Here is my review on the Naish 2009 Product range for Kiteboarding.
This year Naish have made a very logical range, that is super easy to differentiate. The range is basically 3 kites now. There is a CULT SPORT, which is basically the same as the CULT but no OCTOPUS inflation and extra bumpers.
This 2009 range is as follows, CULT, HELIX & TORCH.
2009 NAISH CULT. This year the CULT is quite similar to last years kite. Some refinments have been made like Direct Responce Steering (the wing tips are actually slightly toed in to aid the steering imput by faster and more active response) And low drag windtips (the extra material between line contact points has been reduced, the outline on the wingtips is only as big as it needs to be = less drag).
Actual Performance - The kite is even more user freindly than 2008. Relaunch is easier again, and the depower is massive. I would probably say that the top end performance is equal with the 2008 model, but the ease of use and user friendliness has been noticeably improved. The bridal has remained much the same. A great new feature that many will love is all kites 10.5m and over will now come with 4m extensions, so you can rig your bigger kites on 24m lines. The CULT and CULT SPORT are 4-line SLE kites. The SLE pulley at the top of the Smart Loop is new also, Naish have removed half the pulley (the side that is not used) and added a sealed swivel so your front lines don't twist. Also there is a new leash that runs through the bar. All up the CULT has significantly changed, but is in many ways the same great kite, freindly, and easy to use.
2009 HELIX. Now this kite is awesome, my personal favourite. This kite is totally re-designed. The HELIX 2009 is now a 5-strut "C"-Shaped Sigma kite with GEO-TEC. This kite is fast and exciting. Because it is a "C" shape, it naturally does not have the same depower as the CULT, but due to the SIGMA out line and the GEO-TEC L/E, there is definately more than enough for this customer. There is no back line bridal at all, the back lines connect straight onto the kite, resulting in direct steering and that "C" feel that we all love. The front bridal has been simplified, so basically the HELIX flies and feels like a normal "C" with heaps of depower. Turning Speed has been increased due to the "C" shape, Power and pull during the turns has been increased. Another great feature is the 2009 HELIX is 5th line saftey adaptable (please note this kite does not fly on SHIFT, But there is a 5th line safety kit that can be added to your SLE bar). The 2009 HELIX is a significant performance increase from the CULT, this kite kicks arse, the more you give it the harder it returns it. Big jumps, fast turns and heaps of power (especially noticeable in the turns). The Relaunch on the 2009 Helix is a mix of the CULT rear line reverse launch and normal "C" style launching, it is definitely easy, but instead of totally rolling over and hot launching, it likes to sail over to the side of the window more and launch there. The 2009 Helix is Lower aspect and a proper "C" shaped arc, this makes the kite perfect for unhooked moves, also being a "C" shaped kite makes it fast and exciting. The HELIX 2009 also has 4m extensions for sizes 10.5m and above.
2009 TORCH - The Naish Torch over the last few years has proven that it is unmatched in the market place. From TORCH 07, 08 and now 09, the TORCH has only seen minor modifications, and Naish have been extensively R&Ding different ideas and designs, but every time they changed the TORCH too much it was no longer the TORCH. For 2009, the TORCH is faster in the bigger sizes and slightly more predictable in the smaller sizes. The wind tips are lighter for faster turning. As always the TORCH is powerful, especially through the turns Through a massive design circle, Naish have come to realize that the TORCH can not be beaten for raw high end performance.
So in general the kite range this year is quite easy to read. Each model is a stepping stone into another level of aggression and power. Naish don't like to see their range as having a wave kite or a freestyle kite, they have 3 main kites that will appeal to different riders in different catagories depending on what they personally like. The CULT is Freindly, with depower and ease of use a top design criteria. The HELIX covers a massive performance window, good depower, but still a direct and powerful feel and fast powerful turning. The TORCH is raw power! Fast and aggressive.
The 2009 NAISH Kite BAR.- For the first time in 6 years, Naish have made a new bar end. This has been done to compliment their new adjustable bar. You can adjust the length of the bars steering length between 19" and 21". Unlike other adjustable bars that have the lines connecting at the top of the bar ends, Naish have their back lines connecting in the middle of the bar, giving a nice balanced feel to the bar. To adjust the bar length is simple, you can do it on the beach in seconds, no untieing knots, or tools needed. All Naish bars will come with Smart loop this year!
All the Naish TT boards this year are lighter and produce more pop than ever. Further advances into top end snowboard construction ahas resulted in boards that are faster, lighter and more responsive than anything I have ever ridden. And the addition of a FULL CARBON THORN for those that simply want the best.
