2011 Naish Kiteboarding Kite Line
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Naish 2011 Kiteboarding Gear Preview
For the 2011 product year, the Naish kiteboarding line has received a big overhaul, with two brand new kites added to the line. For riders who could not decide between the 2010 Cult and Helix, those two kites have been combined into the Bolt.
The new Park is a C-like kite for riders who have always wanted to ride a C-kite, but who have shied away from C-kites for fear of them being too demanding. Of course, the now legendary Torch C-kite is still in the line with improvements for the new year and a 2011 Charger will be released in the spring.
Naish’s Damien Girardin (Kite Designer) and Greg Drexler (Board Designer) supplied the answers to our questions about the 2011 Naish products.
For 2011, it looks like Naish went for a major redesign, instead of simply refining last year’s models. What spurred the decision to revamp the Naish lineup of kites?
Actually, we only have two new kites out of four in the line. The Bolt is the mix of the Cult and the Helix, taking only the best of both kites so it could not be named after neither of them.
The Park is an entirely new kite, based on the idea that the Torch was the best C-kite on the market and that some people would just not be able to experience it because of its pedigree of being “too freestyle oriented.” We then created the Park based on what we knew with the Torch. We added the freeride and easyness provided by the moderate delta outline, added bridles, and made it a three-strut kite for a light feel.
What rider input did Naish incorporate into the 2011 designs?
All our top team riders like Kevin Langeree, Sam Light, Cyril Coste, Ian Alldredge, Reo Stevens, etc. had some input on the 2011 kites, but we also have a crew of testers and regular customers, dealers, importers, and schools worldwide that get to help us drive the design.
Naish has been very dedicated to the Sigma shape concept for the past few years, but for 2011 only one kite, the Bolt, features the Sigma Shaping. Why is Naish moving away from the distinctive shape of the Sigma kites?
We’re not moving away from the Sigma this year, we have just realized that the people buying the Helix and Cult last year were looking for the same kite most of the time, so we’ve decided to make it easier for them by combining them into that one kite they were looking for.
Have there been any changes to the Octopus Inflation System?
Yes, we have changed the way to access the valve inside the strut. You can now open the strut entirely in order to access the valve super easily, making the replacement of a bladder easier than it’s ever been.
How has the Torch changed for 2011? Will die hard C-kite fans still be drawn to the Torch?
The Torch evolves size by size based exclusively on the top Torch riders’ input (World Champion Kevin Langeree, wakestyle master Sam Light, unhooked wave rider Reo Stevens, and kite loop killer Cyril Coste). For example, we made the 9m a little more solid in the air, the 12m and 14m are faster turning, the 7m and 8m are more controllable, and we’ve also added a 5m for smaller riders and storm riders.
There is no question that die hard C-kite fans will love the new Torch.
For riders who like C or C-like kites, how will they decide between the Torch and the new Park?
That’s pretty easy. The Torch will be the answer for the rider that loves full C-kites and 5th line relaunch while the Park will be for the riders that like the “C-like” kites. However, the Park is open to more riders than that; it will appeal to a lot of people from the beginners to the ones that want to unhook or simply ride any kind of conditions and style.
What is the purpose of the LWR Assist? Is there a reason to use it in non-light wind situations?
The LWR (Light Wind Relaunch) is designed with the new trend to go out in lighter and lighter wind in mind. The new kites and boards (like our new Venturi board) open the option to ride in super light conditions when relaunching a kite the classic way may not even work anymore.
The LWR simply helps you pull from higher than the wing tip on the trailing edge of the kite making it flip and relaunch in virtually no wind. You may want to use it in regular wind but it is not necessary as our new kites relaunch without the LWR in their normal wind range.
The Charger received a complete redesign for 2011 to increase its performance. Is it still a great kite for entry-level riders like it was in 2010?
Yes, the Charger will still be a great entry level kite for 2011, but we’ll talk about that later since it will launch in spring 2011.
Which 2011 kite is best suited for wave riders?
It depends on the kind of riding someone wants to do. People riding unhooked should go for the Torch while those riding both unhooked and hooked in will go for the Park or the Bolt.
What changes have been made to the 2011 Naish bar?
For 2011 we have come up with a new grip that is fully thermo molded with a Tahitian pattern. The grip is really improved and we managed to keep it soft in order to avoid any chafing of your hands.
We have also added a fixed stopper on the trim line and some marking to position the sliding stopper. In order to add some style the trim loop and the leash are now white.
What are the highlights of the 2011 board line?
We make an extensive line of kiteboards, so to highlight all the biggest changes would be much too lengthy a reply. To pick one thing, I’d say the most work was done with constructions to fine-tune the flex of all boards. Each range and every size in each range are individually engineered to get exactly the performance we are looking for from the flex.
It is amazing how the same construction can ride so differently on two differently shaped boards (rocker and/or outline). What works great on one sometimes has the opposite effect when used on a different shape. We made our 2011 twin tips stiffer overall, and so to do this we had to work on every board. Flex is much more than just how much it bends from tip to tip. It is how much it bends in different areas under different loads, how it bends, and how quickly it responds.
Flex on waveboards also makes a huge difference. The most visible result of our work in this area is seen on the parabolic carbon fiber rails we developed for the Global range. Adding this to our epoxy EPS/PVC full sandwich construction made the boards very direct and responsive.
Why was a 138 added to the Momentum line?
The Momentum range had grown so popular among the wakestyle riders that the most serious riders were demanding a Momentum that would be ideal for boots and sliders. Development of this took a long time because the outline and flex requirements of the 138 were much different than those of the other sizes. The great part of the development of the 138 was that we’ve got some super talented team riders that were totally motivated to give their testing feedback so we could get this board into our range as quickly as possible and they are now especially stoked on the final product because they were involved in the development.