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Naish 135L Wing/SUP Inflatable review...

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joekitetime
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Naish 135L Wing/SUP Inflatable review...

Postby joekitetime » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:01 pm

Hey there. I bought and finally got to ride my new Naish 135L inflatable this weekend and thought I'd offer a review.

POINT ONE: The thing actually works and generally speaking I was impressed...

This is my 10th wing board this season and so the reviews will be against those (10' sup, fanatic 6'7", fanatic 5'4", custom carbon 5'4", fone 6'0, fone 5'4", fone 5,0", Naish 4'8"). My current ride is the Naish 4'8" 50L and had the most influence in my comparison.

Setup: I left the board partially inflated to about 6psi or so, just to hold its shape. But, it still took a damn long time to pump up. And, after about 10 minutes I quit around 18psi with the Naish pump. The board says "15psi min, 21psi max" so I figured I was good. I was absolutely shocked how rock hard this thing was.

Paddling out compared to my 50L was night and day. Normally when I prone paddle my waist, knees and feet are underwater. This bad boy paddles so high that I did not touch the water, and felt like I had to reach down pretty far to catch the water paddling. It kinda hurt my gut and chest paddling too - it felt like I was laying on a concrete floor when paddling. But it paddled pretty fast.

Getting to my knees or feet was a no brainer. Super high flotation. But, the board was tricky to stand on. Kinda corky. Since it has such high flotation and is so rigid and "uni-thickness" it wasn't super, super easy to balance. But it was easy enough and it took a little getting used to.

Getting on foil. It wasn't any easier to get on foil than any other board or my 50L board. One good thing is that the board didn't sink like with my recent boards, so I had lots of time to wait for a gust and swell to pump onto foil. It wasn't any harder than any other board to get going, but it wasn't easier either.

The ride: It is unfair to compare a 135L board to my 50L board, but that is all I could think of when riding. First off, the thing did not flex at all. That was pretty cool. It isn't heavy per se, but it isn't light either. It wasn't quite as much fun as the 50L, but it was fun. It was a tad sluggish. It was harder to pump but I did get the hang of it eventually. It made me appreciate good rail and board design because since the Naish 135L is unithickness, there really isn't much advanced design in the rails, so when you touchdown the rails by accident when carving they annoyingly kinda bounce back, unlike higher end boards that still flow when you touch down. The inflatable wasn't great when touching down.

I found a big board to be much harder to ride than a small board. This may be a "no duh" but I feel for folks trying to learn. It is a lot easier to ride a small board than a big one!

So, when I was riding in light winds and got the board dialed, it worked as a wing board. I could ride and foil and carve and play. Becasue of its weight and size it was harder to ride than a small board. To be fair I should have compared it to board closer to its size.

I bought this board to be used as a sup foil board. Because it lacks good rail design I think it will work for that but it will be inferior in its performance to a dedicated sup foil board (again, no duh).

So, if you've read this far you probably think I don't care much for the board. Not true! I love the fact that this board packs up into the size of a suitcase. That counts for a lot! I love the fact that the board is soft (in the sense that if it nails you in the head it aint gonna kill ya). When I go sup surfing I am just screwing around and being goofy and I don't need to act all local surfer cool so a board like this is perfect. It works to foil and wing.

This is my first season winging and I consider myself to be "advanced intermediate" and I can make this board work. There are times when having this sort of setup would be ideal - travel for sure. It is probably a better board to teach someone on as well. The quality seems epic and the rigidness is unbelievable. It isn't the board I'd grab if its going off. But, if I wanted to grab a 3 piece sup paddle and my wing and pump on a marginal day it certainly is an adventure craft. It also seems like the perfect board to learn to sup foil (I can foil, and I can sup surf and prone surf, but hoping to learn to sup foil surf this winter). Compared to the same size/volume wing boards it is a heck of a lot easier to transport and store and although you give up a little bit of performance, it is my preferred larger board setup.

I hope that helps if you are considering an inflatable.

I bought mine at Mackite. Super happy with their service.
These users thanked the author joekitetime for the post:
irwe (Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:52 am)
Rating: 6.67%

be-rad
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Re: Naish 135L Wing/SUP Inflatable review...

Postby be-rad » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:26 am

Thanks for the review.
Any more comments on the how the overall shape of the board works for wingfoiling (for a beginner)? Visually, the wide tail is a bit of a turn off.
And do you think the foilmount provides enough stiffness for pumping with a big front wing? (I didn't see it mentioned so I assume it's not an issue).
Comparing it to the Gong HIPE, both of these aspects look at more refined on that board but I'm all for supporting Naish if these are unlikely to be an issue for a beginning winger.

