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Naish Helix

Apr 3, 2010

Author: SBC Test Team / Shane Thompson

Size Tested: 9, 12 m
Style: Four line, Sigma power foil

The Helix has been radically redesigned for 2010 as it pushes the envelope in an attempt to produce performance that will bridge the gap between C-shaped and bridled kites. This year’s Helix incorporates the “power foil canopy” within the sigma outline. The result is punchy speed, super fast turning and precision handling that make the Helix exotic sports car of the kite world.

Bar and Safety Systems
See the Cult review

On the Water
When the Helix first came out two seasons ago it set new standards of performance for fast turning, and precision steering, but many remained skeptical and found comfort in a more familiar feel. This year’s Helix is back again with a similar effect. The Helix was probably the fastest pulling and quickest steering kite of the test. It can turn quickly and generates some aggressive power through the first half of the turn, but pivots quickly out of it. The multiple steering settings can also let you adjust the speed of the turning dramatically. Depower comes on quickly enough, but not as smoothly as this year’s Cult. The steering is faster than the Cult and there’s more direct positional feedback from the control lines. This a kite that speeds forward to the edge of the window very fast and often needs to be tamed with some steering input. For jumping the Helix requires the right timing, but when you get it right jumps are high and long. Powerful, Raleys, Kite Loops and unhooked pop make the Helix a capable new school freestyle kite but not for the light of heart. The sweet spot is more narrow and the precision steering requires an experienced rider’s input. The turning is fast and there is plenty of depower to catch the odd wave session. Water relaunch is very quick, as the rounder shapes lets it pivot and roll easily. The Helix can deliver aggressive performance it but it takes time to dial in the precision power ban and overall turning quickness of this kite. It will be admired by the more advanced riders that will use the Helix to push their capability to new levels.

Reality Check

In severely gusty conditions the Helix is not as smooth to control as some of its rivals. This is a kite flyer’s kite and it likes to be flown by the aggressive rider.

Bottom Line
The fast driving, and lightning fast steering of the Helix will appeal to the advanced riders that want to challenge their skills with a kite that can out perform them.


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