So, if you have kept up with my blog, in the last post I mentioned that I have upgraded both of my boards...twin tip and surf board, from the new 2015 Naish lineup.
The two boards are the 2015 Naish Dub 138x43 and 2015 Naish Skater 5'2. Picture below:
It is fall in Washington state, almost winter in fact, and the water is definitely cold at this point! But before the cold front got here to fully let anyone getting into the water, wetsuit or not, know that winter has arrived...I got a chance to get both my boards out twice. As such, I thought I would review them, for anyone looking for an unbiased review of the two boards. I am not sponsored or anything like that....
It may come in handy for those reading this review to know that I have put on my winter weight (already) and am sitting right at 200 lbs at a mere 5 ft 11 inches.
2015 Naish Dub 138x43:
First, impression when I received the Dub is that the board is beautifully designed and crafted. Every details has been taken care of. The look of the graphics is dialed and I love that Naish sticks to its Hawaiian roots with the design. The blue green gray top and gray orange bottom really works to make this board stylin'.
It's got a wicked shape with multiple concaves, grooves, and channels on the bottom, so this board rides great with or without fins.
Naish slates this board as a Freeride board, with wakestyle influences to be riden with straps. Bah....you can see I threw my Ronix Parks on the board...which by the way looks sick! The Ronix Park's are detailed with orange and since the Dub has a gray orange design on the bottom this combo is seriously one of the best looking on any beach!
I have a feeling they slated this for straps because Jesse Richman wasn't wearing boots for a while this year after busting his knee in the Redbull King of the Air contest last year. That being said, I can't imagine riding it any other way than with boots.
Once on the water three things stood out to me right away.
The first... POP! This board seriously has more pop than any other board I have ever ridden. My last board was a Liquid Force Influence 142....which isn't even in the same ballpark as the Dub when it comes to popping off the water when jumping. The board simply digs in, then lifts off the water with barely even a thought of technique...its simply works and is a jumping machine.
The second is related to the first....the board lands as smoothly as any board I have ever ridden. When I took this board out I was on my 10m and was lit...so jumps were huge. I had a couple real hot landings and the board straight up absorbed them so well, that I really didn't feel like I had to use my knees to absorb the hot landings at all. Once again the Dub just seemed to do all the work for me.
And the third thing that really stuck out to me is the upwind ability of this board. Its fantastic for a board that has the second most rocker in the Naish lineup...sitting only behind the Antic wakestyle board. To be honest, its upwind ability didn't completely surprise me since the bottom has so many features designed to give it grip. It did make me happy, because I have little doubt that it will perform in light wind too.
A few other notable thoughts on the board....it has a great combination of stiffness and flex in just the right places, which probably lends itself to its fantastic pop. But it also makes it a comfortable ride that turns on a dime.
The shape and rails are designed so the board never once sprayed water up into my face while riding, and was also probably responsible for its turning capabilities.
Overall, maybe I am still in the honeymoon stage, but the fact is that right now this board goes down as the best, most fun, and highest performance twin tip I have ever owned, let alone ridden.
If you are thinking about picking this board up, I highly recommend it! Call you local shop or Naish rep to get your hands on this bad boy today....
2015 Naish Skater 5'2:
Let me start by saying, I am by no means a great strapless surf board rider....I still feel like I am a intermediate strapless rider...if not beginner. So, this review can't address some of the things a more accomplished rider would mention or notice.
That being said, first impressions is that this board is gorgeous. I mean every detail is carefully constructed and paid extreme attention too. The foot pads, the honey combing material that you can see through the board, the graphics which have attention to every possible detail...even a small print of the Hawaiian islands on the bottom. Literally this is the best looking surf board I have ever seen...period!
The other thing that one would notice right away is the shape of this board. It's almost like a cross between a twin tip and a surf board....or better yet, its a surfboard with the nose and tail cut off so that it can travel in a large golf deceiver bag with your twin tip...rather than needing a surfboard bag and incurring the large overage baggage fees at the airline check-in counter. The fact the tip is square, doesn't actually take away from how the board rides...so it actually feels like a larger board than its 5'2 length.
Another thing, there are actual concave channels on the bottom of this board. It looks like it will grab the water in much the same way a fin-less wakestyle board would. Pretty impressive to look at, and almost certainly attributes to the feel of this board on the water.
And I promise that you can't pick up this board without noticing immediately its super light construction....its obvious strapless airs and grabbing this board one handed when soaring through the air, will be as easy as it gets (which if you know about strapless airs...is still pretty hard to do). The Skater promo video with Kevin Langeree shows that feature off well.
I definitely noticed how light the board is, but this was relative to my previous surf board the Lightwave DV8 which was a beast when it comes to heavy surf boards. the DV8 is heavyyyyyyyy. The DV8 was also a concave deck, so the board feel was pretty nice when it came to feeling the water through your feet below the board. That being said, I always felt turning the board required using my ankles to somewhat leverage the board to turn.
The Skater on the other hand is a true surf board construction, so it has a slightly, and I mean very slight, rounded top deck that makes turning super smooth and responsive. The pads have great coverage so I don't feel like I need to add more pad at the top of the board, nor wax it.....which sometimes is the case with a new surfboards used for kiting. Having a foot slip off the front after a strapless air can hurt, if not injure the rider.
Turning is simple and requires little to no thought...just a slight lean or tilt and the board whips around.
Overall, as I mentioned, I am not a super accomplished strapless rider...but that being said, this board makes me yearn to get on the water and ride some waves (not too big yet). Whereas my old DV8 surfboard was strictly my go to board when the wind was too light for riding my wakestyle board. With the Skater I simply can't wait to ride this board because it is just that bad ass!
If you see me on the beach staring back on forth between the Dub and Skater, you now know why....I am simply trying to figure out which board to ride....because they are both epic boards!