At A Glance
Naish have mixed things up a bit in their kite range in the last few years, and the result is a range nothing short of impressive with a kite to suit pretty much every rider. This Pivot came into our lives in 2015, and four years and four models later this kite has become one of Naish’s most eagerly anticipated releases.
The Pivot could well be the kite to everyone; a 3 strut, mid aspect freeride kite with an emphasis on wave riding performance. For the vast majority of us who want to cruise, boost spin and slash, these are the types of kites we should be looking to own. The kite has a hybrid design with more delta-shaped swept wing tips on what has now become known as an Open-C design.
New for the Pivot for 2018 is the addition of Naish’s successful Shark Tooth design. This is a redesign of the trailing edge to eliminate and disperse flutter which causes wear, and also to aid stability to the kite.
The rest of the kite has also had subtle changes to increase the performance and build.
The Pivot incorporates Naish’s longstanding Octopus bladder system which is a one pump system but with non-return valves in the struts. This means super fast inflate and deflate as we have come to expect, and also ensures equal pressure in both the leading edge and struts at all times. The inflate valve is large, again to aid set up time.
The canopy is made with the super strong Quad-Tex Ripstop, the strongest on the market with four times the reinforcement over standard ripstop; this should mean your kite lasts longer!
Sizes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
The Torque BTB 55 bar underwent some serious work last year, and as such is relatively similar for 2018. Housing a range of features including adjustable bar length, spinning centre line, and a height adjustable trim cleat. New for 2018 is the ability the change the centre piece of the bar itself. This is fantastic news and a very welcome addition as we all know they need replacing after a while!
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.
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 but 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 BTB 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.
In The Air
The 2018 Naish Pivot has had subtle changes from its predecessors but maintains its ease of use and fun all round performance. The kite is relatively heavy compared a few other wave specific kites, and as such you do need to fly the kite well in those lighter winds to stop any stalling and create enough apparent wind for the kite to behave properly. However, as the kites have a large amount of power for their size, this is never too much of an issue, especially in the middle of the kites wind range when the wind picks up.
“Fun all round performance with excellent wave capabilities!”
Once powered, the kite is a fantastic bit of kit, and really makes your life easy. The Pivot is very versatile and can very much be a classic pull in and go kind of kite. This is fantastic for those who are just starting out with their kiting and need a kite they can forget about to concentrate on themselves.
The depower on the Pivot is great, and there is a huge amount of trim available both in the throw of the bar and also from the depower cleat. The Pivot does fly slightly better with a small amount of trim in play; this just keeps the kite flying forward just that little bit more.
Riding both up and down wind is easy, and pretty much a point your board kind of feel, edging hard on your heels will allow you to get some serious angles upwind too.
Relaunching the Pivot is super simple. The swept tips encourage the kite to roll over, and in those lighter winds a small bit of pressure on a rear line will help the kite pop up a little quicker.
The Pivot jumps incredibly well, and has a simple sheet in and go attitude. The feedback through the bar helps here when you are first learning to boost as it will let you know where the kite is at all times. For those who are wanting to get some big jumps in the Pivot delivers well with generous float.
The more aggressive you become with the kite, the more you will get out of the kite here.
The kite is happy to throw a decent loop, and you can have confidence knowing the kite will drive well out of them and you will never get thrown too much. Again, for the majority of us, this is honestly all you will want!
Unhooking is good, the kite sits well and is stable throughout, though again a little trim we found to be beneficial to stop the kite stalling especially in those lighter winds.
The Pivot, of course, is an all-round kite, but the waves are where it has been designed to shine. The turn is fantastic, truly pivotal, and the down wind drift allows you to forget about the kite and concentrate on the wave beneath. The slightly heavier bar pressure keeps you aware of what the kite is doing at all times, and throwing the kite around is quick and responsive.
The Naish Pivot is built incredibly well and has the performance to suit a vast number of kitesurfers. Fantastic freeride and wave capabilities in an incredibly easy to use package.
The kite does need some flying skills to get the most out of it; it suits the more active rider who likes to fly their kite rather than the lazier kiter who wants their kite to do all the work.
We have really enjoyed the Naish Pivot over the past few years, and the 2018 version has topped them all. Great freeride capabilities, super easy to use, incredibly versatile, fantastic in the waves and amazing build quality. This kite will suit an awful lot of people who need a kite they can depend on.
This review was in Issue 66 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding