Apr 12, 2011
Author: Naish Kiteboarding
SBC Kiteboard is currently testing the new 2011 Naish Charger. Look for a review in our head-to-head progression tests in the summer issue of SBC Kiteboard magazine. Here is a sneak peak at the 2011 Naish Charger.
Design Aim: All-terrain riders who seek effortless water relaunch and added lowend lift. Totally re-engineered, the all new 2011 Charger continues its pedigree of all terrain performance with added focus on stability and range of use. Naish has implemented a new outline that is both fast turning and very stable. Added sweep in the wingtips increases depower and improves water relaunch capabilities. The 5 struts frame provides the needed
support to keep the Naish Charger incredibly stable through a wide wind range. The Naish Charger is the ideal choice for riders who demand a fast, highly stable kite with superior upwind ability. The Charger is LWR compatible.
When kite designer Damien Girardin, from the Naish Kite R&D Department sat down to talk about the 2011 Naish Charger, this is what he had to say:
The goal when designing the 2011 Charger was to focus on making a powerful light-wind kite. To achieve that, we entirely redesigned the kite. We started with a higher aspect ratio – more flat and swept, which made the projected area larger. The higher aspect ratio allows for better upwind ability, allowing the kite to always want to fly forward in the window, even when you hit a lull.
You’ll see that the bridles are not like any of our other kites. They allow the kite to stay flat in the air (see illustration), while our current bridle system works better with C-type kites. The “front to back” bridle line allows there to be a relatively small LE kept in the wing tip area, to improve aerodynamics. We kept the Geo-Tech on the side for the same reason we have it on the Bolt. The side of the kite flies more “head into the wind” than the rest of the kite, so the Geo-Tech eliminates fluttering and adds stiffness to the foil. This allows the kite to keep flying forward, even at low angle of attack.
We’ve tested the Charger on the Venturi boards, twin tips and surfboards. Some riders actually really liked it in the surf (even though this is not the target). What you get now is a kite that has significantly more power than our other kites in the line. I would say that for low-end pull, the Charger
compares to other kites in our line that are 1.5 to 2m bigger.
The Charger is not a Park-like kite. It’s not as fast turning, but you don’t need to turn it to generate the power. It has a “sheet-in and go” power delivery. The bar pressure is also higher than on the Park. You’ll notice the grunt of the kite and at the same time, its ability to still fly forward. Jumps are very easy on the 2011 Charger. You don’t have to “send the kite” too much –sheeting-in will make you jump. Then it’s really easy to make long gliding jumps with it.
A couple of things you must know:
-The Charger comes with a longer bar (21-23”/53-58cm) and longer lines (24m). There are still extensions in the kite bag. 9 and 11 can then be ridden with 28m lines and 13 and 15 can be ridden with 31m lines.
-The Light Wind Relaunch is a great option for the Charger as it is very likely that people will take this kite out in very marginal conditions (please note that the LWR for the Charger requires an extra 4m extension line).
Summary: The Charger is a fit for light-wind riders (lakes, light thermal winds, etc.), racers, riders looking for long, easy, gliding jumps, as well as the average rider who is looking for a kite with easy power delivery (sheet-in and go).
It can be ridden with any board, but to maximize the light wind capabilities you’ll want to look at using a light-wind oriented board (Haze XL, Venturi or the Custom Fish 6’0”). The Naish team on Maui is also pretty fired up about the Charger. Here is what some of them had to say:
Robby Naish: I really like two things about the kite – the long glides in the jumps, and the fact that the kite feels, looks and performs unlike no other kite in our line. We’re not replacing any other kite in the line, just expanding it.
Ian Ponting - Naish Kite R&D: In testing the Charger we looked at many different parameters. The kite needed to work well for racing, which means it needs to fly forward in the window, yet not stall out when riding off the wind. The Charger has increased my control and board speed dramatically on the race boards. The Charger is also very fun when riding a twin tip. You can just sheet in and boost!
Des Walsh - Naish Kite R&D: The Charger makes the lightest wind conditions doable and fun. You barely notice the holes. I love being the only one able to go in light winds. With the Charger, you not only go, you’re rocking. I’ve been out some days here where there were only stand-up paddlers out. It is a new feeling in the Naish kite range.
Nitsan Solomonov - Maui Sales Rep: The kite is very powerful, and smooth, with a great ability to go upwind. There is definitely a market for this kite, for the racing community and for light-wind riders.
2011 Naish Park Review