TKB REVIEW: 2019 NAISH BOXER
Sizes Available:3.5, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16m
Sizes Tested: 16m
Blending efficiency and innovation, this forgiving kite is incredibly versatile. Designed primarily for foiling, the Boxer has proven to be so adaptable and accessible, it appeals to all skillsets and riding styles and also your go to kite for the light winds of the UAE.
A single luff strut marries the best characteristics of strutless and strutted kite designs. The strut’s relaxed connection to the canopy creates a dynamic structure, which allows the canopy to freely expand and contract, while maintaining the strength of a strutted framework to handle heavier loads with ease.
An outstanding underpowered kite, the Boxer is incredibly easy to relaunch, light to the touch, responsive but gentle. Very easy to sheet in and go, this kite is quick, easy to control and generates power quickly. It’s light and lively feel at the fingertips makes it approachable and forgiving.
For our Lightwind Test this year we got our hands on the Naish Boxer in a 16m size. It’s got a low to medium aspect canopy and single strut design. The Boxer has a high flow Boston valve that requires the larger inflation nozzle on standard pump hoses and Naish’s proprietary internal check valve for easy inflation of the strut without the clunky distribution hose. This system does require that you open the 9mm check valves on the struts when deflating the kite, and you will have to remember to close this valve once again upon inflation. Naish stabilizes the good-sized canopy with only a single strut and two sets of short battens on the leading edge. There are three wingtip settings for adjusting between stronger vs lower bar pressure and the kite features a fairly simple single-setting front bridle that uses a single pulley. The center lines end in a loop and the outside lines end in a knot.
The first most apparent quality of the Boxer at this size is that the kite builds a ton of low-end grunt.
We found the steering neither too fast nor too slow — pretty much what you would expect from a kite of this size. This kite has the low-end for parking the kite to sheet in and go, but if you plan on flying this kite actively you will need to be more aggressive with your bar input. The most stand out characteristic of this kite was its ability to pull in the lightest of wind and perfect for Dubai and Abu Dhabi conditions.
The bar pressure in this size kite is medium and the sheeting action is user-friendly and progressive so its power delivery is intuitive and you really don’t have to worry about oversheeting this kite. When it comes to jumping, the steering speed requires a little more finesse to build load and pop, but when you master the timing, the 16m Boxer does have a ton of lift and spectacular amounts of hangtime. Boosting over waves on our way out, we’d clear the lip and always be amazed by the amount of real estate that would pass beneath us before touching down. No matter where you are in the bar throw, the kite is relatively friendly and the power delivery is very progressive. When you couple that with the kite’s immense park and ride low-end it makes this an excellent bruiser for the freeride twin tip rider looking to dominate light wind sessions.
The Boxer came with Naish’s Torque ATB (Above the Bar power adjustment) control bar. This bar features a dual adjustable length bar (45-50cm) with a single center-line safety depower, low V, spectra sheeting/throw line, replaceable insert, no sliding stopper, and above the bar clam cleat power adjustment with adjustable length throw. The quick release integrates a below the bar swivel which keeps the rigging above the bar refreshingly simple and doubles as quick release guard. The center lines end in knots and the outside lines end in loops. The molded foam floats are integrated into the bar ends and are flexible enough to fold down quick and easily for a painless wrap job. The retractable bungees have an easy to grab tab and a solid clip to ensure your lines stay on the bar between sessions. The adjustable bar ends make it easy to adjust the effective length of the bar and also allow you to tune the outside lines for length in the event of line stretch. The chicken finger is a rigid material that ensures against foul hooks and can be rotated out of position for easy hook and unhooking for the more aggressive freestyle riders out there. The grip has a nice rubber feel with a solid texture and an ergonomic shape that accommodates both riders with wide and narrow grip stances (smaller bar diameter in the center for narrow grip stance riders). Overall, the Torque has the unique distinction of packing a ton of useful features into a lightweight and well-designed package.