Kitesurfing made easy and yet delivers exciting riding possibilities for all!
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN KITEWORLD #104 IN MARCH 2020
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TESTED BY: CHRIS BULL AND JIM GAUNT. FIND THEIR DETAILS AND TEST SCORE BREAKDOWNS HERE.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Triad allows you to breathe as you shred. We had big expectations of this V2 model off the back of an incredible first test last year. Tweaks have added continued refinement to what was one of the best intermediate freeride kites of last year.
Firstly, the Triad doesn’t quite have the pure big air might of kites like the Pivot, XR, Rebel or Edge. This is less physical, more athletic and made to do more than just sheeting for boost. On windy days, going from most other eight metres onto the Triad we suddenly had more energy because the kite was easier and felt lighter, allowing for a really aggressive, positive, upright stance whatever the conditions. The Triad has superb get-up-and-go handling and drives smoothly forward without any physicality in the steering. You’re never fighting the kite because you have finite control along a typically long and progressive Naish throw that shuts off to nothing. For crossing over into waves or foiling, or even when you’re twin-tipping in and around difficult waves and white water, that control is very inspiring. You never feel like the Triad is taking you along for a ride; you’re in command all the time.
On very busy days, trapped in a group of converging riders, we were always the ones able to stop on the spot and go back the other way without having to think. The sheet in and out finger-tip control mixed with spritely turning and light handling really are an energising quality.
FREERIDE POWER MANAGEMENT
Another reason the Triad works so well for a really broad range of riders is that it holds a bit of power through the turn. This is quite a quick kite and, if it was also too pivotal, the smooth drive would be reduced. So the Triad moves quickly and gives you power, but is clean and linear rather than the snatchy way that some kites with a lot of depower can do. You’re never going to get pulled over your toes.
Another lovely element that we appreciate for freeriding control is the little lag when you initially pull the bar to turn the kite. Don’t confuse this with an indirect feel, but it means that you can make inputs at the bar and the Triad won’t fire off across the window immediately. Once they start turning, eight metre kites are usually quick anyway, but this little lag gives you a sense of balance as the kite moves more steadily through its initial movement. You certainly don’t have to muscle this kite in any way, but during a manoeuvre, such as a front roll, the Triad remains nice and stable overhead. Smaller kites usually require higher levels of precision with your steering. The Triad adds more of a sense of control.
JUMPING AND LOOPING
In terms of jumping, it’s very easy to send the Triad overhead, progressively sheet in and choose your time to take-off. You can also be aggressive, hanging the kite out to the side of the window during your boost and then enjoy dropping down and having the kite catch you when you bring it back forward. No matter where you put the Triad you remain connected to it.
Kite looping is fun and accessible. Better riders will enjoy the slight lag in the first part of the loop which prevents the kite just pivoting round like a damp rag. Taking a relatively wide journey round the window for a freeride kite, once the turn engages, the quick but smooth turning speed make it easy and quite automatic to complete a kite loop. There’s pull, but not an over bearing one. The Triad is very quick to dial into and inspires you to throw it round. As you get better you’ll be able to tap into some awesome jumping height and then whip it round a loop very nicely.
BUILD AND FITTINGS
Although the Triad feels lighter in your hands than many other kites, it’s beautifully constructed and features Naish’s Quad Tex canopy cloth. The light aerodynamic quality translates into all aspects of the kite’s handling. In so many of their kites Naish give us that extra 10% of handling control at the top end because their extended depower sheeting range is so good. Well mannered but quick, the Triad behaves well through such a large range of movements because it retains effective handling all the way along the throw. There’s no noise and this really is an excellent cross-over kite and scores highly in waves, too. The only thing it doesn’t do in waves is that immediate spin that some pure wave kites can do, but the smooth turns and shut-off power possibility will suit all but the most advanced wave riders.
We used the Torque ATB (Above The Bar trim) 55 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. 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 metre lines with four metres extensions give you a lovely option for shifting down to a shorter, more direct feel. We always rode on 24s and enjoyed the extra boost, hangtime and range.
Literally anyone could get on the Triad, on whatever board they choose, and have a great time. Very clean through the air, it’s spritely, unfatiguing, delivers lots of power alongside superb shut-off depower, turns very smoothly and, overall, is huge amounts of fun. It really is kitesurfing made easy and yet delivers exciting riding possibilities for all. We really enjoyed our Triad experience again, after all; who doesn’t enjoy lots of depower on an energetic eight metre in Cape Town? Feels great from the moment you put it up and, like a Duracell battery, will help you last 20% longer.
KW LIKED: One of the easiest and most immediately fun all-rounders on test for any rider.
KW WOULD CHANGE: As we ride a lot of different kites, we get used to having a plastic sheath covering the centre-line ropes, but that’s personal and there are benefits to not having the plastic cover.
TRIAD BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9
Full package: 8.5
Low end: 8
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed: 7.5
Turning circle: 6
Bar pressure: 5
Water relaunch: 9
Crossover: 7.5 Foil and some waves as well as TT
Ease of use: 9
SIZES: 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m
Find out more: www.naish.com
CLICK HERE TO GET THIS NEW ISSUE AND OUR 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE FOR FREE!