Naish Floater 140 (2006) - Programmed for waves, the Floater carves beautifully from rail to rail. Perhaps a bit more length would keep the front fins from catching quite so much, but this really wasn't a huge problem and the rails gripped brilliantly. Nice flipped-up tips stop the nose digging and aided landings. Overall, it is a nice, simple ride with good, nimble carving characteristics and hit the spot in this wave test.
The Floater has been tailored for wave-riding and high-speed freestyle, especially with short lines. The Floater 140 excels when ridden flat but and can change direction quickly. It may take a little time to dial, but once you've got it you'll appreciate the unique performance. The rail and bottom shapes mean greater pressure can be applied to your front foot for more power. Full surf rails give greater drive in the bottom turn and more grip in the top turn, combining the feeling of a surfboard with all the creativity of a twin-tip. The Floater's medium density core and lightweight gel coat finish provide the ideal combination of performance and durability.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
NEAL: This kiteboard's definitely aimed at the waves.
GEORGE: Yeah! Huge fat chunky round rails.
NEAL: They've hollowed out the inside so you don't get the bounce and volume of a big board, but get the benefit of the length on the wave. It's a really comfortable board and is super-easy to use. It deals with any white-water and glides right over it, but because of its chunky rails it doesn't go upwind the best. Those rails do mean it slides rather than scuds downwind when you get overpowered, so it's just super-comfy and doesn't bounce from rail to rail.
GEORGE: I liked the fact you could dig in the rail and do nice turns. The things I didn't like were the fact that it didn't flex, which in a twin-tip these days you need, and then when you did do your top turn and start coming down the face the fins dug in.
NEAL: That's because it's so short and you have to adapt your riding to that. Also, when boards are hipped in like that they do feel smaller than they actually are. That and the big thick rails make it hard for the board to flex, too. I almost felt it would be better if it were a bit longer.
WILL: It's got quite kicked-up tips, so you never dug the nose in. The fins were set back a bit though I think.
NEAL: Nice pads and straps and stuff. Nice finish, and again good quality.
GEORGE: It just did everything well. You could hold a lot of power, and you could do all your freestyle moves on it, too.
NEAL: I wouldn't like it in light winds. It was a bit of a sinker in the big lulls, but they were massive lulls, and then at the other end of the spectrum when the really big gusts hit things got difficult. But I'd have to say that these really weren't regular conditions anyway and were massively gusty and offshore.
This test is in issue #21