At A Glance
The women’s NHP board has been a favourite among our test team for some years now. It’s undergone some tweaks and refinements over the years, but for 2017 has had more of an overhaul and some new sizing. Namely, a larger 135 being added to the line-up, which we have here – a nod towards the trend for slightly bigger boards that give better pop, smoother landings and lend themselves to being ridden with boots as an option.
The asymmetrical outline, double concave tips and rocker of the NHP WMN all seem somewhat familiar from previous models. Something I was pleased to see since the former incarnations of this board were awesome it would be a shame for it to have lost any of those attributes.
One of the things you will notice about the NHP is the weight, or more accurately the lack of it! Compared to a lot of boards you pick up these days, Nobile have managed to create a solid product, with decent properties and longevity, yet have maintained a light weight across the range. The NHP WMN has had some extra tailoring to cater the stance and flex specifically for females too.
Graphics wise the NHP is part of the Gaia Collection. In recent years Nobile has worked with various designers and themes creating some stand-out board visuals. For 2017 it chose the title ‘Viva La Vida’ and three key subjects; Time, Freedom and Nature. In their words: “Because Time is everything we have, Freedom is what we’re here to pursue, and Nature is where we belong.” Longwinded you might think, but it does give some direction, thought and a nostalgic connection to all the artwork.
While at first glance you might just notice the pastel flowers on the NHP, it’s far from a ‘pink it and shrink it’ approach. Gaia is the Greek goddess of the earth, and follows the Nature aspect of the collection for their women’s range, “inspired by Mother Nature, who is the greatest designer ever”. Personally, I find the colouring and graphics fun, striking and in the grainy matt finish it’s all very stylish.
The board comes supplied with high-quality G10 fins and well-built footstraps and pads – now in a S/M and L/XL size option, which is very welcome for those with smaller hooves. The whole combo is easily assembled with their screw-less technology.
On The Water
One of the most noticeable qualities with the NHP is its versatility in virtually any water state, wind condition and style of riding. While it’s pitched for the more intermediate to advanced riders, it would happily assist someone who’s progressing – particularly in this bigger 135 size.
Freestyle and big air are the two areas it is intended to excel, and there’s no doubt about it, those boxes are well and truly ticked. The ‘Pre-Stress’ technology that Nobile have used during the manufacturing process (stretching and strengthening the wood fibres with fibreglass) certainly give this board some fantastic load and pop qualities.
The bonus is that they’ve also managed to create a board with a decent enough stiffness to power upwind, stomp huge landings and hold down high speeds, while giving the comfort factor required to make those landings soft and enjoy riding in even the most choppy of conditions.
The asymmetrical design, rocker, flex and channels in the board all combine to make an exceptional high-end all-rounder. The term ‘all-rounder’ can sometimes give the impression that there’s been some compromise, or that it’s ‘averagely good’, yet doesn’t surpass in any particular area. With the NHP it’s almost the opposite; the board excels itself with pretty much whatever you can throw at it!
We tested it with the supplied footstraps and also in boots, in flat water, crazy chop, gusty winds, light winds – literally all weather conditions you can think of. I’m certain some of the jumps achieved were my biggest to date and speed runs were super fun with the board slicing through chop like a knife. When it came to freestyle the qualities of the NHP both push you to try more, harder, faster and higher, yet at the same time remaining forgiving – those channels helping to disperse water on even the hardest and sketchiest of landings.
No matter what, the session always ended with a smile on my face. We let other girls try the board out too, and the result was same each time – returning with a grin.
As you may have guessed, we were hugely impressed with this latest incarnation of the NHP WMN. It has retained all the outstanding qualities it has become renowned for over the years and has been ripened and improved. The clever technology used in the manufacturing process to add strength and energy, while keeping the board flexible and light, has enhanced the excellent capabilities of the board.
Build quality is top notch, fixtures and fittings are good, and it has gained its place as a firm favourite with our test team. If you’re working on new tricks, like to mix up your riding styles and locations and want a board that will keep up with you in all this and more for years to come, then you won’t be disappointed with the NHP WMN.
This review was in Issue 62 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Nobile Kiteboarding
By Mary BoothMary has been kitesurfing since 2006, she became and instructor in 2007 and travelled the world teaching the sport that she loves! She joined the IKSURFMAG team in 2008 and has been testing ladies kitesurfing equipment and writing articles from a woman's perspective ever since!