Jul 15, 2011
Author: John Bryja
Since its inception, Naish has been holding its annual importer sales meeting on Maui, where the head office and R&D team is based. With some big improvements for 2012, Naish flew the editor of the prestigious German Kiteboarding magazine, and SBC Kiteboard editor John Bryja to Maui to check out the kite gear first-hand.
The four-day sales meeting provided ideal conditions for testing out the new gear, and some definite highlights emerged. The twin-tip line has seen the biggest overhaul under the new influence of designer Ian Ponting. Dramatic changes to rocker lines, construction and bottom shaping have resulting in a five-model lineup with the high performance Moneyshot (freestyle), and Arcade (wakestyle) as real standouts. The new Ally “Binding” foot strap is a complete redesign, standard on all boards and a huge improvement in terms of fit, feel and ease of adjustment.
The real head-turner on the beach is the new Alaia board. Based on the ancient Hawaiian finless surfboards that are as core as you can get in surfing today, this board is like nothing else we’ve ever ridden. You can use it in surf, but its natural habitat is in flatwater, lightwind conditions, rivaling the best raceboards for early planing.
The successful Global surf designs are now complemented by the new Skater series of strapless surfboards. The Skater series is based on the shift in the surfing world towards shorter, more compact designs (4’8”, 5’4”, 5’9”). A new Fish 5’6” rounds out surf lineup and has been retooled for lightwind use in both flatwater and surf.
Some fine-tuning of the Naish Park kite range sees some big improvements (see review on p. 22), complemented by a major redesign of the Universal Control System bar. The below-the-bar cleat has been improved to allow for much easier adjustment, and the front line V has been lowered to improve kite feedback and handling.
The new 2012 Naish kiteboarding gear will be available in local shops as early as mid-August. Look for more photos on SBC Kiteboard the week of July 18th.
The Naish Team. From left: Robby Naish, Alexa Deike (kite press relations), Nick Stuart (U.S. kite sales manager), Nitsan Solomonov (consumer liaison), Greg Drexler (surfboard designer), Des Walsh (kite test co-ordinator), Ian Ponting (development engineer twin-tips/boards), Damien Girardin (kite designer/product manager), Olivier Soutet (intern), Andy Church (general manager) and John Bryja (SBC Kiteboard editor).
Naish USA’s Charlie Burwell and Kai Lenny in action at the morning beach workout run by waterman Dave Kalama.
Ian Ponting and Nick Stuart discuss the new 2012 board lineup.