With one of the longest legacies in windsports, Naish’s innovations in design, materials and construction techniques continue to push the boundaries of kiteboarding performance. For 2020, Naish completely rehauled its foil lineup, added entirely new concepts in the board segments and stepped away from its proprietary Octopus inflation system. Naish’s Derek Sproul fills us in on the details.
THE ALL-NEW SWITCH TWIN TIP FEATURES AN ASYMMETRICAL DESIGN WHILE THE SKATER, INTRODUCED TO THE SURF LINEUP IN 2015, GOT A COMPLETE REDESIGN. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AN ASYMMETRICAL BOARD AND WHAT KINDS OF RIDERS WILL MOST APPRECIATE THESE TWO NEW BOARDS?
The asymmetrical design of the Switch gives you more versatility to adapt to the conditions or share a board with someone. The longer rail on the blue side excels in lighter winds or with bigger riders. The red side is shorter and gives you more bite in rough water, strong winds or for smaller people.
The new Skater is an incredibly versatile and fun shape that will be appreciated by everyone who rides it. Working with Gustavo Arrojo, we made it lighter and the refinements in the shape make it an excellent board for strapless freestyle riders, even for guys competing on the GKA Kitesurf World Tour. While the Skater is super fun in flat/choppy water, at the same time it is very fun kite surfboard in anything from ankle slappers to head high. It drives well through the bottom turn but with its compact shape, it’s really easy to snap around and control. The compact shape also has its advantages for people learning various transitions since it’s so easy and quick to control.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER HIGHLIGHTS IN THE TWIN TIP AND DIRECTIONAL LINEUPS?
There are a couple of highlights to our 2020 board range. With our twin tips, we’ve added two boards to the line with Kevin Langeree’s new pro model the KL Pro and the Drive Limited Edition. The KL Pro is tuned specifically for big air riding so it holds an edge incredibly well, even when extremely overpowered, which contributes to its nuclear pop. The Drive LE is a bit of a passion project and a standout in our lineup. We wanted to make something that looks and rides totally badass so we took our Drive model and vamped it up with a unique graphic featuring our signature skull logo. A very limited number of these boards will be produced. For long-time fans of the Naish brand, this is definitely a collector’s item.
Other changes to the line include the Hero, which received a massive overhaul with new shaping and new construction. While it’s been labeled as a beginner board, we recommend it for anyone who wants a more forgiving ride. The Motion and Stomp also feature our new flex tips, which helps give a more responsive riding experience.
With Lanes and Ho’okipa just minutes out of our office door, our whole design team spends plenty of time riding waves. The Skater covers a lot of different conditions but we also readily reach for the Global and Go-To as well.
For kiters who want a more traditional shape, the 2020 Global has had some refinements to the outline with the wide point moving forward and a wider tail section as well. This helps it carry speed/momentum in flat wave sections but still has a solid rocker that is more tuned for when the surf is good. The Go-To continues to be our all-around performer; it has a bit more volume and flatter rocker than the Global making it more ideal for weaker or mushy surf. We also really like this board for making quick snaps in places like Hood River.
We’ve also added a new board to the line called the Hover Wake. It’s a great board for wakesurfing and wakefoiling but kiters will appreciate it as a one-board solution for wave riding and foiling. For strong surfers, it can be used for foilsurfing also. It comes in a 4’6” and 5’0” and is a really fun board in playful sized surf.
NAISH HAS COMPLETELY REBUILT ITS FOIL LINE FOR 2020 FROM THE GROUND UP. WHAT MOTIVATED THE CHANGES AND WHY?
Foiling as a sport is growing at such a rapid rate that it almost requires everything to change year-to-year, especially with our involvement in so many different disciplines with kiting, surfing and windsurfing. The benefit of our platform is that we’ve maintained the modular application crossing over year-to-year. So while we’ve implemented completely new construction and manufacturing processes on all wings, our masts, fuselages and baseplates carry over. We really wanted to focus on perfecting our end-product that provides incredible performance at an exceptional price.
Our team is always motivated to lead the charge and innovate. Every year we look at how we can reduce overall weight and improve performance in each component. Our masts are extruded from aircraft-grade extruded aluminum, sandblasted with 120 grit prior to anodizing, then wet-sanded with 600 grit to achieve the optimum surface. The result is a strong, stiff mast that also delivers excellent torsional rigidity and has clean release and minimum drag. The fuselage features a new external geometry that reduces weight and hydrodynamic drag and a new simplified rear wing connection which creates a stronger connection and simplifies assembly.
WITH 84 NEW DIFFERENT WING/MAST COMBOS, WHERE SHOULD A RIDER START IN CHOOSING THEIR IDEAL SET UP?
Step one is identifying what you really want to do. If you are focused on 100% kitefoiling performance, then the Kite Freeride Performance Foil should be your go-to. For your average kiter (i.e. non-racer) The Kite Performance Freeride has exceptional early lift at low speeds, a great top-end and turns very nicely.
For people who want a bit more versatility, the Freemove Jet 1050 is a better setup as a do-everything foil. It comes with our Jet 1050 surf wing and a shorter, 75 cm mast so you can use it not only for kiting but also surfing, wakefoiling and even windsurfing. With it being a surf wing it has more lift at lower speeds—it’s going to have a lower top speed but great stability at lower speeds which makes learning how to foil much easier. It’s also super playful so it’s not a foil that you will outgrow quickly when you start turning.
The beauty again with our foils is the modularity; everything easily attaches across components. So if you wanted separate setups for kiting and surfing you could easily get one complete foil and then a separate wingset and mast for whatever sport you choose.
THE BIG NEWS FOR NAISH’S 2020 KITE LINE UP IS NO MORE OCTOPUS SYSTEM. WHY THE CHANGE? WHAT ARE THE OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FOR YOUR 2020 KITES?
Naish has a very strong history of innovating and not being afraid to do things differently. Some of these innovations are short-lived like our Sigma series and some have a more lasting effect, like the Quad-Tex canopy. Alas, it was finally time to move on from our Octopus inflation system to our new One Point system with oversized hoses for maximum airflow. There’s a number of advantages to this new system, one being easier/quicker inflation and deflation and another is how we’ve simplified bladder repairs.
We also changed the inflate/deflate valve and are using the same valves featured on our inflatable SUPs. It’s more flush with the leading edge, which is aesthetically much cleaner. It’s a bit easier to use, as well, with a push-button and no more manual screwing. It does require a new adapter nozzle for your pump, which is now coming on all Naish pumps and we are including this nozzle with all kites, so even if you forget your pump at home you will have the correct nozzle.
Finally, the other big change in our kites for 2020 is we have fine-tuned the tension in the whole canopy by adding a seam that spreads the backline tension further towards the center of the kite for an even more powerful and balanced kite. This was implemented in the new Pivot, Slash and Torch.