At A Glance
The Grom is a youth specific board from Naish we have had for test. In no way a scaled down ‘grown up’ board, the Grom has been designed through and through for kids who rip on the water. Firstly, this board looks awesome. It is fun, colourful and super cool with a shark gnashing across the deck. Secondly, it is so jam packed with technology we wished we were small enough to ride it full time!
The board has been made with a lightweight wood core and features the new Flex Torsion Control (FTC) 2.0 which produces the optimum stiffness and control no matter which angle the board is being flexed at. The Grom uses what Naish call a "Freeride Rocker" which lends itself to early and easy planning with all round ability.
the board will pop effortlessly off the water and comes down with an incredibly satisfying slap
The base of the board has a flat section in the centre which will make transitioning from heel to toes side smooth and effortless. A relatively flexy board, it has been designed for smaller riders, and the flex perfectly matches this. The tips of the board have actually been stiffened up, with Quad Channels providing some fantastic grip and spring off the water. There is also a new Deep Centre channel which only increases that awesome edging ability.
The Grom comes with the Apex2 Binding kit which can be adjusted to a super small size then back out again as the rider's feet grow, or for the addition of booties in winter.
On The Water
At 125cm in length, the Grom is the perfect size for smaller riders. Put a youngster on a big board and while crosswind riding will be easy, manoeuvring the board into turns and jumping can be really hard work. The 2017 version of the board we had on test is slightly heavier than the previous years, but this will simply be due to the amount of tech and performance it hosts and will be unnoticed once riding.
Planning early, the Grom is incredibly easy to get riding on. It does not need a massive amount of speed to get going and rides upwind well. We had the board out in varying conditions, and it handled them all with ease. Zipping through the chop is easy, the smaller size, both length and width, really shine through here.
The Grom is fantastic for carving, should you have any waves to play with the board switches effortlessly from heel to toe and really grips through the tips for some slashing turns. Of course, it won’t be long until things get airborne, and here the Grom only gets better. Low swing weight and FTC 2.0 keep the board solid throughout the air and into the landings. The grippy rail will engage on landing once you power off but won't throw you over the front by being too aggressive.
For more advanced freestyle moves we were very impressed with the Grom. Once riding with good speed, the board will pop effortlessly off the water and comes down with an incredibly satisfying slap! The straps really keep small feet locked in too so there is less chance of that ever-annoying unintentional foot out.
An incredibly high tech bit of kit entirely suited to the smaller rider. Comfortable in a range of conditions from first rides right through to advanced freestyle moves. For the smaller rider, this board is on point.
This review was in Issue 63 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding