At A Glance
When the first Naish Park came out four years ago it set the bar pretty high for a great all-round kite, now the latest version has been tweaked and tuned to produce one of the best kites Naish have ever made. Marketed as a high performance freeride/freestyle/wave all-in-one machine, the kite has a low aspect ratio, swept compact C outline and 3-strut design. It comes as a 4-line set-up in sizes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14m, so there is plenty of choice when it comes to picking your perfect size. New this year is the static bridle system, doing away with the pulley bridle system on last year’s version. The Park has a very ridged and solid looking, bomb-proof construction and modifications like the reduced diameter struts add to the kites overall great build quality.
The Universal Control System is a performance 4-line control set-up and is one of the most comfortable bars I have used, the reduced diameter bar feels great especially when unhooked and really holding on. Having a below-the-bar depower trim is great and makes the whole system feel clean and uncluttered. Some riders will be used to above-the-bar cleat systems and may take a few rides to settle into this set-up, but it soon begins to feel familiar. I found the push-away quick release extremely easy to use and put back together, this is definitely one of the most polished bar safety systems on the market. Other features to note are the low V swivel for keeping the middle lines tangle free, and the V2 bar centre that has been redesigned to prevent line wear and tear.
In The Air
The first thing I noticed when flying the Park is the quick response and direct feel created by the static bridle system. There’s no trade-off between turning speed and power, the Park has plenty of both. When you find yourself out in gusty and overpowered conditions this kite copes extremely well. With its huge depower range that can be achieved on the bar without having to keep using the depower trim, letting the bar right out depowers the kite almost fully. I found that even when sheeting out, you still have great steering ability, and this is a great aspect when using the kite for waves. With such a huge wind range and amazing low-end power, you will be able to get away with a much smaller kite quiver rather than having a kite in every size. Being a fairly low aspect ratio kite you wouldn’t think that the upwind ability would be great, but the static bridle platform allows the kite to fly further forward in the wind window. When it comes to jumping and hangtime the Park delivers, and you can load up a lot of power for boosting big air. For unhooked tricks the consistent pull of the kite keeps you fully powered all the way through a move and keeps the power fully on for landings. Relaunching has never been quicker or easier, the slightly swept back wingtips allow the kite to relaunch in seconds.
The Parks ease of use makes it suitable for beginners right through to advanced riders, however the more advanced and freestyle orientated riders will get the most fun out of this kite. For surfing this kite is great fun too, it’s quick and the control over the power at your fingertips ensures you’ll be riding the waves and not getting dragged down them by the kite.
Entry level wave riders may find the Park a little too snappy and powerful at first, however this said, it is very hard to find anyone who will want to put this kite down after trying it.
The Park is at the top of its game in terms of versatility, it is an all-in-one machine for any riding style in any kind of conditions. For advanced freeriding and freestyle you will be hard pushed to find a better kite. Overall, a seriously good kite that is a lot of fun!
This review was in Issue 43 of IKSURFMAG.
By Rou ChaterRou 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!