I'm looking to split my time between kitefoiling and wingfoiling and have been considering an inflatable for the following reasons:
* More volume in a shorter length compared to a traditional board.
* Minimize bumps and bruises while learning.
* Can use it to introduce my kids to wingfoiling at lower risk.
* Just had knee surgery so hopefully it's a bit easier than kneeling on a traditional board.
* travel - not really a big factor
* supfoil - very unlikely

I'm hoping the Naish would check most of the items on that list.
Overall, will I want to ride an inflatable for a whole season or am I better off getting a slightly longer traditional wing board with similar volume?

About me:
Kite/wing mainly in semi-flat water and lakes in the Pacific Northwest + summer trips to the gorge and winter trips to florida.
175lbs, intermediate kite foiler, no wing experience.

joekitetime
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Re: Naish 135L Wing/SUP Inflatable review...

Postby joekitetime » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:46 pm

Hey there B-rad-

This is what I'd offer. Mind you I'm no expert, just another winger.

Any more comments on the how the overall shape of the board works for wingfoiling (for a beginner)? The shape works well and it works for a beginner. The shape is inferior to a dedicated hard well designed wing board in that if you touch down when carving the rail doesn't release quite as well as a hard board. That said, I just don't let the rail grab when carving - I make it a point to keep enough height above the water not to touch. Other than the rail design, there are no other differences when on foil to a hard board.

Visually, the wide tail is a bit of a turn off. This is simply your perception. I didn't even notice it.

And do you think the foilmount provides enough stiffness for pumping with a big front wing? Yes, for sure. The board is harder to pump than a small board due to its size, but that has nothing to do with being inflatable. My smaller boards are easier to pump, but that has always been true of foil boards - smaller is easier to pump, and so is longer mast. I ride a 75cm mast although I've ridden all sizes. It is my preferred size.

Comparing it to the Gong HIPE, both of these aspects look at more refined on that board but I'm all for supporting Naish if these are unlikely to be an issue for a beginning winger. I have no experience with Gong. I do like the look of their boards.

* More volume in a shorter length compared to a traditional board. You really don't need more volume. At some point in works against you. I would not consider this to be a reason to get an inflatable over of hard board. Thicker means you sit higher in the water which is a tad less stable. Just a tad.

* Minimize bumps and bruises while learning. I do like this about the inflatables. The thing is rock hard when pumped, but hurts little to pound against your body.

* Can use it to introduce my kids to wingfoiling at lower risk. I does feel safer, although the risk is in the foil, not so much the board, but some in the board.

* Just had knee surgery so hopefully it's a bit easier than kneeling on a traditional board. Hard to say. It is harder to climb onto because you have to climb out of the water higher, since it sits higher. But when kneeling it is softer on the knees.

* travel - not really a big factor To me this is one of the biggest factors for inflatable. Both airplane travel as well as local traveling in small car.

* supfoil - very unlikely Once you start winging you will become addicted to riding swell on foil any way you can. Consider this will just be a matter of time. I love riding swell and I dump the wing every chance I get.

Overall, will I want to ride an inflatable for a whole season or am I better off getting a slightly longer traditional wing board with similar volume? Hard to say. Size wise it seems like you can get the exact same size hard board as inflatable, although the hard board will have slightly less volume, but that doesn't matter. In an inflatable you are giving up some performance at the price of being more transportable. That is the bottom line. All the other issues you mentioned are inconsequential.

About me:
Kite/wing mainly in semi-flat water and lakes in the Pacific Northwest + summer trips to the gorge and winter trips to florida. Based on that florida may be the only place where'd you have an advantage.

175lbs, intermediate kite foiler, no wing experience. No wing experience yet! Wing foiling is a lot easier than kite foiling once you get it.

If I haven't talked you out of an inflatable, you could consider buying mine as well so I can buy board #11.

be-rad
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Re: Naish 135L Wing/SUP Inflatable review...

Postby be-rad » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:40 am

Great answers, I really appreciate the feedback. You haven't completely talked me out of an inflatable but I think I'll be limiting my search to the 2nd hand market (let me know when you get tired of yours :wink: ). But after 8 months off the water, I'm pretty eager to get at this winging thing so I'm not sure I can wait until people start dumping their 2020/2021 gear.


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