The Naish Mutant 4'10"/145 is a good board for light-winds with really good wave-riding qualities and ideal in stronger winds for big guys, over 90 kilos. The Imperial Cruiser of kiteboarding, it seems like it was designed by a heavy person for a heavy person. Obviously the flip side is that a light rider can be riding waves in very little wind.
The board boys at Naish have developed the Mutant 4'10' as a competition kiteboard for all conditions. Greg Drexler, head of board development at Naish, says, 'The 4'10' Mutant is an intermediate through to advanced level directional kiteboard. The development of the board came from the teams' competition needs.' The objective: to make a larger version of the 4'7' work in really marginal conditions without sacrificing the versatility for more powered riding. A flat rocker and short length have been designed for early planing, upwind efficiency and power. Naish do state that their Mutants require more technique to utilize their full potential, but once its versatility has been discovered, you'll have 'a weapon for big-air and board-off contest wins.'
TEST TEAM NOTES:
STAV: Two years ago this would have been a state-of-the-art board, that's not a bad thing, but it does have a slightly dated feel in design. Although you can tell it works better in one direction, you can sail it really well off the nose.
DAN: Maybe its larger size might be nice when you get into some really big waves.
STAV: I didn't feel over-finned off the tail, which was nice. Even with the big fins it didn't feel like some of the boards I've had in the past. Perhaps that's because it wasn't the fastest board we tested - the faster you go, the more you rely on your edge rather than the fins. The fin area really works with the board's design. On some new boards it's like we're relying less on directional characteristics. Once they're up and going you can edge them a bit more and lose the fin area as opposed to relying on the fins like a sailboard. But the fins give you the grip in your bottom turns.
DAN: It's good to see quality G-10 fins on a board and to see the standard of production boards going up. All these added extras that you get on boards these days do matter. The handle and foot-straps are all nice, too.
This test is in issue #10