Last season, Naish made a number of significant changes to its lineup so 2018 represents improvements, small tweaks and additional sizes rather than a slew of new products. However, Naish did make a huge leap with its foil program which now offers several board models along with swappable parts that cross over between surfing and kiting. Naish’s PR manager Derek Sproul fills us in with the details.
THE LATEST RELEASES IN THE 2018 LINEUP ARE THE PIVOT, SLASH AND TORCH. HOW HAVE THESE KITES BEEN ADAPTED FROM LAST YEAR’S MODELS AND CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE TYPE OF RIDING AND SKILL LEVEL THESE KITES ARE BEST SUITED FOR?
For 2018 we are continuing to use Quad-Tex in all of our kites as it remains the best material on the market; one year in, the results have been astounding. For 2018 we’ve utilized Quad-Tex to develop the Shark Teeth trailing edge, which eliminates heavy Dacron and disperses trailing edge flutter to help extend the lifespan of our kites.
The Pivot has had some micro tuning to enhance its fast turning and great low-end power, both characteristics that are what have helped grow this kite’s dedicated followers. The awesome thing about the Pivot is its ability to perform for every type of kiter out there, from beginners to the top professionals in the world. If you like just cruising, foiling, boosting airs or charging big waves the Pivot excels in every category.
The Torch with ESP has seen some adjustments as well to help deliver more power. It remains one of the best C-kites out there for its unparalleled performance for freestyle and kiteloops. It’s super consistent in its turning and pull which gives riders confidence to send it. The biggest changes for the 2018 kites can be seen in the Slash with the addition of two new sizes (11m and 12m) and a reduction in the leading edge diameter and tapering in the wingtips for even faster turning. Its smooth turning yields consistent pull that doesn’t yank you out of position on the wave and its drifting ability is just incredible. It just sits back in the window and carries down the line with you, allowing you to totally focus on tearing up the wave! LAST YEAR YOU INTRODUCED THE QUAD-TEX RIPSTOP FABRIC, A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW, BUT THIS YEAR YOUR KITES FEATURE A NEW TRAILING EDGE CONSTRUCTION THAT’S BEEN NAMED ‘SHARK’S TEETH.’ HOW IS THIS FEATURE IMPORTANT TO THE END USER?
Quad-Tex was definitely groundbreaking. Over the past year, kiters are seeing the difference, which is noticeably less wear and tear and far less performance loss because of it. With Quad-Tex we were able to look at other panels on the kite and see what materials we could replace to make them lighter. As mentioned, the Shark Teeth trailing edge eliminates the use of Dacron, which reduces the overall weight of the kite and more importantly evenly disperses trailing edge flutter when flying and lying on the beach. This again helps to extend the lifespan of our kites. THE SURF LINEUP INCLUDES THE LONG HERALDED GLOBAL AND SKATER AS WELL AS NEWER MODELS, THE GO-TO AND THE MUTANT. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE TYPE OF RIDING AND CONDITIONS THAT EACH BOARD EXCELS IN?
With our headquarters based on Maui, we are minutes from some of the best kitesurfing spots in the world, so there’s a lot of R&D that goes into our directionals, not to mention our incredible team of testers and team riders that ride these boards day in and day out.
The Global has been a staple in our line for years. It’s a traditional, down-the-line board that is the easy choice when the waves are good; not to say it doesn’t perform in mushier, slower waves too. For 2018 we’ve refined the rail outline and added just a tad more rocker through the tail to give it an even snappier and responsive feel. It’s a bit narrower in the outline as well so if you’re in big waves and need some speed, the Global is the board to take out.
The Skater remains a team favorite and has seen the most change in 2018 with the new tail outline. It is a super fun shape that drives through the bottom turn and snaps off the top. It’s super responsive and can do pretty much anything you want it to. Our strapless freestyle guys also really like it for its wide/stable platform that makes strapless tricks much easier. As for conditions, it’s a board that you can be confident in pretty much anything you go out in, from sloppy to perfect.
The Go-To was introduced as part of our 2017/18 midseason launch and has since grown with the addition of the 5’6” model. It’s a bit of a hybrid between the Global and the Skater with its traditional shortboard shape with the wide point just forward of your front foot to help the board drive through flat wave sections. It also turns marginal days into extraordinary ones. The Mutant has actually been in our line since 2016.The 2018 has undergone some nice changes to help boost its turning ability when the wind is light. FOILS ARE GETTING BIGGER EVERY SINGLE YEAR, PARTICULARLY NOW THAT THE SURF/FREERIDE SIDE OF THE SPORT IS BEGINNING TO BE EXPLORED. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST TECH FEATURES OF THE NAISH FOIL PROGRAM AND WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE THRUST SURF AND THRUST KS 1 FOILS TO HELP RIDERS CHOOSE WHAT SETUP IS RIGHT FOR THEM?
We’re super excited about our new foiling program across all of our sports and it’s certainly played an advantage when developing the new Thrust KS 1, Thrust WS and Thrust Surf. The biggest tech feature is that it’s a modular platform, which allows you to transform your foil from kiting to surfing simply by swapping parts. We also are continuing to produce three different mast lengths at 55, 70 and 90cm allowing kiters the ability to learn how to foil easily. Another really cool tech feature is the adjustable rear stabilizer wing. This allows you to make the foil give more or less lift depending on your size or the conditions. There are several differences between the Thrust KS 1 and Thrust Surf. The Thrust KS 1 is our dedicated kite foil. It comes with a 90cm mast and features the adjustable stabilizer rear wing. It’s the ideal foil for all around freeride foiling and gives early launch, great stability and doesn’t sacrifice top-end speed.
The Thrust Surf was originally designed for surf and downwind foiling but this foil is also incredibly versatile. In our R&D process we found that it makes a great foil for kiting as well, especially for beginners and in extremely light winds. While it isn’t exactly the foil to use if you want high speed performance, it gives great lift and stability at low speeds. The Thrust Surf comes standard with the 55cm mast, which also makes it ideal for first time foilers.
As with our foils, we’ve gone all in with our foilboards for 2018 with the addition of three new models. For entry-level kiters we have the brand new Hover 155 and returning Hover 160. They both feature the aluminum track system that allows users to attach the foil precisely where they want. The really nice thing about these models are how easy they are to get up and foiling on. Their thin profile and relatively low volume allow you to easily handle them in the water making waterstarts easy.
The Hover 130 remains a team favorite for intermediate to advanced foilers who want a minimalist board. For 2018 we’ve added the aluminum track system to allow riders to fine tune where the foil is attached. The Hover 138 is a new shape for 2018 and at first glance it’s easy to see it’s made for speed. It’s a sleek, narrow shape that has heavily beveled rails for edging hard upwind. It features two 10” US boxes and multiple footstrap inserts to be totally dialed on your set up.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Hover 112 which has become Kai Lenny’s new favorite travel companion. It’s super compact standing at only 3’7” for those not familiar with the metric system. It has a CNC cut core and is wrapped with a lightweight fiberglass and features two 10” US-Boxes for precise foil positioning. We really like the incredible control that this tiny board provides and is an easy choice for expert foilers wanting a highly responsive riding experience.
Get info from all the top brands in one convenient place with Tkb’s 2018 Buyer’s Guide.