At A Glance
Now in its 5th year, the Park has proven itself once again to be an important part of the Naish line-up. Aimed at a wide variety of riders, it has been designed as a fun do-it-all kite, with an emphasis on freestyle.
It features a solid Compact C design with 3 struts resulting in a stiff and lightweight package. A static bridle system keeps the kite driving forward with excellent response, essential for a more freestyle orientated kite.
New for this year is a larger inflate valve, resulting in both faster inflate and deflate. As with previous years, the Park features Naish’s Octopus Bladder system.
Sizes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
It seems that 2015 is the year of the bar overhaul, with many brands really upping their game. Naish have offered up the Fusion Control System for 2015 which is a simple 4 line bar with front line re-ride and a below bar cleat. It’s a really well polished set up with excellently integrated floats and bar ends. When you are riding with the bar you get a really clean feeling as all the depower is below the bar and integrated into the chicken loop release.
The chicken loop itself is the same one that Naish have been using for a few years now; it works very well and is functional being easy to release and easy to re-engage. There aren’t many brands using a below the bar set up these days, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you have short arms you’ll love this and the depower is never too far away. However if you have a reasonable amount of depower you do end up with a bit of rope flapping about which could be tidied up, perhaps some bungee or Velcro?
The set up uses a really long chicken loop line, so you have plenty of depower and control which is great in the waves. However if you have really short arms it can be difficult to reach the bar after a crash as it flies a little way up the line. This means of course you have total depower in a wipeout, but it’s worth noting small people might want to add the optional additional stopper ball.
Perhaps not a prominent aspect when choosing a kite, but mention must be made to the excellent leader line floats. These have been designed with great care and attention to detail. Kinked in certain places, when winding your lines onto the bar you no longer have to worry about tearing the floats as they fold and sit perfectly against the bar.
Naish have opted this year for a yellow and grey colour scheme for the bars. No big deal, however with it almost industry standard to have red as left, I did immediately assume yellow would be left. It isn't though, so just make sure you remember that when you are upside down underwater!
Overall though the new bar package is fantastic and works really well, and the minor niggles we mentioned, really are just that – minor! The quick release is functional and we liked the de-power system, it’s up there in our top 5 bar list that’s for sure.
In The Air
The first word which comes to mind to describe this kite is ‘fun’. From the moment it launched until it was packed back into its bag, the entire experience was enjoyable and easy.
We first had this kite out in light marginal winds, and though there was a fair bit of walking involved, once you got some speed up you could still generate some solid power and performance with the kite. Even in these light winds, the kite was incredibly responsive and still felt solid in all areas of the wind window.
Once powered the Park excels with fantastic hang time and effortless unhooked performance. We felt inspired to try new tricks on this kite due to the consistent pull and near instant relaunch.
Jumping with the Park is a great experience. For those just getting their timings sorted the kite is forgiving enough not to drop you out the sky. If you are confidant with jumping, then you are in for a superb session. The Park shoots you up into the sky, and has plenty of float to keep you hanging up there ginning like an idiot before softly floating back down.
Looping the Park is again a whole heap of fun. Not as big or aggressive as with a full on C-kite, but perfect for the everyday rider wanting to push their own personal limits.
The Park has been designed with freestyle in mind, and this does become apparent once you unhook. It is incredibly solid and stable, it leaves you to focus on what you are doing rather than worry about the kite.
The Park excels with fantastic hang time and effortless unhooked performance.
Great wind range, excellent on-the-go depower and simple relaunch. Coupled with the beefed up build quality and cracking performance make this an excellent kite package.
Hard really to find any major faults with this kite other than the bar having a few issues with the length of the throw, and also the bar colours being a little confusing at first. Naish has used the Octopus Bladder system for quite some time, and though incredibly effective, we feel perhaps is a little over engineered and a simpler one-pump solution could be used. It also makes any puncture repairs just that little bit trickier!
A solid kite with excellent power delivery and huge versatility. Almost anyone can jump on this kite and it will not hold them back. Great hangtime, float and unhooked performance as well as a large wind range. If you want a kite to improve your riding this year then the Naish Park should be on the shopping list!
This review was in Issue 50 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding