For over 40 years, NP Surf has invested in finding new ways to improve their relationship with water on every level so that watersports enthusiasts can ultimately have more time with it, on it and in it. For 2016, the company has a deep line of windsport-specific products and is rolling out their new high-end Armor-Skin wetsuits, harnesses for men, women and kids as well as all new spreader bars, including the world’s first forged aluminum bar. NP Surf’s Marc Saenz tells us more about the 2016 line in order to help us choose what NP Surf products will best suit our needs and budgets.
How do you recommend kiters choose between the Rise, Mission and Edge lines of wetsuits?
Just like you would purchase anything with varying qualities, there are a lot of options on the market for the watersport enthusiast. We narrowed the choices in our men’s collection to three varying qualities with different features. If you are looking for the fully loaded model, choose the Edge Wind with the new Armor-Skin neoprene. If you are looking for a suit that is not so feature rich but at a great price point, choose the Rise. The Mission sits between the Edge and the Rise and was designed for use with all watersports. It has a great degree of flexibility in the key areas where you need it most and is made with our extremely soft and comfortable Apex-Plus material with superior freedom of movement.
The Edge uses a proprietary material called the Armor-Skin. How is this new material integrated into the suit and how will this affect the overall comfort and warmth of it?
The new Edge Wind wetsuit is our top of the line suit for all windsports. The Armor-Skin hybrid neoprene is built into the shoulders and thighs where it is needed the most. This allows for seamless freedom of movement with supreme comfort. The Edge is made to withstand the harshest environments and built to last for a long time.
How should women make the choice between NP Surf ’s wetsuits as well as the handful of warm water/SUP accessories?
Currently, there are three lines of female suits; the Serene, the Spark and the Spice series. The Serene and Spark are geared more towards windsports. The Serene is our higher end female collection, while the Spark is more price-point oriented. As far as the Spice goes, it is our new line for 2016 and it concentrates more on the SUP/Race side of things. The Spice collection was designed with warmth and maximum freedom of movement in mind. Made with Apex-Plus silky smooth neoprene that has 25% more stretch, the Spice series is lighter and warmer than traditional neoprene suits and has its seams placed in strategic areas for added support.
When it comes to harnesses, NP Surf has a range of models to fit kid’s, women’s and men’s specific needs, but the widest selection is for the men’s category. What is the difference between the Bomb, Mirage, 3D and Flashmodels and what types of riding are they each suited for?
The 3D was designed to offer maximum support where it is needed most. It has a unique pre-bent hard shape that wraps around your body, creating a supremely comfortable fit while not sacrificing freedom of movement. All in all, it is the best harness in our lineup and a must try at your local shop. The Bomb was created with long sessions in mind. If you’re looking for a harness to stay in place and provide excellent lumbar support for those long downwinders, then this is the harness for you. The Mirage is our ultimate freestyle harness, designed with a unique contour and low cut side panels, it allows for extreme maneuverability while remaining very comfortable while you rip it up. Finally, the Flash is our lightest, softest, and simplest harness in the range, offered at a very attractive price point.
One of the biggest innovations for 2016 is the three types of spreader bar options that come with NP harnesses. What’s the difference between the Standard, Tracker and Halo spreader bars? Are these spreader bars specific to a certain type of riding?
The NP Surf S1 Spreader Bar is the world’s first spreader bar constructed of forged aluminum. We worked closely with our pro riders, and after years of testing, we finally settled with the forged aluminum for the best strength-to-weight balance and anti-corrosion properties. Stronger and lighter than any other spreader bar available on the market, it currently comes in three kite-specific designs: The S1 Kite, all new S1 Halo and all new S1 Tracker.
The S1 Kite is a classic rounded hook with a deep curve which allows the chicken loop to sit securely while reducing the chance of accidental unhooking. This spreader bar was designed with everyone in mind. The S1 Halo is one of our new innovations for 2016. Designed for the 85% of intermediate to advanced kiteboarders who ride permanently hooked in, it replaces the traditional hook with a simple closed loop. The incredibly simple connection prevents ‘foul hooking’ and landing line snags. With the point of load now significantly closer to the body, the torque load experienced during toeside riding is also significantly reduced. The S1 Tracker is a pivoting hook that reduces the torque load experienced when a kite starts pulling with a side vector to the body. The spring powered hook effectively makes the connection point much closer to the rider, negating sideways forces experienced during turns or toeside riding. The hook self centers once the load is removed, making hooking in after performing unhooked tricks easier.
In addition to wetsuits and harnesses, NP has a wide range of accessories from neoprene tops, base layers, kite leashes, life jackets and impact vests. For those kiters just starting this sport, which of these accessories are the most important for safety?
The first thing a new kiter should invest in as far as safety accessories is a NP Surf helmet and NP Surf impact vest. While learning, you tend to get knocked around a bit. These two pieces of equipment will help keep you safe in case of an emergency.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
NP Surf is a division of Neil Pryde, which has been making watersports equipment and accessories for over four decades and continues to be an industry leader. Thank you for all your support.