Naish 2010 Torch Analyze This Kite Review
Originally Published in the December 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine
Type of kite: C-Kite
Sizes available: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 16m
From the Manufacturer
The Torch delivers the smooth power and aggressive turning that performance C-kite riders demand. C-kites continue to dominate the PKRA tour, and Kevin Langeree rules that arena with the 2010 Torch. Rugged, predictable and reliable, no other C-kite handles as well as the Torch, which is why more top riders choose it over any other C-kite on the market. Whether your goal is to win competitions or just take your freestyle riding to the next level, the Torch is your answer. Super smooth, easy handling, hooked-in, unhooked, impressive depower and fantastic relaunch — these characteristics allow riders of all levels to take advantage of the Torch’s unsurpassed performance.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT
We were able to test the 11m in 20+ mph winds. First thing we noticed is that Naish has changed up the graphics package to a more retro color scheme. Naish also improved the bar and added their new streamlined Vario bar end to adjust the length of your bar from 19 to 21 inches. Although the Torch is a fifth line kite it’s possible to easily convert it to a 4 line for those riders looking to ride a little old school. The Naish Octopus Inflation system is a single inflation system when you pump it up, but the LE and struts deflate separately, allowing you to keep the struts inflated when packing up if desired.
The new sexy color coded grip is very easy to grab and comfortable with Naish’s Precision Asymmetrical Grip. The back lines have internal back line trimming where adjustments can be made on the line from underneath the bar floats. Below the bar you will find their Smart Loop with a depower cleat alongside the quick release. Naish still incorporates their push out quick release below the bar for those moments of critical mass. In the sky it was business as usual and the 2010 Torch delivered its typical powerful and direct feel in the turning than you can only get from a C-kite. In terms of jumping, the Torch seemed to have a little more boost and hang time than its previous versions. One of the most impressive features on the new Torch is its depower range.
One of our testers who switched over to SLE kites said that he had almost the same depower range as his current quiver and added he could see himself riding the Torch full time. The overall bar pressure is lighter than most C-kites we have tried but a little more than the average SLE, but not by much. The Torches have always been stable kites with an easy relaunch. We had no problems crashing it and relaunching. It was funny to watch each tester go out and try to kiteloop the Torch. Some were able to ride away clean whereas most learned to appreciate the power of a C-kite loop. We were surprised and intrigued at how fun new school C-kites have become. The one common myth that was dispelled during out test was that the Torch doesn’t have mass appeal: It’s not just a high end performance kite that can only be enjoyed by experts.
Bow and SLE riders who committed to never going back to a C-kite should definitely give the Torch a second shot if you miss the power delivery and turning speed of these types of kites. And for all of you hot shot freestylers who are concerned about it lacking trim knots, just check under the bar floats by sliding them up.
- Inflation System: Octopus inflation system, internal one way valves Excellent
- Control bar: Easy to hold with ergonomic grip Excellent
- Control bar accessories: Easy to use below the bar depower and QR Excellent
- Safety system: Smart Loop technology w/below the bar depower and QR Excellent
- Bridle: N/A
- Stability: Well balanced kite with great feedback through the bar Excellent
- Power: Fast kite with typical Low end pull expected from a C-Kite Excellent
- Turning: Medium bar pressure allows the rider to turn the kite quickly Excellent
- Pop: Great lift for any freestyle rider Excellent
- Bar pressure: Light to medium Light-medium
- Depower: Great range, especially for a C-kite Excellent
- Relaunch: Needs a little assistance at times to roll over Above Average
- Durability: Great construction with beefed up canopy and LE Excellent
- Kitebag: Big enough bag with plenty of pockets for accessories Excellent
- Pump: N/A
- Be sure to slide the bar floats up on the lines to see the back line adjustments.
- Check the 5th line length to ensure it’s not depowering the kite.
CONSUMER FEEDBACK: riddim1, www.kiteboardingreview.com/naish/130-naish-torch-2010
Got the chance to ride the new Torch in some pretty lit conditions. I have been riding for four years now, two years on C-Kites and two on hybrids. I ride mostly wakestyle but am throwing in more freeride these days due to injuries and age. Kite felt solid and surf tough. Definitely a very high quality product compared to the mid-range hybrids I came off previously. The rubber scuff pads on the LE were a nice touch. Bar was fantastic with an easy push away emergency set-up….big and red. Unhooked riding was the standout for the Torch. I attempted my first 313 which ended in spectacular rag-doll fashion, but that’s not the point — the slack in the lines gave me the opportunity to try something I have never tried under my hybrid before. Very happy! Looping the kite had a constant pull even in the gusty conditions and added predictability. The stopper on the chicken loop worked a treat at most times but it slid up without my input twice which was annoying when spinning the bar out. I have heard other systems have the same issue. Overall, this kite could really help me progress my freestyle riding, especially when it comes to grabs and passes. Would recommend this kite to anyone wanting to get back to their kiting philosophical roots and are stuck with their present bag-o-tricks.