At A Glance
Naish Kiteboarding have bought out another stellar line up for the coming season with equipment for pretty much every eventuality. The Dash sits in the gang between freestyle weapon, the Torch, and new kid on the freeride block, the Triad. The Dash is a freestyle kite but with the boosting and looping ability we now see on the more freeride end of the spectrum.
Love it or hate it; the Octopus system is in play and ensures zero air movement between strut and leading edge aiding that tight powerful turn, just remember to close those valves on the struts before you start pumping! Quad Tex ripstop provides an ultra strong canopy, which is then supported by the shark tooth training. The leading edge on the Dash is slim for increased speed through the air, and this in turn is supported by the High Tensile thread which enables you to pump the kite to a higher pressure.
The Dash has had a few key refinements for 2020, including a squarer wing tip for increased power through the turn, and the low end has been increased thanks to new bridle geometry. The shape remains the same, and the construction is as always well thought out with bumper pads and reinforcement where needed.
Sizes: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14 meters
We used the Dash with the 19/20 Torque ATB (Above The Bar trim) 50 Bar which has the new colour way but remains relatively unchanged from the 17/18 version. Housing a range of features including adjustable bar length, spinning centre line, and a height adjustable trim cleat. The bar is incredibly robust yet comfortable when you get your hands on it; quality has been a focus here. We see a memory core under the grip, Hytrel chicken loop, aircraft grade aluminium and lots more.
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The Torque release system is insanely simple and quick to use, releasing works immediately and clipping back in takes no time at all. We can use this in either standard mode or suicide mode. Ideal for those riders who unhook, yet want reliable safety while on the shore.
The bar has a large centre line giving us the ability to depower huge amounts on the fly. The ATB depower cleat is simple to use and very precise for trimming while on the water, it also can move closer or further away from you depending on your arm length.
The entire product is clean, well thought-out and works perfectly.
“A solid performer in both new and old-school freestyle”
In The Air
The Dash has had a major kick up the bum for this carnation and the result is a kite which is not only easy to use but packs a serious punch with a powerful driving loop, explosive unhooked capabilities, and a range to rival even the most freeridey of freeride kites.
We used this 10m kite on one of those changeable days where you seem to need every kite in your quiver at once. The Dash handled it beautifully. More eager than previous years, the Dash likes to sit forward in the window and has solid upwind drive.
The lulls in the wind were no problem as the dash has a powerful sweeping turn and thrives off the apparent wind generated; a few swoops here will see you gathering enough power to launch yourself into a plethora of tricks thanks to the velocity and new improved low end.
Once powered of course the Dash unveils its freestyle ability with lively and forward going flight characteristics, and a huge ‘pop and slack’ with stability throughout. The kite catches well on landings, and there is a feedback through the bar at all points of the trick without twitchiness or stall.
To jump with the Dash does taking a little more thought than that of say the Pivot which is more of a pull and go kite, the Dash needs some firm steering and board control to get the most out of it. However, when you have this you will be rewarded with some epic boosts, and the drive of the kite creates a huge loop where more than once we scared ourselves with the amplitude generated!
As with many of the more C-shaped high performance kites, a good level of board riding is a must for control at the speed needed to get the most out of the kite in both jumping and freestyle, the Dash does like to be ridden fast, and especially in the higher winds you will be going rather fast! At the top of its range there is good depower available through the bar, but those who are slightly smaller may find it gets a tad heavy on the arms if you are a more park-and-pull rider.
Relaunching the Dash proves easy and quick, simply holding one of the back lines should bring the kite over and round to the edge to restart.
We loved the vastly versatile performance on offer and ease of use, with build quality to match.
Hard to find much we disliked with this one, to be ultra picky we did find the kite relatively heavy through the turn, so does require a fair bit of input. Once dialled in this is no problem, just something to be aware of at first!
Naish once again have done themselves proud with the Dash. A solid performer in both new and old-school freestyle, it will have you sending some of your biggest loops then stomping the latest passes all in the same session. A big range with usable unhooked capabilities at all points, and huge boosts in ready supply at the top.
This review was in Issue 76 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding