Naish Kiteboarding Helix 9m 2008 Kitesurfing Review

Naish Kiteboarding Helix 9m 2008

Reviews / Kites

Naish Kiteboarding 98,602

At a Glance

Well what can we say except that at a glance you wont see a kite that looks quite like it anywhere else! There are actually two major design developments in the Sigma series of kites; one is the obvious Sigma concept, the zigzag leading edge. The other is something called Geo Tech. Lets start with the Sigma concept first; the idea is to move much of the centre canopy back behind the tow point of the kite (where the lines attach) to line up the centre of effort from the kite with the pivot point so that the two match regardless of sheeting angle. On a conventional Bow kite when it is sheeted out the leading edge and some of the canopy sit forward of the tow point and this is what causes flutter and eventually inversion. On the Sigma design this doesn’t happen and thus it creates a more stable canopy. The new shape also creates a hinge point in the centre of the leading edge from which the kite can turn. This all adds up to smooth and consistent bar pressure no matter how much trimming is done with the depower. The kite also incorporates Geo Tech, which is a way of stitching straight segments into the canopy that are under tension when the kite is inflated. This further adds to the stability as the kite has a solid shape even with no wind in it. It is actually quite amazing to see in the flesh and the tension on the front half of the canopy is impressive, something not really seen before in kites! The bridle on the Helix is very simple with no pulley on the front bridle now, the kite is easy to rig and set up.

The Bar

Naish have made some improvements to what we have always said is one of the best bars on the market. On last years SLE kites you had the option to have a 2:1 or 1:1 set up but the manner in which you did it involved disconnecting lines and re threading them and although quick was a bit of a pain. This year they have some ingenious design going on that makes the whole process much simpler, check out the clip in the video to see what we mean. The bar also incorporates a sliding stopper, which works very well, providing enough friction to take the load off your arms and unspin your bar. If needs be you can actually push the bar past the stopper to effect a depower in a hurry.

In the Air

Does all this work? Is it really time to sell the last of your belongings and invest in the future? The kite is certainly super stable, the most eye-catching thing is that even when you fly it through the window depowered it just doesn’t flutter. Put any kite through the same treatment and the leading section of the canopy will flutter every time, even when cam battens are involved. The Helix however is rock solid and just seems to glide through the window with maximum efficiency. Of course a kite this efficient is going to have a good range and the 9m certainly has that. We had it out when others were riding kites sometimes 4 sizes bigger and it still delivered plenty of smooth power to keep us blasting around. The bar pressure is also very light and consistent; the whole package just feels good in the hands. All this is fine of course until you realise that when you send the kite back through the window Naish have built in a rocket booster set. This kite goes huge, absolutely massive and with relative ease. Very rewarding where the hang time is concerned. It will take a little getting used to to get the landings set, you have to really bring the kite back over your head with some very positive bar input to really nail a sweet landing. But once dialled in it will take a while to get the smile off your face! The Helix however isn’t the kite for the freestyle kite loopers out there; think big air and freeriding with the Helix.


Innovative new design, super super smooth handling and awesome jumping abilities.


The Helix produces a bow like kite loop when unhooked, but then if its loops you want there is the Alliance the freestyle kite in the Sigma Series.


An impressive sight to behold, we are sure people will by it on looks alone, but that would be a shame as it packs some really impressive performance into the package too!

This review was in Issue 5 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding


By Rou Chater
Rou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!

Tried this? What did you think?