THIS NAISH SKATER SURFBOARD TEST FIRST APPEARED IN KITEWORLD #105 ON OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM IN JULY 2020.
NAISH SKATER 5’0” REVIEW
“Overall the Skater isn’t trying to be the lightest board on the market, but it’s as light as you need it to be, is strong, looks good and is very accessible.”
Tested by: Jim Gaunt.
TEST TEAM NOTES
Possibly the easiest board I rode this year for a new surfboard rider and it’s easy to feel like you’re riding it well. I never pushed it in really strong winds, but on each of my three sessions it made light / gusty conditions feel smoother. While I’ve struggled at times (compared to my heavier testing partners in the past) to achieve hard, banking turns without feeling like I’m having to put masses of turning pressure through my toes on some square boards, I’ve always enjoyed the Skater line.
I always try to choose the smaller sizes and I really enjoyed this 5’0’’ x 18’’ with 21.9 litres of volume. Several times I dropped over the back of waves after climbing steep white water with very little power in the kite and came away from the board slightly. I dropped back onto the deck with my feet a bit far forward and, although the nose tried to sink, it never did. At low speed, coming out of a tack or gybe, it does the same. The nose seems impervious to going underwater, giving you precious extra moments to shuffle your feet back again while powering the kite up and keeping your bum out of the water.
It’s very easy to get up to speed when you first dip the kite and the Skater accelerates hard, quite flatly at first, across the water though there’s the benefit of grip from the deep single concave to keep you ‘skating’ nicely. In addition, the Skater rail is relatively thin and, as mentioned above, I find that it soon bites and gives you full control over your edging. The long straight rail also flies upwind for minimal kite power and therefore that combination makes light wind sessions so enjoyable.
Steering the kite hard to initiate turning speed, or staying as close to the wave as possible, I found grip when I needed it in the tail as well as release for some fun slides at the top of the wave. All this in small waves and light wind when I’m sure other boards would have been bogging more.
Overall the Skater isn’t trying to be the lightest board on the market, but it’s as light as you need it to be, is strong and is very accessible.
The thin corduroy pads are fantastic, too. They’re not designed to be super soft, but instead to give good contact with the board and assured grip. When your feet get soft there are no aches coming from sharper edges of rubber that can sometimes start to press at your skin on other pads.
Our Cape Town test sessions this year were mainly focused on freeride gear. However of the handful of surfboards, this was the fastest to plane and the most stable, even though it’s only 5’0’’ in length and under 22 litres of volume. The wide, stable shape, grippy deep single concave underneath and quite thin rails all combine to make the Skater a fast, fun and rewarding ride in very average conditions! In conclusion, of all the wider, square style surfboards we’ve ever tested, the Skater sits bang in the middle in terms of being easy yet capable. Great job. Fun, for sure!
Buoyant forgiveness as well as the ability for tighter, powerful turns in difficult onshore conditions where you have to rely less on kite power.
KW WOULD CHANGE
You’re going to hit a limit when it comes to suitable wave size conditions for the Skater, but not as soon as you’d think as the Skater is a lot of fun in head high surf. Beyond that and you’ll want something more dedicated to pure wave conditions.
NAISH SKATER BALANCE POINTS
(TEST SCORE BREAKDOWNS HERE)
Pure wave riding: 7 (Good in sloppy or small waves!)
Big waves: 6.5
Small waves: 8
Strapless freestyle: 7.5
Early planing: 8.5
Bottom turn drive: 7.5
Snappy turning: 7.5
SIZES: 5’4’’ x 19 ¾’’ x 2 ¼’’ (27.3L), 5’2’’ x 18 ¾’’ x 2 1/16’’ (23.7L) and 5’0’’ x 18’’ x 2’’ (21.9L)
MORE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT: NAISH.COM
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