Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 7, 8, 9, 12m
The Pivot is an incredible all-around kite with great performance no matter the conditions. If you want a kite that does everything anywhere or anytime, the Pivot is the kite for you. This kite is famous for its incredible jumping ability, wave riding performance, responsiveness, and tight, pivoting turns. The Pivot has a wide wind range and predictable power generation for easy riding and consistent boosts. The 12m and 14m have been redesigned for dramatically improved overall performance. Without sacrificing durability or flying characteristics, the construction, trailing edge, overall reinforcements, and canopy of all sizes have been redesigned for an even lighter and more responsive kite. If you’re not sure whether you want to ride a twin tip, surfboard, or take out your foilboard, the Pivot is one kite that does it all and excels in everything. Two-time King of the Air Champion and 2021 Big Air Kite League winner, the Pivot continues to lead the charge.
Visit for more info: www.naishkites.com/product/pivot-freeride-wave/
The Pivot is often regarded as an all-around freeride charger with a pedigree that boasts double King of the Air Championships, yet at the same time the Pivot’s DNA offers riders a user-friendly dependability that earns rave reviews from our everyday kite testers as well as Naish’s young-gun team riders who are pushing the kite-loop and big air boundaries. This year the Pivot gets some small material tweaks in the smaller sizes that tunes up turning and flying performance while keeping the winning mix of dependable flight characteristics that make it a crowd favorite for all around riding, surfing and big air sends.
Inflation Valve: Push button valve / Surelock nozzle required
Attachments: Center bridle: Knot / Wingtip bridle: Lark’s head loop
Centerline Split: Low-V
Front Bridle Options: Dual setting bridle / single slider
Design and Features
For season 26, the Pivot keeps its 3-strut medium to high aspect canopy with a sweptback leading edge that terminates in pointy wingtips. The Pivot features the Surelock push-button inflation valve which keeps the pump hose attached to the valve while inflating and allows for deflation with the push of a button (just remember to push the button to close the valve (button sticking up) prior to inflating. Inflation from the leading edge into the struts is quick and easy with the large diameter distribution hoses and deflation is equally as painless for a fast pack down. For the second year, the Pivot comes with a single slider front bridle that gives you an adjustable V-bridle at the nearest attachment point to the wingtip. The front bridle offers you the option to choose between the stock setting or an additional setting that gives the kite more forward drive and depower. The front bridle attachment pigtail ends in a knot and the wingtip attachment point ends in a lark’s head loops. The wingtip attachment point offers you two tuning options to choose your bar pressure, the stock position is the lighter option attachment closer to the tip of the wingtip. The Pivot continues to use the crisp Quad-Tex canopy material along with Aramid reinforcements patches to keep up durability while cutting weight in key places with small material changes, like smaller wingtip attachment hangers and less Dacron panels that lead to a lighter airframe.
The testers across the board were impressed with the Pivot’s wind range and its agile steering and all around user-friendly power. Right off the bat we noted that the Pivot offered a really comfortable bar feel that trended on the light to medium side of the bar pressure spectrum. The previous year’s Pivot offered three wingtip bar pressure settings and this year Naish has simplified the selection down to two options. While the bar pressure still falls in the light to medium realm, we think this year’s Pivot offers the rider a little more bar feedback than previous versions and may have contributed to tester’s overall sense of dependability and intuitive steering control. The Pivot scored high for its maneuverability and steering response with testers highlighting the tight turning and good steering response. The power delivery across the bar’s throw is super intuitive and progressive while the power generation from the canopy feels largely sheet and go. For those riders that want more depower, the front bridle has a second setting that changes the front bridle position to deliver additional depower in the kite’s angle of attack. This secondary setting helps the kite move a little farther forward in the window and keeps the kite moving through big loops without stalling, which helps for catching you on powered kiteloops and is also welcomed when surfing waves.
In terms of big air sends, the Pivot’s intuitive tight turn and agile steering makes it really easy to send the kite and access the kite’s impressive lift. If some kites offer insane lift but require perfect technique, the Pivot on the other hand gives you easy access to big air with super intuitive flying that is fun from small practice jumps to big skyscraping moon shots. Testers rated the hangtime as really good and liked how the Pivot seemed to always be where they wanted it to be. Even in the larger sizes, testers remained thoroughly impressed with the kite’s responsive turning and quick turning speed that kept riding exciting even when the wind was on the soft side. In terms of relaunch, the Pivot has always done well in our test and this year is no different. When the Pivot is stuck nose down in the middle of the window it is quick to respond to bar inputs and rotate up and begin sliding towards the edge of the window. Halfway to the edge of the window the Pivot tended to release from the water and pop back up into the sky for a safe and dependable relaunch.
This year Naish has pushed the Pivot platform forward with small material and construction changes that have led to slight performance gains to a kite that was already award winning. While the Pivot is often thought of as a freeride big air machine, it’s worth noting that many of the user-friendly qualities surrounding its power and turning make it a great crossover kite to cover waves and hydrofoiling. The Pivot has always earned high marks for its stability and good drifting which makes it a contender for the rider that does a bit of everything. Testers found the Pivot to be a great for both learning and progression with its easy to fly characteristics that seem difficult to outgrow.
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