The New WAVE board range is awesome. There are 3 main models in various sizes. GLOBAL WAVE, GUN and FISH. All the 2009 wave board range are in a new construction, very strong!
GLOBAL WAVE- 4 boards, 5'0", 5'4", 5'7" and 6'0". These boards are all quad fin set ups. the 5'7" and the 6'0" are amazing. I am personally riding the 6'0" and have never felt this comfortable on a kiteboard before. The GLOBAL is super loose and snappy, but at the same time control at speed is easy. A great all round package for both strapped and unstrapped riding in anything from knee high to double over head.
The GUN is one of the smoothest boards I have ridden, smooth lines, unmatched control and a great wood finish. All I need now is some big waves! This board is a thruster set up and is 5'9".
The FISH range is very funky this year. There are 3 sizes in the FISH range, 5'2", 5'7" and 6'2". Each of these boards has a wider outline and flatter rocker in the tail compared to the GLOBAL range, so they get up and going very early and have full power straight away. Ideal for onshore conditions and small waves/light winds. The FISH boards are all QUAD fin setups.
So in conclusion the 2009 Naish range is very new and exciting, and a significant progression from 2008. CULT and TORCH will be released nearing the end of July-August and HELIX soon after. Please note that all final delivery dates are still to be confirmed.
To those of you in Perth you would have already seen the kites, I will be in Adelaide on the 16th and 17th of July at ONBOARD, and then the following week in Melbourne at RPS and SHQ. Dates in Melbourne still to be finalized.
Great review. Really loved reading it. I´m Dutch and live in the south of Spain. How do you see the new Helix compared with the Torch. I know about the raw power etc but my son (14 years) is a very experienced (freestyle and racing)rider and basically loves the Torch but we all fell in love with the 2008 Helix/Cult. His complain always was that he couldnot do the same tricks as with his Torch and therefor left the Helix to his old father and his younger brother. Maybe the Helix2009 is a nice solution to all of us because my younger son (11 years) does his tricks with the Helix and does not want to go out with the Torch.
We all share our kites (6m2 Boxer2007; 7 and 9 m2 Torch 2008; 9 m2 Helix2008; 12m2 Alliance2008 and 15m2 Cult 2008). This year we like to change the Boxer, Torch and Alliance and we prefer one type of kite for not mixing different performances, so lets say a 5, 7, 9 and 12 m2 Helix.
Do you have any comments or recommendations for us.
What sizes are the '09 kites coming in? I'm particularly interested in the light wind end of the range.
The Helix for 2009 has faster turning speed and definitely more power through the turns. It is a significant step up in performance from the 2008 Helix. Being a "C" shape for 09, the kite turn much quicker and with less distortion. I am personally going to ride the Helix for it's power and turning speed, but also it's depower for riding unstrapped in the waves. However, there is probably still some very hard core moves that the little freaks of today can only do on a Torch, but not many, the Helix is very close to the power performance of the TOrch for 2009.
Sizing is similar to last year. Torch is 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16. Cult goes 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5, 15 and helilx goes 5, 7, 8, 9, 10.5, 12, 14, 16.
Just looked at the new bar for the SLE kites...
Very nice bar, and realy simple.. Like that.
So when will you finish touring the Southern states and bring the new kites to QLD JB??
I liked your review.
I am an old school rider and the C shape is my way.
I ride 10m' 2008 Torch, 12m' 2008 Vegas and 16m' 2007 Raven.
I want to change my Raven to 16m' 2009 Torch, did you tried the big sizes?
Is there a big difference between the 14 and the 16?
There is obviously a size difference between the 14 and 16. But it is more noticable if you are a bigger rider. These days kites are getting so powerful, the needs for a 16 is becoming less and less. however, if you are a big guy, you might find that you need a 16 to get full power earlier.
I haven't flown any bigger than 12m this year, as the wind in Maui was smoking. From the designers, they said that the bigger sizes are turning faster than 08. If you are interested in getting a 16m, I suggest you get your dealer to put an order in, as we will most likely not be stocking 16's.
I rode the 09 helix at kirra last Friday and was really surprised at it performance. I rode it for about two hours the kite seemed to do everything really well , waves were only small but the kite seemed to drift really well and i could see this being my main kite, bar pressure was light but still had a direct feel to the kite it could have something to do with only one pulley on each side of the kite which is the way i like it nice and simple.
The bar was nice and clean easy to use grip was nice on the hands and was one of the best bar set ups I've used.
Overall the kite dose it all, jumps good wave rides well and felt very good unhooked but the best way to tell is to have a go for your self and your see that you don't need 8 pulleys to make a kite preform.
