At A Glance
Naish was one of the first brands to see the potential of Wing-surfing. With the introduction of their first Wing-Surfer in the spring of 2019, I remember Robby himself assuring dealers that the market would be flooded with products by the end of that year. He foresaw every kite brand, as well as new wing brands, having a variety of offerings. He was not wrong! Luckily, we are no longer limited to one size option, as was the case back then, and you can now buy the ADX in almost every 0.5m increment between 2.0 and 7.0m.
The ADX is the culmination of five years of R&D by the Naish team, resulting in a wing that they promise caters to all skill levels and riding styles. While the Wing-Surfer Mk4 and Matador have obvious similarities when placed side by side, the ADX looks as though it comes from a completely different bloodline. The wing features a good amount of dihedral, which should result in stability when flagging on the depower handle. The higher aspect leading edge arc creates an impressively high canopy tension. It will be interesting to see if this is maintained on the water as the panel layout is traditional (Leading Edge to Trailing Edge) compared to some of the ‘radial’ designs used in the Matador, for example, where the panels run almost from wingtip to depower handle. The curved strut has a reasonably large diameter which is maintained towards the trailing edge despite the taper. This, in combination with the 240g plasma Dacron used on the ‘centre T’ (depower handle area of the leading edge, LE to strut connection area, and the front face of the strut), should result in a very direct response. The ADX utilises rigid handles in an optimised teardrop grip shape and a very thin eva covering.
On The Water
You can tell immediately that the Naish ADX is not the product offering of a newcomer brand. While the ADX, like every product ever created, has its pros and cons, it does feel very refined and is very easy to get used to. The most obvious characteristic was immediately evident, and that is the direct nature of the wing. The whole setup felt super tight, and responses to inputs were immediate. It was easy to dial in the pumping technique for efficient starts on this wing because of how immediately the power was delivered and how much feedback was provided through the hard handles in the process. This feedback continued once up riding. Every little adjustment of the wing or change in the wind was noticeable immediately. This made for a very engaging riding experience.
The ADX accelerates upwind effortlessly, and while it is happy and comfortable riding along at a moderate speed, it is particularly impressive when you pick up speed when pinching the wind. It accelerates easily and maintains a good distribution of power between the front and rear handles. Should you wish to adjust the distribution to your preference, the handles provide enough length to do so, and the wing retains its controllability whether you choose to ride more front or rear hand heavy. Naish is to be commended on the design of their teardrop shaped hard handles, which I found to be one of the most comfortable diameters I’ve used so far. Whether riding open, closed, or reverse grip, I found myself comfortable (unusual for someone who still prefers soft handles generally). They were so reassuring that I found myself tempted to go and throw some jumps (which also doesn’t happen often!). In doing so, the wing was controlled during takeoff and had plenty of hang time, which is always nice when landing on foil. The direct nature of the pumping made riding away easy if you didn’t manage to land with speed.
The wind range of the ADX is very impressive, and the canopy handles are overpowered well. Small adjustments can be made to the hand positions on the handle to increase comfort, and it still rides upwind with ease when overpowered. You do have to be prepared for the gusts, however, especially when you’re overpowered. The direct nature of the wing and the stiffness of its construction mean that the gust is very quickly translated into more power, which can catch you off guard.
When riding in the waves, the wing did feel a little heavy at times. If the waves were powerful enough with plenty of speed, the ADX was a pleasure, as it would get low and drag behind you like a cape with ease. The fairly rigid depower handle made initiating this easy, and because you had the speed, you could use the momentum to ride away from the wave, re-engage, and off you go. If the waves weren’t that fast and you were in on-shore conditions, it had a tendency to drop in front of you, trailing edge down, a little before some of its lighter competitors would have done. As soon as the wind picked up, however, the ADX rode with ease even in the onshore winds and smaller waves, as it was generally very stable on the depower handle.
The ADX is definitely a very refined all-rounder that will please any rider looking for a wing with lots of feedback and plenty of power available. I’d say Naish has achieved their promise of a wing for all abilities, as long as the beginner is heading out in fairly stable winds. The ADX has some of the nicest hard handles I’ve used and was an easy one to get dialled into, irrespective of what I was trying to do with it.
This review was in Issue 16 of Tonic Mag.For more information visit Naish