Jun 18, 2014
Author: SBC KIteboard Test Team
2014/’15 Naish Ride Review
Size tested: 9m
Entering its third season, Naish markets the Ride as an “all-around Freeride kite” intended for “everyday kiteboarders looking for ease and simplicity.” The kite features a simple two-strut design in all sizes, and comes equipped with the Octupus single-point inflation system and Base Control System bar. The new Ride returns with minor tweaks, most notably more sweep in the wing tips aimed at improving relaunch. The SBC Test Team rode this kite in a variety of conditions, including super sketchy side-off Hatteras waveriding, boots and strapped twin-tip, and even used it to teach a beginner. Overall, this is an impressive do-it-all kite. Compared to the previous years’ Rides, they have put more performance into the kite, moving it a step closer to the Naish Park in performance. More particularly, when used in the fastest turning setting, the kite will make a tighter radius turn than previous years’ models and has slightly reduced bar pressure. The kite’s depower is impressive and easily accessible with minimal bar travel, as well its sheet-in-and-go grunty power. Perhaps most notable, relaunch is exceptional. Overall, the Ride has taken a nice step forward from previous models, and offers something for pretty much everyone. Naish arguably dumbs this kite down in their marketing, as it offers a higher than expected level of performance in what is marketed as an all-around (sometimes code for beginner) kite. For most riding conditions, more experienced riders will likely gravitate towards the Naish Park’s more solid and responsive feel, but the Ride is definitely very close in performance at a reduced price point.
We prefer the Universal Control System bar that comes with the Park and Draft (equipped with front line spinner), but Naish is offering the Ride as a value package. Presumably, riders can upgrade the bar if desired.
Beginner to intermediate to advanced riders looking for a value-oriented kite that will handle a wide range of conditions in a very user-friendly but high-performance package.