“On smaller waves the rail provides plenty of grip in the bottom turn and the top turn is fun with its controlled slide”
“The lack of fin grip makes it good for wave tricks”
“It feels very under-finned in a straight line and can’t match the quads for upwind ability or get up and go”
T he board looks pretty funky on the beach, with the cut-out sections in the deck apparently designed to save weight and increase strength. The board comes supplied with two fin setups – a tri-fin thruster option or a single-fin.
Looking at the measurements, the thruster fin setup is tiny. The biggest fin is just 14cm – most of the quad boards in this test have two rear fins bigger than this! It’s the second shortest board on test at 221cm, and the second widest at 56.1cm. Tail width is fairly average at 33cm and weight is slightly on the heavier side at 7.49kg complete.
As with all the boards in this test that offer a variety of fin configurations, we really have to focus on just one setup as it would be impractical for us to thoroughly test all the options. As a single-fin the board works fine, but against the quads it feels a little bit ‘traditional’. We therefore decided to focus on its thruster multi-fin setup for the test.
Whereas for most boards the middle of the fin track is a good starting point, we’re told that this Naish should have the back fin pretty near the back of the (very long) track and the front fins right at the front. We actually tried a lot of positions and have to be honest and say that we struggled. We struggled because the board felt so underfinned. No matter where you put them there was no getting away from the fact they just don’t deliver much drive.
In a straight line the Naish was the slowest to get going, which was a lot to do with the lack of fin drive. Then once up to speed it was so easy to spin-out that you had to ride it almost like a freestyle board with all the weight through your front leg.
Once on the wave in onshore conditions the board was actually quite a lot of fun. Banked into a turn the rail provides the grip and it had a really good bottom turn, allowing you to turn tightly even at slower speeds.
The top turn was all about the lack of fin grip. It’s almost impossible to carve a hard top turn; instead the tail slides out (even on a rounded piece of swell you can push it out with ease). It actually slides out in a very controllable manner, which makes it great for new-school tricks such as takas and backside 360s, and quite a lot of fun in smaller, mushy waves.
We thought that it might come into its own in bigger cross-shore conditions, and in logo-high glassy waves it was okay, but again lacked grip, particularly in the top turn where it felt more like a ‘power slide’ than a ‘power carve’.
Overall we really think that the thruster fins supplied with this board are just a bit too small for most riders’ needs. The board certainly has some potential on the wave, but for us the straight-line performance made it a bit too technical to sail.
Kai Lenny and Robby Naish make it look good, so maybe we’re missing something, but we really struggled to get the best out of this board. It seems a bit too underfinned in thruster mode. As a single-fin it works fine, but couldn’t really compete against the modern multi-fin boards for manoeuvrability on the wave in this setup. With the thrusters fitted it was fun on the wave in onshore conditions, particularly for tricks, but you had to be so cautious not to overload the fins on the way out.
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