Kitesurfing Magazine Sizes tested (m): 6, 7, 9, 12
Review Synopsis: Top level beginner/intermediate qualities packaged in a very refined, and surprisingly high-performance package.
Part of Naish’s spring/summer release, the Ride returns for a fourth season positioned as a, “great kite for everyday kiteboarders looking for ease and simplicity.” While the Kitesurfing Magazine test team certainly can’t disagree with that, we feel this sells the kite short and would rather say, “a great high-performance kite that happens to offer ease-of-use and simplicity”. The 2015/16 Ride returns as a two-strut design. Wing tips are visibly more swept than previous models, and the new Ride features Naish’s excellent new High Flow valve combined with their exclusive Octopus one-point inflation system. Build quality is high with extensive but not over-done use of aramid patches and molded reinforcements in high wear areas. A simple bag and Naish’s very well-refined Base Control System bar complete the package. Testers were really stoked with the 2014/15 Ride, feeling it had taken a significant step forward in performance toward Naish’s Park. Given the kite’s position as an “all-around/beginner-friendly” kite we were really surprised to see it take another major step forward in performance. For 2015/16 steering is noticeably more precise and overall the kite feels a step more solid. Naish PR material references a new Canopy Stabilizer trailing edge reinforcement that makes the kite feel noticeably tighter and much less prone to flutter when sheeting in and out and through hard turns. The Ride is truly a high-performance kite dressed up in a beginner’s package, especially in the smaller sizes (9 meter and under), where the kite feels especially tight and nimble. For the kite’s targeted rider, relaunch ability is exceptional, and both low-end power and depower are both very accessible and substantial. As compared to the Park, the closest kite in the Naish line to the Ride, the Ride feels a little more “grunty” particularly in larger sizes, and it does have a slightly softer feel.
The Trade Off:
As with last year’s Ride, we prefer the Universal Control System bar that comes with the Park and Pivot (equipped with front-line spinner) but Naish is offering the Ride as a value package. Presumably, riders can upgrade the bar if desired.
Beginner, intermediate, or advanced riders looking for a value-oriented kite that offers a lots of performance, will not be easily outgrown, and works well in a wide range of conditions.
Sizes Available (m): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14