The Fly is an exceptionally light weight freeride kite designed specifically to provide a smooth yet powerful ride in light to marginal wind conditions. The amazing low end power comes from the proven two-strut, easy handling design which also provides superior turning and control. The new reduced leading edge taper adds rigidity to the wing-tip, moving the axis of rotation closer to the centre of the kite, resulting in sharper turning and a more precise bar feel. The Fly’s swept-back wing-tips and anti-stiction window also improve water relaunch.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We were very keen to see the progress made on this 2014 – 15 Fly model as, although having been very powerful in previous years, we felt the power management could have been improved to take it from just grunt, to a more usable, upwind tracking sort of power. Let’s start at the bar, and as usual Naish do superb bars. Good looking, comfortable, clean, very functional and light weight but well made, we were pleased to also see an above-the-bar trimming system here. We usually love above-the-bar systems for their increased purchase and easy force in trimming the kite, however if anything we felt that the trim could have been set just an inch further away as when fully sheeted out our knuckles would touch the T bar trim on the end of the trimming tabs, although this does of course mean they are very easy to reach for all riders. Expect the usual Naish build quality with everything nicely tucked away and the always eye catching Hawaiian style design.
Pumping the Fly up there’s a lot of canopy there and with that two strut layout we were expecting a quad burning ride, but although the Fly certainly has instant torque, it’s not brutal at all. It looks the business and definitely has the power of a 17 with loads of low down grunt, but in its overall feel it does a good job of masking that in subtlety. In the past the Fly has felt really big, this one not so much, generating probably a little less power, but it drives forward much better in the window, making it much more usable. Combining that large sail area the Fly drives forward and depowers very cleanly, so you can ride efficiently in light winds without dropping any board speed. Making sure that this plays with the big boys in the light wind game, you can get extra power straight away at the bar by sheeting in, juicing up on plenty of power and then quickly and efficiently sheeting out once you’re up to the speed you want to be going at. The Fly is really well balanced, a pleasure to ride and very easy to keep going through any lulls. It’s also not physical and has crazy amounts of float. It’s not a big booster, but it will carry you a long distance and keep you up there for a long time, which is very nice indeed for floaty transitions and rotations. We were actually also pleasantly surprised by the unhooked performance. It does drop back a bit when you come out of the loop, but not enough to make unhooking troublesome, it’s a lot of all round fun. SUMMARY:
A legitimate light wind machine for riders of all sizes. Not too heavy for the light weights and packed with plenty of power for heavier riders. It’s also not technical to ride and access the power and if you’ve bought a Fly before, we reckon this one is about 30% better in terms of the ride-ability, converting the power much more smoothly and efficiently, resulting in a really good fun and easy to manoeuvre light wind ally.
Oodles of power when you sheet in and the relatively light bar input needed for steering.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
We’d move the trim a little further away from our knuckles when fully sheeted out.
FLY BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8.5
Full package: 8.5
Low end: 9
Top end: 7.5
Steering speed: 6.5
Turning circle: 5
Bar pressure: 6
Water relaunch: 7
Official Fly product video: