Maybe a little bit too advanced for early intermediates; more of a good second, smaller board for jumping and stronger winds. Goes upwind really well, and jumps like a legend.
The name remains, but the Haze range for 2005 is completely different to its predecessor. Four new designs, reengineered inside and out, deliver far more versatile performances. Much of the floatation found in the 2004 kiteboards has been removed to pave the way for proper flex which Naish put above all else in a serious board. Floatation is useful early on in your kiteboarding life, but after five minutes it gets in the way. The new Haze range is designed to take you from learning to keep your edge, to riding powered-up, sticking your first jumps, to riding like a pro.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
GEORGE: The first thing I noticed was how amazing those pads and straps are! It's a board you can load up for insane air.
NEAL: It's stiff but it gets away with it because it's so hipped in at the ends. You get a lot of comfort from that shape.
GEORGE: That's why it turns so well.
NEAL: When you want to load this up it's got tonnes of power. I can't tell you enough about how well I think this board jumps. You can load it above and beyond and it will still take it. You barely even need to concentrate on the rail for jumping. When you're trying to get to grips with jumping, it can be tricky to figure out the exact timing of when to boost but this board definitely helps. You couldn't get straight on it after a beginner lesson though, it does need to be ridden fairly powered. As soon you're comfortable and up and riding a kite that's powered up enough to jump then I think this board will come into its own, and take you as far as you want to go. It's not the quickest to the plane because of the narrower tail, but once it's going it's so easy to control. I liked it toeside and I liked it carving, but once you start to really carve turns the stiffness counts against it.
GEORGE: You're going to feel good walking down the beach with that kiteboard.
NEAL: Goes upwind really well, and of course jumps like a legend. We really liked it.
MAGGIE: But you're never going to find it when you're body-dragging back to it.
NEAL: It's a bit secret squirrel isn't it?
This test is in issue #16