At A Glance
The Naish Ride is aimed at any kiter out there who is looking for a simple to use kite that can still deliver solid performance when they want it to. It’s a 2-strut design which reduces the weight of the kite and also increases the draft in the centre, power producing section. Build quality on the Naish range is always of a very high standard and the Ride is no different. The kite features the Octopus single point inflation system as well as the “anti stiction” window, which allows water drainage when the kite is on the deck in order to aid relaunch. There is also a new lightweight solid frame construction technique, which increases the strength of the kite when under heavy loads in crashes. A very short and simple 8-point connection bridle features low friction rings to allow the kite to adjust its angle of attack when sheeting in and out. There are also small battens along the leading edge of the canopy to keep the profile of the kite when it is sheeted out.
Our test kite came with the 2014 BASE control bar, we’ll get our hands on the new Fusion Bar for 2015 soon. The BASE Control System is a performance four-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 you’re 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 the above-the-bar cleat systems and may take a while to settle in to the below-the-bar arrangement, but after a few rides it soon feels natural. We 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, which has been redesigned to prevent line wear and tear.
In The Air
Power is the first thing you notice with the Ride, it packs some serious punch. We were often using the 9m quite happily when others were on 10’s and 11’s. The next thing you will notice is the handling, the Ride has a precise nature to it that fills you with confidence. While it delivers lots of power the bar pressure isn’t too heavy and the kite reacts instantly to input from the bar. The kite definitely favours the middle and lower end of the wind range, we found when the wind really picked up and we took it well past its limits, then it became a bit of a handful. Hangtime on the Ride is awesome, it has a real glide to it that kept us coming back for more each time! The lift off the water is reasonably aggressive too, kiteloops are exciting, and it delivers plenty of pull as it rolls through the window. You can crank on the bar and get more of a pivotal loop, but you really need to engage the bar to get that to happen, be prepared for a bit of a yank.
Relaunch is excellent, the kite almost doesn’t want to stay on the water when you crash it, and we never really got it into any problems despite trying few times. Who’s the Ride going to suit? Well, it would make a great beginner/intermediate kite for someone not looking to push the top end of the wind range. Equally, it has great drift abilities that will appeal to wave riders. It flies upwind with ease and makes for a great low-wind machine.
Light, fast and incredibly well built, the ride is responsive and has an incredibly low wind range. Great upwind, good float in the jumps and great drift on the waves.
When you take the kite outside of its wind range at the top end the Ride can become a bit of a handful, there is just so much raw power in its DNA!
If you are looking for a light, powerful and fun to ride kite, the Ride fits the bill perfectly. It’s ease of use and relaunch make it perfect for the beginners and intermediates out there. However, there is much more to the Ride than that, it will put a smile on just about anyone’s face.
This review was in Issue 46 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding
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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!