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Designer’s Corner: Naish Helix 2010

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

Designer Profile:
Name: Damien Girardin
Age: 30
Location: Maui
Job Title: Product Manager/Kite Designer
Designing: 6 years, Masters in Mechanical Design
Kiteboarding: Started 1997 but really got into it in early 2002

Product name: Helix 2010
Product category: Sigma
Sizes available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.5, 12 & 14m
Release date: September 09

Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?
It is a next generation of an existing design, but as always at Naish, a lot of R&D time went into this kite, making it very new. The foil profile is new, the amount of sigma outline has been decreased and the overall outline of the kite is now all rounded. What remains constant is the design goals, making it the kite that bridges C-kite performances with the easiness of the bridled kites.


If this is next generation design, what were the main goals in developing it?
The main goal was to increase the power and punch and overall performance of the kite while maintaining it’s ease of use.

What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?
We had to live up to the hype from the previous edition as many customer were telling us that we should not mess with it. However, we did introduce a new foil profile on this kite that has proven itself to increase turning speed and overall efficiency. Finding that perfect foil was a great challenge. We had to adjust this foil through several samples in order to obtain exactly what we were looking for. Theory is not always enough and on the water testing is always the only way! But at the end we accomplished our goals and Helix fans that helped us with testing are super stoked with the new edition.

If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be?
Clearly, the overall mix of performance and easiness of use is the first thing that you will feel on the 2010 Helix. It has more pop and goes upwind, better than ever, while keeping a friendly and stable attitude.


What is the biggest advantage of your control bar?
The biggest advantage of our control system is that is extremely simple and streamlined while being what we and many of our customer believe to be the most advanced in the market.

How does self launch and self landing work on this kite?
We do not recommend self landing or launching your kite, you should always get help from a friend. However, self launching works like on most bridled kites; put your kite sideways to the wind, walk upwind with you bar, then pull one back line. For self landing, put your kite on the edge of the window and pull strongly on the leash line.

What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
This year all the kites come with 20m lines on the bar control system, Then we have extension lines; the 9, 10.5 and 12 come with 4 meter extensions, and the 14 comes with a 7 meter extension line.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in what conditions?
The more advanced kiter will definitely get the most out of the 2010 Helix as it turns really fast and has a lot of pop. Regarding conditions, there are really no limits. From gusty to steady winds, this kite will handle it for waves, freeriding, freestyle and racing.

What is your warranty policy on this product?
Naish warrants its product to be free from major defects in material or workmanship to the original purchaser for a period of ninety (90) days from the date of purchase.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?
The main difference between the Helix and any of our competitor’s is that the Helix has the Sigma outline, which we have found provided unmatched stability, especially at the low angle of attack.

TESTED: David Comp, Team Rider
The new Helix has been modified to be more aggressive than ever. The kite flies with a stronger pull, faster flying speed, faster turning speed and an easier relaunch. On my first day out with the Helix, it was hard to believe I was riding the 9m as it felt more like a 7m. I think that most intermediate/advanced riders want to ride a c-kite for freestyle and big kiteloops for reasons like bar feel, pull, and flying speed, but also want the stability and depower of an SLE for wave riding or gusty days. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, the 2010 Helix is the solution!

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine