Naish Global Carbon 5’7″ and 5’9″ Surfboard Test

Naish Global Carbon surfboard


Kiteworld Issue 109

Naish Global Carbon Surfboard test review – 5’7″ & 5’9″

“In any sort of surf the Global is at home. The bigger and faster the waves the better. Alternatively, the Global also feels good when just charging around in difficult waters and strong winds.”

Tested by Jim Gaunt & Kyle Cabano


Jim tested the 5’9’’ in the UK over the winter season, while Kyle grabbed the 5’7’’ for a couple of sessions in Cape Town.

Firstly, the Global is an iconic shape in kitesurfing. A narrow pulled in squash tail allows for quick turning, the narrow width and thin rails make it easy to hold down lots of power while the very generous rocker make riding down any wave face forgiving with less chance of catching the nose.


Naish Global Carbon surfboard


Not only that but the more classic surf-style teardrop design always looks so enticing to me when I pull it out of the van than the squarer, more cumbersome looking shapes. The Global sparks my imagination for shred, whether the waves are up or not.

Before taking up kiting, Kyle came from a surfing background and said that Naish were always the brand that sold kiting to him as a surfer, with Robby as the icon and this as his go-to wave sled.

The board is very light weight, but for a performance surfboard this version with the ‘carbon vector net’ is also very strong considering how little weight its carrying. Unlike Kyle in Cape Town, I didn’t get a bag for mine, but it’s still absolutely spotless, having no doubt been tapped and knocked around when lifted in and out of the van and garage. The carbon wrap looks the business and the Naish honeycomb surf fins are certainly not your average stock shapes paired up on a budget. They’re a unique design and a relatively stubby shape, but they pack plenty of grip and look superb.

The corduroy deck pads add just enough comfort underfoot without removing too much board connection. They’re all about the grip, which is excellent.


Naish global carbon



The chunky rails thin out and turn square in the narrow tail area, right where all the turning business takes place. The combination delivers lovely grip around the central rail area when you initiate your turn and then the sharper tail section ensures that the grip continues to hold at speed, even though the small tail section means you can still turn on a dime.

In any sort of surf the Global is at home. The bigger and faster the waves the better. Alternatively, the Global also feels good when just charging around in difficult waters and strong winds.

The high wide point of the Global means there’s a decent amount of volume under your front foot when you’re standing forward on the board, working to get back upwind or to get planing and trying to maintain momentum through white water or lighter wind patches.

The Global is perfectly set up for footstraps and has a good number of insert holes, providing lots of choice for where to position your stance, but this is a board that benefits from you moving your feet around when your’e not riding on a wave. The squash tail is so narrow that in order to go upwind and keep the board nicely trimmed, you’ll need to move your back foot forward out of the strap if you have the back strap positioned right on the tail.


Naish global carbon


The Global isn’t a beginner’s surfboard because it’s narrow profile and deep rocker mean that it’s a bit tippy for cumbersome foot movements when learning to gybe and it’s also quite susceptible to the tail sinking too much if you’re not used to shifting your weight forward when going upwind. However, these are really basic surfboard techniques and there’s really a lot to love about this board.

Honestly, I’m always torn as to whether a board like this is suitable for most people. I always rode heavily rockered shapes like this with a pulled in tail throughout all my early years of kiting before the flatter, wider shapes came out that have since made the art of riding a surboard back and forth easier.

Like Kyle, I’m also light at just 70 kilos and I’ve never had any problem staying upwind or getting one of these more ‘down-the-line’ boards to ride well. In fact, most of the times that we have waves in the UK, it’s usually also blowing really strongly, and I find these lower volume pulled in shapes much easier to handle along with the power of a kite, especially if I’m riding backside and doing a lot of turns on my weaker toeside at the top of a wave.

We both noted how the benefit of the narrow tail means you have a lot of heel and toe response, which is useful when doing bigger turns and pushing hard to slide the tail out. This isn’t a board that’s loose enough to slide the tail out without a bit of technique, but whenever you activate the tail at speed, the Global comes into its own.


Naish global carbon


There’s some fine tuning needed in the pressure balance between your front and back foot as there’s less natural float in a shape like this, but once you’ve got the knack of keeping the board trimmed nicely through a turn then the effort to initiate a turn is much less than a squarer shape and the radius of the carve you can draw is more variable.

If you have any inclination to ride in straps you should definitely go for a shape like this. Using straps means that there’s automatically way more forgiveness in how the board handles, there’s less need to get your foot pressures perfect between your front and back feet, but also you can much better take advantage of how comfortable the Global feels when ridden at pace. It’s wonderful.

Speaking to several of the Naish HQ team, they all say, “Oh yeah, you can’t beat sticking a pair of straps on the Global and going out for a blast!” Robby Naish wouldn’t have stuck with this riding style on this board if it wasn’t a huge amount of fun; he has better things to do!

As I said, Kyle and I are very similar weights at 70 kilos, but he was very happy on the 5’7’’ in Cape Town where the waves are naturally quicker and more powerful and the wind is surely more regularly very strong. I had the 5’9’’ here and I’d go for that as an option that I could deal with in both stronger and lighter winds. To be honest we could have ridden either as there’s only a shade of difference between the two in the length and the volume. If you’re looking for guidance, if you weigh less than 70 kilos, go for the 5’7’’. If you’re heavier and mix up strong and lighter wind riding, go for the 5’9’’.



A stone cold classic of the kiteboarding surfboard scene. No matter what comes and goes in terms of trends, a core number of riders will always be riding a shape like this for the fluid grip, strong wind comfort and control at high speeds that’s provided. If you don’t ride waves a lot the Global is kind of wasted and you’ll enjoy the more natural carry of speed between small wave sections on a flatter board. For general blasting in strong winds, with or without straps though, it’s a winner.

We’ve also got to say the carbon model is absolutely stunning and we’re in no doubt of its strength, having lived with it for a few months. A non-carbon version is also available.



Super tuned for aggressive strapped hacking and hucking as well as the more subtle rail influence for a flowing mix of drawn out carves and tighter turns when strapless.



Nothing, but this isn’t the board to learn to gybe on if you’re above average weight or if your main aim is to nail a ton of strapless freestyle tricks. For tricks look to the Gecko with a flatter rocker and wider tail which will release better from the water and offers a more stable landing platform. The Skater is an incredible all-round board for learners through to freestylers and all your small wave ripping needs – read our most recent review of that board here.



5’9’’ x 18 ¼’’ x 2 5/16’’ (26.1L)
5’7’’ x 18 ¼’’ x 2 5/16’’ (24.6L)


Watch the Naish S25 Surfboards product video here:


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