also, because of the price point, I think North's done a good job with producing a lightweight material that's going to be at an affordable range, which is important in the market for those that are looking at all the advancements that are being made. So definitely give it a try if you get a chance. I think it's going to be a really good seller for us this year.

Here's What Ryan Had to Say About the North Mode Wing

Hi, guys. Ryan from MACkite. Here are a couple of my favorite features on the North Mode. Obviously, you've got the hard boom-style handles. Just really comfortable, easy to handle, and has lots of room here, so you don't have to worry about exactly where you're grabbing onto the wing.

The harness line, attaching it right onto these hard handles. Gives you really a lot of range to dial in exactly where the best point may be for you. I know that changes for some people, depending a little bit on their riding style and their weight. This is kind of where we've been riding it, mostly as a shop.

Other than that, the wing as a whole is—very stiff, rigid material. Really easy to pop up on foil. Lightweight, well-balanced wing. It does everything well. Pumps up on foil well, handles those guests well, rides waves well. It is just a really enjoyable wing that will help you take your riding to the next level.

One small feature here that I really like that a lot of people may overlook are these windows near the trailing edge. So when you're doing your jibe and running downwind—it's just another vantage point to see who's riding down window view without having to lift the wing up over your head.

So just a small little feature—easy to overlook, that actually made a difference while I was out there riding. Helped me line up some of my jibes a little bit better, with other people around me, without having to waste time bringing the wing overhead. Overall, really stoked.

On the new North Mode. A very stiff wing, easy to pump up on foil, handles really well and balanced. It's got these large boom-style handles on it. Super stoked for this wing for 2023. Definitely worth grabbing one for yourself, trying it out, and seeing what you think.

Some Final Thoughts With Tucker

All right, so I think Jeff and Ryan really nailed a lot of the points here, and I would definitely agree with all of that.

Some additional things—and also, I always try to give a negative on any product we're looking at just to give it a full picture of really why you might not want something. Overall, as a wing—really impressive. You might notice ours said "Race" on it, because this is a prototype. Initially, this was developed as a race product. Don't let that scare you away. This is not a very niche-specific, race-only product, which is why you see it renamed as the "Mode" rather than the "Nova Race".

The Mode has a number of different riding styles or riders that would be good for it's so versatile that it's like, why not bring it to a broader audience? And I would definitely agree with that. After I rode it, my first feedback was, this is a wing for everybody.

A brand new rider can get on this, and while they might not appreciate all the features until they hit an intermediate level, it's certainly accessible enough for somebody that's never winged before. But where you're really going to notice a lot of that benefit and performance is intermediate to pro level. Riders that know what they're doing are riding powered, wanting the broadest range and the highest performance.That's where this wing comes in.

It does cover a huge range, especially the high range. Most 5 meters—this is 5.5—I'm getting off in the early to mid-20s. I've ridden this to the mid-30s comfortably, so don't be scared to ride these a little bigger than you think. It can hold it.

It's still got great low-end power and light wind ability, but the high-end is insane. With how fast the wing is, how fast it slides forward, and how stiff the frame is, you can really push the limit high.

If there's something I don't like about this wing, it's really hard to pick something I don't like because this is one of my favorite wings that I've flown so far. It would be that they're only offering three sizes, so they have a 7m, a 5.5m, and a 4m. And while that covers the range for most people, I would say it'd be really nice to have some smaller sizes to really round out the quiver.

I mean, me, at 200lbs, I can probably ride the 4m into 50 knots realistically. But there are lighter riders out there. There are people that don't want to ride so lit all the time, so I really wish they would have filled in the bottom end of that range a bit to really allow for a bit more quiver-friendly sizing, I guess, especially for lighter-weight riders or those people not riding really powered in terms of the performance.

We here, say "high-performance" and stuff like that. What we mean by that with this wing is that you can really ride it powered comfortably. It doesn't feel out of control; it doesn't feel like you need to get off it. You can really push the limit on the high end, it is very, very good into the wind—upwind. It slides forward; it doesn't want to pull you straight downwind.

And it really generates a lot of apparent wind off of board speed. So you can amplify that power and amplify your board speed, allowing you to ride faster, harder upwind, and even just broadening your range.

It's pretty phenomenal. When you hop on this wing back to back with something else, we feel some of those advantages. So, yeah, that's kind of the long and short of it on the actual design of the wing, how it is, it's really hard to nitpick at anything because this is really a phenomenal wing. They've done a great job. Daniel and their team at North really hit it out of the park this year. And as Jeff said, the price point is incredibly competitive. It's priced, I would say, more mid-tier.

You could compare this realistically with a lot of Dacron wings in their pricing, and it is that next-level material that oftentimes you're paying over $2,000 to achieve, or even more. So you're after that next-level performance, and don't have a ton of money to spend, especially if you need to buy two or three wings. Realistically, you can get three of these for the price of two from some other high-end wings. So really give it a good consideration.

If you have any questions at all, reach out to us at the shop. As you can tell, all of us have ridden it and are really stoked on it and just can't wait to get you guys out on these to get more available so that we can show you guys how phenomenal this wing is.

Thanks for joining us for another Wing Wednesday. We hope to catch you next week. Don't forget to share with a friend. Give us a, like, and jump in the comments section. If you've ridden one or have questions, go ahead and hit us there. You can always pick up the phone or email, mail, or live chat as well.

Check out the 2023 North Mode Wing HERE!

27th Sep 2022 Aaron Johnson

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