Both TJ and Suds have taken the 2012 North Fuse for a workout. TJ went first:
We have 2012 Fuses in stock, and I finally had a chance to put one to the test. The wind was strong, gusty, and stormy, so the test was pretty short-lived, with more to come soon…
After unpacking the 7m Fuse, I pumped it up and overlapped it with an 8m Rebel. Looking for any differences outside of the bridling vs. 5-line direct connect, I was unable to find any. All angles and dimensions seem similar if not identical.
The Fuse utilizes the AC Bridle which is nice and compact, and has adaptive tip technology on the wing-tip (for soft or hard bar pressure).
I chose to take the setting for the rear pig-tail from the “soft” stock setting, and bumped it down to the “hard” setting. Self launching was effortless, the kite came right off the beach with a slight tug on the outside line. I like to take a broad reach to test the upwind and downwind performance on kites right off the bat.
The Fuse definitely shines on the upwind reach, and might have a slight upwind performance edge on the Rebel (slight.). Like the Rebel, the Fuse also has the straight segment in the leading edge making it steer even when trimed at various levels of depower. This is nice when the lines go temporarily slack, especially when chasing the kite down the line in swell or waves.
This kite looks and acts like a wing on strings! There is absolutely zero deformation or flutter in this wing, as close to a 4-line Rebel as North has designed. Now in generation 3, the Fuse is setting the benchmark for 4-line kite performance.
Then Mat “Suds” Luchsinger got ahold of it:
Date: April 7th, 2012
Location: “The Ponds” Ft. Stevens, OR.
Kite: 2012 North Fuse 9m
Bar: 2012 North Quad w/ 24m lines
Wind: 20-25mph (steady!)
I got to demo the 2012 9m North Fuse this past week-end. The kite can be flown as a 4 or 5 line kite. This is a kite I’ve been wanting to try out for quite some time now. Best part is I got to try it out the Oregon Coast. East winds picked up on Saturday, so I headed out to “The Ponds” at Fort Stevens for a little fun. Couldn’t ask for much better conditions: I had decent swell on the outside and butter flat water on the inside with steady eddy wind averaging 20 to 25mph
Right out of the bag I loved the colors, bright and vivid. One thing I noticed was North kept the battens on the trailing edge of the kite (like the ’12 Rebel) which I liked seeing because I knew that this was going to be a rock sold kite in the air. Never at any point was there any flutter in this kite. I can also say if your looking for a kite that has some power the Fuse is for you. To me this 9 rides more like a 10. It’s a powerful kite, but yet it has a ton of range and depower. As soon as I put the kite in the air I had to pull that depower strap in a few inches.
I could see this kite being a dream in the waves as well because of how smooth and fast you could whip it through the turns, due to it being a direct connect on the rear lines. As for jumping this kite takes you too the moon and sets you down like a feather. I also liked how it looped on a dime with out pulling your arms off, making you feel safe and in control the whole time.
All in all, if you’re a beginner getting into the sport or an advanced rider that wants to tear apart some swell or jump to the moon this kite is for you!
Available at Big Winds.