New and improved for this year, the next iteration of the Torque, the Torque 2 + i3 QR ATB 55 bar comes with a plastic coated throw line and a new quick release design. With this updated bar, Naish continues to provide plenty of useful options in a carbon chassis, which keeps the bar at a very reasonably light weight with massive amounts of utility.
The Torque 2 + i3 QR features a dual adjustable length bar chassis (it’s available in either the ATB 50:40/45cm or the ATB 55:45-51cm) and comes with 24m lines w 2m extensions (24m=22m+2m). The safety system uses a single center line safety that cleanly runs down the bar through the plastic-coated throw line and the safety clip for your kite leash sits cleanly against the bottom of the quick release body until the system is triggered. The power tuning happens at a cleat above the bar and the Velcro lined toggle fastens to the cleat to keep the excess toggle slack attached to the cleat when not in use. With the introduction of the durable plastic covered throw line, the Torque 2 + i3 QR provides a bar throw that’s fairly generous in length and while you do get to say goodbye to periodically replacing the spectra throw line, you do lose the ability to adjust the length of throw from years past.
The new quick release features a standard push away release with a hand swivel that doubles as a quick release guard, so you’ll always be able to trigger the release no matter how fowled your bar ends up. The quick release cocks open after you trigger it, but the reset process requires you to lift the gate as you re-insert the end of the safety loop back into the quick release. After some practice, we could reset the quick release in a two-part motion, making it a good idea to practice this on dry land before you need to do it on the water. The safety line stows cleanly in the quick release until you need it and the safety loop that comes with the quick release is a medium sized loop and comes with a molded finger that does a great job of preventing false hooks. The coloring on the bar is made very obvious with red on one side and blue/gray on the other, making the orientation of the bar visually very clear.
The adjustable bar length feature is super easy to operate; just pull out the clips at the bottom of the bar and rotate to change the effective length of the bar. Inside the clips there are five tuning knots to change the length of the outside lines. The Torque 2 features integrated bar floats that are foamy and soft with leader lines connecting to the outside lines that are a little bit thicker, which makes it easier on your hands if you need to grab a leader line and add extra tension to one side of the kite. There’s retractable bungees that are designed into the bar and helps stow your lines when not in use, although testers wished the bungees were just a little bit longer for ease of use when wrapping up our test bar.
For this year there are no changes to the classic Torque hand grip with its asymmetrical grip that alerts you with a counterintuitive feel when you hold the bar backwards in the wrong orientation. There are sizeable humps on the knuckles to index your fingers and the bar has a slightly smaller diameter so you can comfortably hook your hands over the bar for long but comfortable sessions. The center insert is swappable with a fin key, so you will inevitably get a lot of mileage out of this bar.
Overall, this year’s updates give the user a more durable bar that doesn’t require periodic replacement of the throw line, but keeps most of the key features that loyal riders have come to love about this bar. Naish has managed to make some of the lighter weight bars on the market and the Torque 2 + i3 QR continues that performance edge with some key upgrades that make it a top of the line bar.
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