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Get full 2014 gear info from 28 brands in the TKB 2014 Buyer’s Guide.
For 2014 NP continues to expand their product line, now offering helmets, travel bags, and other accessories in addition to wetsuits and harnesses. The unique NP aluminum S1 spreader bar returns for this year. Joe Cartaya answered our questions about what we can expect from the 2104 NP Surf products.
We’ve talked about it before, but the S1 spreader bar is still a very unique product. How is this spreader bar different from others on the market?
The S1 spreader bar is a one-of-a-kind item in the current harness world. This new design was the right move for our brand. The forged aluminum construction provides more strength than traditional stainless steel bars. The titanium (the same type found in the typical titanium rings for men) was chosen as the best material for this application because it allowed us to replace the welds with titanium bolts to get the maximum weight reduction and durability to handle the elements without moving to more exotic materials like carbon fiber
It was equally important to have a finished look that was driven by function and strength. For example, the symmetrical openings on the bar would appear to solve the obvious (weight reduction), but the deeper purpose was a better placement for your security knife (coming soon) and a second option to connect your leash as some riders prefer to connect to the bar as opposed to the back of the harness.
What are the basic differences between the different harness models?
The best way I can describe this is by highlighting the benefits of each harness we make. The Bomb has maximum support, the best impact protection, and stays where you want it to. The Mirage is flexible, has medium impact protection, and leaves some room to wiggle. The Flash is soft, has medium/low impact protection, is very light, and moves comfortably. The Raven is flexible, has medium impact protection, and moves comfortably.
The Gravity seat is very supportive, very conforming, and has the best adjustment. The Core seat is soft, lightweight, and provides some adjustment.
What’s the difference between the mesh wetsuits and the others? Which models should kiters lean towards?
It is unquestionable that 100% mesh suits like our Eclipse 5/4/3 are more resistant to cold wind and water. But the risk for staying semi-dry and flexible in a mesh suit is that it is easier to nick or tear your new suit. The double-lined neoprene suits like our Edge 5/4/3 offer excellent warmth and are much more resilient to damage.
NP has remained committed to the mesh suits over the decades because of our return customers. I really could not recommend one model over the other. If the conditions you face are freezing go with a Lucifer drysuit or Mission 6/5/4 front zip. The Eclipse or Edge can be the right fit for very cold water. From cold to chilly conditions you will find a variety of NP suits to combat the elements.
What features make the Edge a top of the line suit?
The Edge goes all the way with all the best materials we have developed and construction techniques we have perfected over the years. The new Fireline insulation is the warmest and most comfortable we have ever built into our suits and the Edge makes sure you feel like you’re wrapped in a blanket. The chest and back plates are cut from Matrix Mesh neoprene essentially trapping all your core body heat.
The rest of the suit is made of warm and stretchy Apex-Flex neoprene. Every seam is glued and blind stitched and then taped to make it a watertight seal. As for the seams themselves each panel was carefully thought out to meet anatomically and ergonomically once put together. If you expect to stay warm, dry, and agile enough to do whatever you want to do then you want an Edge.
Are there any other new products for 2014 that you’re especially excited about?
I’m excited about all of the products that NP is bringing to market for 2014, but there are two categories that I want to talk about. The first one is safety, which is not always a first thought unless in hindsight. NP develops a range of flotation and impact vest as well as helmets to protect riders. This is equally important for new riders as it is for those taking their skills to new levels. The second category is accessories for all of your needs whether for your gear or for yourself. The next time you have to take a trip with your gear take a look at the NP Golf Bags. NP has a full range of gear and board bags ready to meet all of your needs.