At a Glance
The Naish Torch has been the freestyle kite for Naish for some time, the choice of the likes of Kevin Langaree and Sam Light for their attack on the world tour. Over the years the kite has kept the same basic design principles, it is still a C kite, with 5 line safety. But there have been tweaks along the way and the kite looks quite different this year. There is a new wingtip shape, which greatly reduces drag. This enables the kite to be faster through the air rshape into the canopy to give it a greater foil shape to help it generate more power. With reinforcement on the leading edge and solid construction all round the kite should certainly stand up to the rigours of the most demanding freestyle rider. The kite also features the tried and tested Naish Octopus one pump inflation system that allows for easy deflation of the struts after a session.
Naish Bars have always been a favourite of ours, always well finished and very well equipped. The Torch bar for 2010 comes with a smart loop and depower at the chicken loop rather than above it. As usual the chicken loop fits into the base of the bar so when you unhook it sits there ready for easy hooking back in. There is an optional stopper on the chicken loop line, should you want to set it up. The bar itself is adjustable so you get a 48-54cm bar all in one. Of course it is all finished in the usual polished style of Naish and oozes quality when you hold it in your hands.
In the Air
We were surprised by how stable the Torch is in the air, these days we fly a lot of bridled kites and are used to a solid stable feel in gusty conditions that these kites allow. We weren’t expecting the torch to be so good in this respect as well. It feels poised and solid and delivers a hell of a pull. In lighter airs the 11m gets going really early and when you tension the lines to pop you really notice the extra power in the canopy. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, you really have to come off your edge to dump the power before loading up for a trick otherwise it can throw you off balance a bit. But once you get used to releasing and engaging that edge the pop and pull from the kite for unhooked moves is phenomenal. With little input on the bar the kite is very well behaved and sits quite happily tracking along the window delivering plenty of grunt. Once you engage the bar to a committed kiteloop though the kite displays an impressive turn of speed, even for an 11m. The power through the loop is smooth and predictable too making it easy to spot and judge your landings. Upwind ability is good too and you won’t struggle to get back into the zone once you have had a few wipe-outs and been dragged off downwind.
Immense power and pop, this kite really responds well to being fully loaded and pushed to the limit. Fast turning and good at getting you back upwind.
In all honesty there isn’t much to grumble about with this set up, if you want a freestyle machine then it will do the job very well. Perhaps an option to have an above the bar depower would be good for those that prefer it.
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For top end freestyle riding the Torch is just about perfect, but it is more than that too, if you want a kite that puts an element of commitment back into your riding, rather than the instant depower of bridled kites then the Torch will fit that bill.
This review was in Issue 17 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!