Build quality speaks for it self and one look over the kites and you'll see they are bomb proof.
Well the very first batch of Helix got out early this week, so I am expecting some great reviews here soon. CULT and TORCH are in stock as of next week.
If you'd like to have a test drive yourself and are on the sunny coast this weekend, click here - seabreeze.com.au/Events/QLD/Kitesurfing/1759911/2009-Naish-North-Demo.aspx#1759911
Hey JB got some questions...
Have to choose between Helix and Rebel.
Which is the one you'd choose and why... [}:)]
I'd like to have a fast turning and responsive kite with great jumping, great low-end and very good high wind stability...Which one would you recommend?
When you refer to the helix "got out" is that from the factory or sent to retailers?
Xray, well both kites are different in their own way. I am a Naish rider through and through, so I would definitely go the HELIX. But the Rebel is with out a doubt the best North kite I have flown by far! I guess you need to find out which kites suits your style and fell preferences. It is a very hard decision to make, both kites are unbelievably awesome this year.
Hi Randon, There is 3 or 4 Helix 12m out there in Retail word. SO will be great to hear peoples reviews soon!
Thanks for the answer JB!
One more question, which you feel is the best jumping of the two?
Once again, I don't know if it because I am more dialed into NAISH kites, but the Helix for me jumps much higher. But I did feel that the REBEL this year is noticably better for jumping than the previous year. The height is there on the REBEL, I just didn't get the hang that I get with the HELIX. But someone who is more dialed into North kites or maybe with some more time on the REBEL, would possibly match it or get closer.
From the actual design criteria, and placement in their range, the REBEL is a little more user freindly than the HELIX, where as the HELIX is designed around a more aggressive jumping, Hang and POP.
Confusing I know, you need to fly them for your self! Both kites are incedible.
I'll test them for sure.
Can't wait to get my hands on them...
Would be nice indeed...
The only problem I have is that it would take me 10 times longer to get there and get back form where I live than the actual time of the event....
You see, I'd love to come over but Arnhem in the Netherlands is really a long way...
We sure will miss having you there Xray!
I have met a lot of traverling kiteboarders from the Netherlands here in OZ and you all have been good blokes!
Make sure you come to the SunshineCoast in Queensland some time and I will give you your own chance to try the new Naish and North kites back to back!
See ya soon
Hi Luke, hopefully we can make it on Sunday, especially if the wind comes up as predicted.
Great of you to arrange the demo. Tried mine out here the other day but not enough wind to really make a call yet.
Rebel & Helix both handled the lighter wind heaps better than last year and the bars on Helix rocks.
Since the Helix is more of a c shape this year, would you say that an '09 helix has a tad bit less power than last years helix of the same size since less of the kites area is projected to the wind? Just wondering if I should go 10.5 or 12 for my big kite - would the 12 helix have similar power to a 10.5 cult? With the Torch, I've heard people say that the 10.5 cult can generate similar power to a 12 torch, so I'm wondering if the new helix will be similar because of the new shape.
cj,the 2009 helix generates more power through turns in the window than the 2009 cult...so if you stand on the beach,the cult has a bit more static pull,but less punch in its turns,but high depower!,where the helix because of the ''c'' shape doesnt necessarily have the same depower,but feels better for an advanced rider who kites on the edge...to answer the question about compering cult to the torch,last years cult had great range....but its all conjecture really...just depends on how agressive you are and if your light on your feet...hope that helps,plus go see your local naish dealer for a demo on the new 2009 range
It is a tricky question to answer. With all kites, when you open the span of the kite (i.e. like a bow or hybrid/SLE) you increase the projected area, so the actual amount of kite generating power at any given point should be greater than that of a kite with a more "C" span (assuming the kites both had similar foil, draft positioning and could achieve equal angles of attack) When comparing the 08 and 09 Helix, I would say that the 09 has a little more static pull because of the projected surface area, but the 2009 HELIX definitely has more pull in the turns making it more efficient to pump. A more experienced rider will be able to get considerably more power out of the 2009 HELIX over the 2008 HELIX. It turns much faster and with more power. I also found it to be more powerful than the TORCH. "C" span kites generally turn faster, and can generate more power during the turn, they also have a much more direct feel, especially with the HELIX as there is no bridal on the back lines.
I urge you to try for yourself, and feel the difference. I hope this helps explain the difference for you.
Wow, a lot of red thumbs! Where my answers not good enough?
PR, I think I know what you are thinking and this is not the case!
BTW, I don't use Aliases. Well only one be he isn't used for pimping product, he is just good fun! PM me if you would like to know who my alter ego is??