Harlem Force Review | A High-Performance Kite for Active Riders

Harlem Force Review | A High-Performance Kite for Active Riders

It's been a minute since we've heard from Jake. He's been busy getting some all-important daddy time with his two lovely daughters, but he recently got back on the water with the Harlem Force. It labels itself as a "game changer", but does it live up to that bold claim?

What Makes the Force a Game Changer?

While "game changer" may be a bit of a stretch, it is an interesting kite that's worth a look. Harlem is a European company with their own factory that's powered 100 percent by solar energy. They try to source as much of their material from Europe as possible to reduce the fuel used to ship from overseas, and their pro-weld construction uses less stitching, which reduces the thread used and makes the kite a bit lighter and stiffer.

Rather than using dyes that are harmful to the environment, they use a direct printing process. Not only is that eco-friendly, but it also opens up the possibility of getting a custom-printed kite that's unique to you. Though even if you go with a stock color, you're going to stand out on the water with the colorful designs.

That all sounds great, but this is a kite you might want to fly before you buy. All this technology does come at a cost, and while it's still a good value if the kite clicks with you, you'll want to know that you're going to love it.

Riding Impressions

The Harlem Force reminds Jake a lot of Slingshot's RPM big air kite, a kite he really loved. It was a fun, aggressive, active-flying kite, and the Force is all that, but even better. It's a five-strut kite, but it could be mistaken for a three-strut kite because two are micro-struts, similar to what Slingshot has done in the past.


It's very fast and stable; there's a reason Lorenzo is setting new records and winning podium finishes on this kite. It is a very high-performance kite, but you'll need to work for it. It's not a set-it-and-forget-it kite you can pull in and boost. You've got to actively fly and steer it, and if you know what you're doing, you're going to get back out what you put in. But if you don't, you're going to be wiping out a lot. Jake got pretty wet from over-rotating and exploding into the water, but maybe that washed some of the dust off from not kiting for a while.

However, he still thought it was a lot of fun. It's got that direct, snappy feel he enjoys, due in part to the pulley-less bridle. It's so fast and holds power so well that a more advanced rider could probably double kiteloop it. There's no slack, and even single downloops felt amazing, with smooth power delivery throughout and no surging or yanking.

The session was pretty light and gusty, which isn't ideal for a big air kite. While Jake didn't have to walk, he did have to pump the kite a lot and make a lot of body adjustments, so those underpowered 14-15 knot conditions gave him a bit of a workout. When the wind did briefly come up to 17 or 18 knots, the kite felt very comfortable and jumped quite well.

When jumping, you do need to focus so that you time and steer it correctly. Some kites let you pull in and get lifted straight up off the water, but there was no cheating allowed on the Force. A couple sloppy jumps resulted in long glides just a couple feet off the water.

The medium/medium-high bar pressure was just right for Jake, who likes the feedback so he always knows where the kite is in the sky and what it's doing. He found the power to be very consistent and reliable for catching him without yanking.

While the kite flies a bit differently from most modern kites, once you get dialed in, it's a lot of fun.


The Pro Weld seam construction on the frame saves about 20 percent in weight and adds a 30 percent torsional stiffness at each seam. This could be a glimpse into the future of kite construction technology, and maybe we'll see other brands moving toward this and the digital printing.


Overall, the Force is a fun all-around kite, and Jake would buy it himself. That said, he still recommends giving it a try first since it's not going to be for everyone. Like riding a motorcycle vs. driving a car, you'll need to be more focused and engaged, but then you'll reap the rewards of its performance potential.

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5th Jun 2024 Jake Mitchell

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