Offering a huge range of wave boards, Naish is dedicated to surf. Each model delivers unique performance and the seven custom models are grouped into three ranges: carve rocker, fast rocker and fish. The carve rocker (CR) models are hand shaped, uncompromising surf designs. With greater widths, curvier outlines, higher rockers and fuller rails the CR range lets you carve waves the way you were meant to. The snappy responsiveness and versatility of the CR is excellent for riding with or without foot straps, hooked or unhooked or for paddling into waves. The kiteboards in the FR range share a lower rocker line combined with narrower widths, gunnier outlines and thinner rails. The result is reliable performance in all conditions, including higher speeds and larger waves. The fish range is wide and thick, designed to be fun and loose at the slower speeds in smaller waves and lighter winds. All boards come equipped with front and rear EVA deck pads, two flexible yet supportive adjustable foot straps, fibreglass premium wave fins and stainless steel mounting hardware.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
CHRIS: This board is smart and clean and has a great looking surf shape with its big size, high rocker and soft rails. Quality fins, grippy deck pads with two screws either side of each strap that really hold the straps in shape and position. It's very light and needs to be looked after.
NEAL: I love wave kiteboards that look like 'proper' surfboards. The pads are nice but the straps are disappointing. They look nice with the double screws to add stability to the shape but they are too stiff for the much more variable foot position needed for riding waves. Fins are good quality and the FCS system is definitely the way forward for travelling – it's so easy to replace those anywhere you can find a surf shop, but they also allow you to easily try different variations.
CHRIS: The board immediately feels smooth and predictable. Off the wave it's comfortable and stable, and gybing is easy due to its width and volume. Despite its size it rides well in choppy conditions and rides upwind with ease.
NEAL: The biggest kiteboard on test and feels really nice and stable underfoot. First thing I noted was how easily the rail engages and controls the chop and gusts, especially for a large board in overpowered conditions. A great strapless quality. The rounded pin-tail and relatively flat rocker line made it feel a little too directionally stable for the short shore-break riding on this test. This would be fantastic in proper down-the-line conditions on steep, powerful waves, and would also provide a nice stable platform to start riding waves on. It only becomes a problem when really trying to tighten up a bottom turn to drive up a small close out when I felt the board preferred a longer turning arc. Once you engage the tail at the top of the wave though, you can really carve hard back around with that precise rail letting you really gouge turns. The board feels really responsive partly down to its stiff construction, but I'm not sure how fragile it would be if dropped or washed around on some rocks.
CHRIS: On the wave it's really smooth with good speed, turning well at the top and bottom. It doesn’t feel as aggressive as some, instead giving a more mellow ride, inspiring confidence as it's so easy to ride. Its predictability helps hit sections in control when strapless. You could even surf this puppy if it wasn't for the nobbly surf pads that are already stuck down.
SUMMARY: A lovely set up for bigger waves and for strapless. Perhaps not as good for typical small beach breaks, but it's definitely got all-round application. A newcomer to waves will enjoy the directional stability while an expert will like it in bigger or more powerful waves. Some riders might prefer a slightly more aggressive, snappier wave board.
FR - Bullet RN: 4' 10 x 15 ¾'
FR - Quad squash: 5' 4 x 16 ½'
FR - Thruster pin: 5' 10 x 17 ¼'
CR - Global kite: 5' 6 x 17 3/8''
CR - Strapped surf: 6' 1 x 18 ½'
FISH - Retro twin fin: 5' 5 x 20''
FISH - Strapped surf: 6' 6 x 20''
This test is in issue #33