At A Glance
The Pivot was a newcomer to the Naish line up this year, technically available in August 2014; it complements an already impressive array of kites. Billed as their ‘Freeride/Wave’ kite, it claims to suit a variety of different riders. As well as encompassing those just starting out, it has also fast become the go-to choice for wave riders on the Naish Team.
On first inspection of this kite you can immediately tell it has been built not only with the wave rider in mind, but perhaps entirely for. Lightweight, yet incredibly well made and robust is a tricky combo to perfect, but with a few key features it seems Naish may well have pulled it off.
3 struts, the ‘Lightweight Solid Frame Construction’, and a Mid Aspect Ratio design all lend themselves to a solid low-end, whilst the reinforcements and bumper patches have been added to really protect the kite from any smashes and scrapes it may, and most likely will, endure.
Inflating the kite is super easy with Naish’s new larger inflate valve. These are slowly becoming the norm on kites and its great to be able to get out on the water that much quicker.
Sizes: 5m, 6m, 7m, 8m, 9m, 10m, 11m, 12m, 14m
It seems 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.
Having never really used many below bar de-power systems, I did find it a bit odd to begin with, but having shorter arms it actually very soon became a great feature. Hopefully in the future these could be made with bungee cord or something similar to stop the line flapping around.
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.
In The Air
With a name like the Pivot, you would expect this kite to be good at the turning thing, and my goodness it is! It literally does just that; it pivots. We had this kite out in super light winds and had so much fun just flying it on the beach in circles - we almost didn't want to get it wet. Of course we did however, and it was fantastic.
First out in lighter winds with a surfboard and classic onshore British mush. The on off de-power of this kite meant that running between sections was a dream. Literally pull the bar in and you shoot off towards a lump to hit, let it out to drift, then merely loop your kite back round and off you go again.
Any mistakes are easily rectified without dire consequence due to the pivotal turning and great de-power, and the light bar pressure really ensures a stress free experience. What’s more, the ‘pull in and go’ like abilities of this kite really do mean that even a beginner straight out of lessons could jump on this kite and be away in no time.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this kite is aimed purely at beginners however, as all we wanted to do was get out into the biggest, meanest waves we could find and really use this kite to its full potential. Direct and responsive, we felt entirely safe with this kite in a variety of conditions, whilst the insane drift left us free to hack and slash to our hearts content.
In terms of freeriding, this kite would keep you grinning for hours on end, cruising up and down your beach throwing pops, jumps and spins. Not the biggest jumping kite out there, nor the most radical for freestyle, yet for the prominent waverider who likes to dabble in raleys, kite loops and spins, it is a cracking companion.
Onto the relaunch, which is always in important subject. Now I for one do not want to be swimming towards my kite, then backwards, then to the side, then back again all in the 5 second gap between another bomb landing on my head, so Naish have got it spot on with the Pivots excellent roll-over and ride on relaunch. Simply pull on a back line and, with a little wiggling, away you go.
"All we wanted to do was get out into the biggest, meanest waves we could find!"
Incredible drift, pivotal turning and an excellent wind range. Solid construction with just the right amount of added padding and protection keeping the whole package light.
We love the new bar, but feel an update to the chicken loop would be good, whilst perfectly functional the safety line runs around the outside of the release mechanism and it would be good to see this tidied up a little.
Incredible drift, pivotal turning and an excellent wind range, coupled with a solid robust build, make the Pivot a really great kite for those just starting out with waves, to those who are looking for a kite that will not hold them back in the biggest of swells. Fantastic build quality means this kite should last a good few years. The light overall weight of the kite and all-round ability means this could be a great kite to travel with for use in a variety of conditions.
This review was in Issue 49 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding