Apr 3, 2010
Author: SBC Test Team / Shane Thompson
Voted Best Inflation System!
Size Tested: 12, 9 m
Style: Four line Sigma shaped SLE hybrid.
The Naish Cult returns for its third evolution in design with new “Geo Tech Generated C-shape” and simplified bridles to enhance turning and bar feel. This All-Terrain, do-it-all kite attracts both beginner and seasoned kite veterans.
Bar and Safety Systems
The New Universal Control System is redesigned to include new safety elements of a “through the bar” front line leash system. With the leash attached to this three metre single centre line, the kite becomes completely flagged off a single front line when engaged. There is the secondary option of the new wider webbing leash connection, which depowers the kite by doubling up the long trim line. The Smart Loop Quick-release Trim Loop is easily engaged and refitted and houses the trim cleat on its side for easy access, below-the-bar trimming. The bar is packed with industry-leading features like adjustable length bar ends, flared stainless centre hole, and comfortable ergonomic grip. The overall feel and features of this control system are among the best on the market.
On the Water
The third-generation Cult shows improvement in direct control with quick turning and more positive and direct response. While the overall stability gears itself towards more intermediates than beginners, which is a slight change from previous years. The trade off in direct control turning, as well the enhancement in positional feedback were some definitive upgrades from last year’s Cult. This kite’s depower capability is also at the top of the fleet, as it can eliminate power and pull almost instantly and at arm’s length. The Cult is ideal for the progressing rider because of its excellent stability in the air with no tendency to backstall, and for its quick, single steering line pull, water relaunch. The shape of the leading edge allows for less suction while face down on the water and the kite easily pivots onto its wing tip with a simple steering line pull, an awesome feature for water relaunching in surf and heavy currents. These relaunch characteristics combined with the fast and smooth pivotal turning make the Cult deal for wave riding or for tearing up any condition for that matter. In fact, the Cult remains in a class of own because of its ability to pivot turn quickly even while completely depowered. It also has ample jumping capability that’s easy to access, with decent glide and smooth pop. Over previous years, this year’s Cult also feels slightly more comfortable when unhooked, although true powered freestyle riders will prefer the unhooked feel of the Helix. Overall, the Naish Cult remains a true classic that can satisfy the broad spectrum of riding styles and skill levels that it’s intended for.
Naish side pull cleat takes a certain technique to adjust trim efficiently. Light bar pressure takes some time to get used to.
The Bottom Line
The Cult got all the good things that last year’s Helix delivered and more. With quick pivotal turning, smooth delivery and nimble flying character, you can take the Cult anywhere and it has performance that doesn’t quit.