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Analyze This: 2010 Naish Charger
AVAILABLE SIZES: 3.5, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13m
TESTED IN: Pismo Beach, CA/ 12-18 knots and medium surf
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
The Charger incorporates Geo Tech seam shaping into a Delta outline to redefine stability, low-end power, and ease of relaunch. The Charger is a kite for all-terrain riders who require effortless water relaunch and added low-end lift. Its unique design coupled with Naish’s proven quality in construction and the world’s number one control system make it an ideal choice for all freeride kiters.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:
Out of the Box: Naish calls the Charger a Delta Kite, but since they’ve applied the Naish Geo Tech to it, it looks different compared to other delta designs. We thought that one-pump had become standard on new kites, but the Charger is one of three kites in this month’s test to not include a single-point inflation system. We didn’t mind pumping up the individual bladders, but the addition of one-way valves would have been appreciated.
Once inflated, the Charger seemed very rigid. The short bridle is very simple and has just one pulley per side. The high-wear area of the bridle is easily replaceable and the rear line attachments are adjustable to tune bar pressure and turning speed.
The Charger comes with the same control system as the rest of the Naish kites, and it is a clean and well-thought out system. We especially like the soft rubber bar ends. The Naish bar features a push-away quick release, below-bar depower, and a nicely flared large aluminum center hole.
On the Water: When we first started flying the Charger, we were surprised by how well it flew in light wind. It never hinted towards stalling, and even in light wind it turned with ease. The Charger’s bar pressure is very light, which some testers loved and others disliked. The Charger’s depower is very smooth and the kite sits back from the edge of the window.
When it came time to relaunch the Charger, it couldn’t have been easier. It feels like it’s easier to relaunch the kite than it is to keep it on the water. In the surf, the Charger performed very well, drifting downwind with the rider and responding to inputs even while extremely depowered. Even though this kite looks different compared to other delta kites, it’s kept the usual delta characteristic of being a great all-around kite.
- This is a very stable kite, even when unhooked or turning downwind on a wave.
- The Charger’s incredibly easy relaunch makes it super friendly to learn (and progress) with.
- The ultra-light bar pressure can take some getting used to for some riders.
- No one-pump system, but this could be a pro for simplicity-obsessed riders. We would have liked to have seen one-way valves on the bladders.
For people looking for a kite to learn and progress on, the Charger is a great kite. Naish reduced the price by skipping the one-pump design (which will disappoint some riders), but still kept the build quality high. The easy relaunching, stability, and predictable flying makes the Charger a great kite that won’t hold you back. Its ability to drift downwind with a rider also makes it a good kite in the surf. Riders who like more bar pressure or the best jumping performance should look at the Naish Helix.
- Use the stopper ball on the depower line to keep the bar from getting too far away from you if you let go.
- Experiment with the steering line attachments on the kite to dial in bar pressure to your preference.
“The Charger is great for new riders, wave-specific riders, or intermediate riders wanting to improve unhooked kiting ability,” Kinsley ThomasWong, 155 lbs, Freestyle/Unhooked/Big Air Kiter.
“The ease of relaunching was nice while the light bar pressure took a little to get used to. The kite turned smoothly and responded well to changes in wind speed, never falling out of the sky even in the lightest lulls,” Andy Kraft, 200 lbs., Freestyle Kiter.
Consumer Review: Pro Merc from Seabreeze.com.au
“I have ridden the 9m Charger a few times and it is one of the better delta kites out there; it’s like a jack of all trades and will suit anyone for pretty much everything. It has all the good delta characteristics of good bottom end, big range, fast turning, and very good relaunch, but does have a much lighter bar pressure than other delta’s, which I liked a lot.” Read the full review at http://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=58447