Introduced in 2003 and winner of 2 World Wave Titles, no one can argue the success of the Naish Boxer. It’s a unique sail, mainly because of it's ultra compact profile and very short luff length. The Boxer sits in the Naish wave range alongside the Force (Power wave) and Session (Sideshore wave). When we started this test, we were only able to get our hands on one of Team Rider, John Skye’s sails, so please excuse the extra logos – they don’t come as standard!
"The Naish Boxer is the industry leading compact wave and freestyle sail. First introduced in 2003, the Boxer has been aggressively developed and improved over 5 years to deliver the ultimate performance for a whole new style of sailing that focuses on radical rotational moves and extremely tight manoeuvres on the wave face" – Naish Website
The Boxer has by far the shortest luff length in test at 387cm – a full 12cm shorter than The Fly! The boom length is also very short at 160cm, the 3rd shortest in test.
It sets on a 370cm mast and once rigged has a firm feel to it and relatively tight leech. We found the sail to work best with a bit more downhaul, making the leech loose between the top 2 battens. This seemed to be a ‘sweet spot’ that worked well in all conditions, simply playing with the outhaul for tuning.
It’s a shame that the Boxer doesn’t have a rolling pulley block, just a 'forged pulley block' (no moving parts). It makes downhauling harder than it should be, and it’s a sail that requires a good bit of tension. Also worth noting is the boom cut-out height. Our 6’1’’ clone had it right at the top, so if you are any taller than this, you may want to check this out.
Overall, the Boxer is a great looking sail and one of the most distinctive on the water in this black, red and yellow colour scheme.
The first thing you notice about the Boxer is the power! This is one grunty sail!! Despite the four batten layout, the Boxer is actually the stiffest feeling sail in the test. In practice, this gives you a bit less feedback in the hands, but does give you a super stable sail that drives with some serious horse power!
Naish claim the Boxer to be designed for ‘radical rotational moves and extremely tight manoeuvres on the wave face’ and we won't argue with that. In rotating jumps such as forwards, you really do notice the low inertia as the Boxer spins through rotations quicker than any other sail in test.
Likewise, on the wave face the extra power, compact feel and quite backhanded pull combine to give the board an extremely rail driven turn.
The Boxer isn’t for the faint-hearted however. It needs a rider who is willing to take control of it. It's heavier in the hands than most and isn’t easy to de-power. It’s a real love or hate sail; quite different to anything else on test.
If you love it, you will love it for it's firm, compact feel and it's brutal power.
We found the Boxer to be very downhaul critical. If you don’t put enough on, the sail pulls from higher up with such ferocity that it glues the board to the water. If you put too much downhaul on, it becomes unmanageable and very backhanded. Get it right however and it works a treat. Best bet is to find one setting on the downhaul (loose between the top 2 battens) and then use the outhaul to tune the power.
The Boxer feels very powerful, firm and compact in the hands. It’s a unique sail that you will need to spend time adjusting to. Love it or hate it, there is no doubting that the concept of short, compact sails works well in the form of the Naish Boxer.