Mar 18, 2011
Author: Shane Thompson / SBC Kiteboard Test Team
The 2011 Naish Park voted best in unhooked wave performance, and best surf/wakestyle crossover kite in SBC Kiteboard's head-to-head surf test. (Issue 12.1)
• Quick turning and smooth power through the turns and looping
• Smooth and playful while unhooked with good pop
• High-end wind range with smooth consistent pull in gusty conditions.
A brand-new model of the Naish line, the Park has performance with a focus on simplicity. The powerful profile and full outline deliver consistent pull of a C-type kite and fuse it with the power and control of a swept kite.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The Universal Control System is an updated fou-line, ergonomic layout that features a three metre centre trim line with stopper ball and single front line flagging for 100 per cent depower safety. The grip on the bar has been toughened up and has aggressively textured graphics and finger grips,which improve durability over previous years. It’s a little tougher on the hands at first but after a couple of sessions it seems to soften slightly.
Smart loop push away release works well and the trim cleat that adjusts out the side takes some practice but is clean and well placed. The bar length adjustment is a simple and effective way to use one bar for multiple kite sizes. Underneath the floats, back line adjustment option make quick work of tuning back line lengths. The Naish bar is polished and effective, and represents one of the most streamlined and cleanest functional systems available.
The Park is a light and playful weapon with smooth power delivery and delivers fast pivotal turning with ultra-light bar pressure. It was rated as a top contender for load and pop and had the fastest, pressure-free turns of the test. The wide wing tips and low aspect central canopy give it great performance while unhooked, and it’s ideal for any rider that likes to session kickers and sliders in the park and then hit the surf when the waves roll in. Unlike the popular Sigma series, the Park sits deeper in the window and drives smoothly off the front lines while unhooked. It has no tendency to back stall and can sit deeper in the window with smooth downwind pull. It’s a quick pulling kite and faster across the window then some of the other three-strut designs. The Park’s quick, direct feel and its smooth power delivery inspire confidence to regulate pop during tricks and practice any unhooked manoeuvre with a little less aggression than a full powered C-kite or performance BOW. Although, not as stable in gusts and less total depower than the Naish Bolt, the Park still has good amounts of depower and its light and lively feel, and three-strut shape, make it a capable wave kite. Water relaunch is quick and easy, with a single steering line pull, the Park pivots easily on to its side. There are three turn bar pressure and turning settings on the Park, and even at the slowest and heaviest setting the kite remains quick turning with moderate amounts of bar pressure.
The low-end power was a little on the light side for each size and the positional feedback takes some getting used to.
The Park really shows its wakestyle and freestyle potential with smooth pull and easy-to-access pop. It delivers comfortable and confidence building performance and was one of the most nimble handling of the test. The Park’s lightning fast turning speeds and smooth control will also give you an edge to hunt down that perfect wave ride.