NAISH BOXER 7M

TESTED BY: Bully, Jim and Rob PUBLISHED: Issue #104 – April 2020

NAISH BOXER 7M

TESTED BY: Bully, Jim and Rob PUBLISHED: Issue #104 – April 2020

TEST TEAM NOTES: Since the Boxer trimmed down to become a single strut performance kite a few seasons ago it has gained some serious and devoted fans. Naish launch their gear in two halves, six months apart and we got our hands on this new one in February, part of Naish’s brand new March ‘S25’ range, prior to its release. FOIL FANATICS TAKE NOTE! Naish have ploughed a lot of time and energy into this year’s Boxer and just a glance at the number of sizes that they produce will tell you a lot about where they see the current and future direction of foiling, lightwind wave riding and cruisy twin-tipping going. The smallest kite is a 2.8 metre – and that’s not for kids by the way (though obviously it would work considering the stability and depower of the Boxer), but in fact that is for high performance, stronger wind foiling. Foil fanatics simply don’t want to put their foils away any more when the wind gets strong, and you’re going to see more and more of that on your local beaches in the coming seasons.

RANGE AND POWER Anyway, onto the 7m, which actually sits nicely between the Alpha and XLITE this issue. All aspects of the Boxer are thin, tuned and tight. The leading edge is noticeably narrow for quick handling and also to aid forward flight. The Boxer is controlled via a long throw and you’ll find different levels of power available the more or less you sheet the bar in. It’s quite a reach at times when fully sheeted out and when untwisting your bar, but once you get dialled into the Boxer’s range there’s a really rewarding and useful, rapid spike of power available as well as instant shut off. That delivery of power is useful in a lot of situations. For twin-tipping the sheeting drive is obvious, but for foiling it’s a help. You can mix both the quick turning and good access to sheeting power to get you up and going very efficiently but then dump the power as soon as you’re riding along. As is the trait with most single struts, the massive advantage that they have is that you can sheet out and they have much less of a tendency to want to drop towards the water at the edge of the window. What this means in practical terms when you’re riding along, whatever board you’re riding (but primarily on a foil where you need even less power once you’re going), is that you expend less energy on your back hand that needs to use less force to keep steering the kite away from the water. The Boxer also has a good top end (the best on test here) and managed to ride comfortably on the foil in pretty strong, gusty conditions, towards 25 knots. You can be overpowered but because the Naish has that instant power control it’s not over exhausting or difficult to continue riding.

FUN, APPROACHABLE AND DYNAMIC CROSS-OVER Essentially this is a really fun but still approachable kite that, although loves to be steered and turned, is very capable of looking after the basics of sheeting control and stability. Of all the single strut kites this issue, this is probably the best wave kite too because it steers most similarly to a small three strut in terms of power and also has enough of a balance between clean entry and exit into and out of turns, great drift and it doesn’t need to be sheeted in completely to get a reaction. The bigger Boxer sizes are marketed as cross-over kites for lightwind twin-tip and wave riding. If the quick handling mixed with good access to sheeting power continue through the range, then the Boxer’s popularity should continue.

Torque ATB 55

Torque BTB 55

NAISH BAR SET-UP Once again we used the Torque ATB (Above The Bar trim) bar that’s narrow in diameter and compact in look and feel. All the components are well engineered, particularly the cleat system which is ultra-smooth and tidy. The thick floats on the end of the bar are a touch of quality, as is the chunky swivel above the chicken-loop. The only thing missing for us, and this is a matter of taste, is a plastic sheath for the centre lines. There is however no doubting the silky sheeting effect that Naish create via their ceramic centre-piece in the middle of the bar that travels smoothly up and down the centre line. If you have a habit of riding with your index fingers butted right up against the centre line, you just need to adjust that position by a half a centimetre to prevent the line rubbing your skin. The benefit of the exposed rope is that it’s always easier to replace and monitor parts for wear and safety... and you can pack up your bar much more compactly. 20 metres lines with four metre extensions give you a lovely option for shifting down to a shorter, more direct feel. We always rode on 24s.

“The Boxer delivers the pleasing spike of useful power we need from a small kite when foiling and then shuts off in an instant. Nice and quick, too.”
“The Boxer delivers the pleasing spike of useful power we need from a small kite when foiling and then shuts off in an instant. Nice and quick, too.”

SUMMARY: The Boxer is very fast and responsive but also has a massive sheeting range. Taking only a little time for intermediates to dial into a sheeting power that’s perhaps snappier than they might be used to, the Boxer is accessible for foils, twin-tips and waves. Improving and experienced foilers are the biggest winners however, gaining the speed, drift and handling they’re looking for. KW LIKED: The Boxer delivers the pleasing spike of useful power we need from a small kite when foiling and then shuts off in an instant. Nice and quick, too. KW WOULD CHANGE: This small Boxer is quick and inexperienced twin-tippers may find the pace and long, dynamic sheeting range a bit challenging to keep pace with.

BOXER BALANCE POINTS: Build quality: 8.5 Full package: 8.5 Low end: 7.5 Top end: 7 Steering speed: 7.5 Turning circle: 3 Bar pressure: 5 Water relaunch: 8.5 Drift: 8 Boost: 4 Hang-time: 4 Unhooked: DT Crossover: 7 (Foiling, twin-tipping, waves) Ease of use: 7.5 SIZES: 16, 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3.4 and 2.8m

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