2018 Naish Monarch review

2018 Naish Monarch review

The King can Shred – Long live the King!




2018 Naish Monarch review



The Monarch is a bit different. In a world where you could go out and buy a Porsche 911, this is for the rider who wants to go out and buy some American muscle. Just great looking, has a sexy feel, isn’t imitating anything and feels in no way generic. And if you need heritage – Kevin has won the King of the Air twice on this board. 

The sleek top and bottom sheet look sporty and fast and the outline maintains width, bridging the gap nicely between freeride and freestyle and is a great all-rounder for quite a serious rider. 

The Monarch fits into the faster freeride / freestyle category and the initial ride quality you feel is the way the Monarch tracks very well, whether you’re engaging a rail or riding with the board a bit flatter on top of the water. It has that air-cushioned quality that we enjoy but rarely find in other boards (the Shinns are the others we find that connection with), but in general there’s nothing that rides quite as majestically and powerfully as the Monarch and Naish say they haven’t put carbon in the central section which adds some comfort in choppy conditions. So although accessible, the Monarch definitely rewards better riders; if you’re a bit timid with it, you can feel like the board is taking you for a ride, rather than the other way around.



The rail channels and four full channels running all the way through the base of the board offer lots of flat grip and the Monarch rides comfortably without being over physical. That being said, when you do engage the rail, you get so much back coupled with the underside also complimenting your efforts without having to push your heels so hard down into the rail. 

The relatively flat rocker works well with the other features to provide a very fast ride. Although going heel- to toe-side is just about easy enough, there’s nothing wishy-washy about the Monarch and as a rider you feel the everything is precise. Although the technical design doesn’t seem to have changed too much, this is a very modern performance twin-tip and shows just how ‘on it’ Naish have been with this board in this category for a long time in terms of how a board can be fast but controllable with bags of performance.

There is some width in the hips which can make it feel big, so size down in your selection, but this also gives the Monarch such good light wind ability for its size and the high performance you can get in relatively light wind is a stand out. If you’re then able to continue to hold on when the Monarch’s nitrous injection kicks in as the wind picks up, you’re in for a fantastic ride. 

Naish’s foot straps and pads are one of the most widely respected designs on the market for adjustability and locked-in reliability mixed with adaptable comfort. 



The Monarch is the most autonomously powered of all the twin-tips this issue, but with that comes a certain amount of commitment to be able to go with it as a rider. You need to size down on the Monarch (we tried the 142 last year, and Jim at 72 kilos found it far too big and cumbersome, whereas this year the 136 would be spot on). In terms of traction, speed and fire power, the Monarch inspires emotions that car lovers will understand… as  long as you like a big engine! 



The assurance of control at speed with unwavering handling when pushed. 



If it wasn’t so wide in the middle it would appeal more to lighter riders, but that would be a huge compromise and you’d lose all the substance that makes this board great. 



Build quality: 8.5

Fixtures and fittings: 9 

Speed: 8.5

Pop: 8 

Drive: 8 

Flex: 6.5 

Comfort: 7 

Looseness: 6.5 

Grip: 8

Upwind: 8

Slider proof: NA 

Boots applicable: Yes

Freeriding: 7

Freestyle: 8.5

Ease of use: 7    


SIZES: 142 x 42.5, 138 x 42, 135 x 41.5 and 132 x 41cm 






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