At A Glance
Since its first appearance in 2004, the Torch has remained true as a leading C kite. Synonymous with Kevin Langaree and his monstrous airs and freestyle tricks, the Torch with ESP has now increased the usability for more people to enjoy. A true C kite, the Torch features 5 struts, 5 lines and direct attachments (no bridle). The ESP is activated by moving the front line from pigtail 2 to 1. This allows greater angle of attack control for greater depower; something less experienced riders will be very thankful for!
The canopy is made entirely from QuadTex, a collaboration between Teiljin and Naish, and is unrivalled in strength and durability. Patches and pads are placed in key wear areas to promote longevity. The Octopus one-pump system makes inflation fast and easy and there are some very useful zips around all struts which will make any repairs a lot simpler (though ideally you won’t need to!).
Sizes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14m
The new Torque bars have undergone some serious work for this year, featuring a new release, new adjustable length bar ends, replaceable bar centre and many configuration options to suit different riders. The Torch is compatible with the very impressive Torque 5 line bar.
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 whilst still on the shore.
An above bar depower is simple, smooth and very effective, and leaves everything clear for unhooking.
A great addition for this year is the swivel situated just above the chicken loop, allowing everything to stay very clean by simply twisting.
In The Air
The Torch, for those who love C kites, is just a pure joy to fly. Raw and intense it ticks all those boxes and more for a full-on all-out kitesurf experience. Not to be mistaken and flown as a hybrid, the Torch needs power to fly. The beauty of this kite appears when you are lit up and screaming along. The Torch loves being looped, and will provide not only height, power and speed, but also stability, drive and feedback throughout the loop to encourage you to try again and again to increase the size.
For big air, as demonstrated in the King of the Air competition, the Torch is a literal high flyer. When fully powered you are ripped into the sky with astronomical measures and soar until you swing yourself back down to the water. You do need to really fly this kite to get the height and hangtime, just taking the kite to 12 and pulling in the bar will not reward you with those heart-stopping flights.
"A dependable high performing kite with the build quality to back it up."
Unhooking is brilliant with the Torch, from the great bar feedback to the explosive power and phenomenal slack, the entire process from unhooking to hooking back in is precisely what you need from a pro level bit of kit.
Relaunch is easy, the 5th line aids in the lighter stuff, but you will have no troubles getting going again in no time.
The ESP setting works very well by adding further depower to the kite, it is really simple to change between both settings. We found that not only does this make the kite much friendlier for those just starting out with high performing C kites, but also in the gustier conditions it absorbs the sudden jerk of power through your legs and back. Though designed as a super high-end bit of kit, the reliability of the Torch is definitely of note. It always does exactly what you expect it to, with no sudden lulls or erratic behaviour. This alone makes progression leap forward, yet coupled with the performance there will be no stopping you.
A dependable high performing kite with the solid build quality to back it up.
Lacks a little low-end power so be sure to get dialled into the right size for the right conditions to ensure you get the best performance.
The performance record of this kite speaks for itself, but with the fantastic build quality you know you can put the kite through its paces and it will still be in one piece afterwards! The ESP has opened the kite up for so many more people to enjoy and progress with. It’s a truly awesome bit of kit.
This review was in Issue 61 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Naish Kiteboarding