Today, @Garrett and I unwrapped a new 8M 2014 Naish Park at Naish Beach (Kite Beach) Maui. The wind was extremely gusty on the beach, as you can see from the below wind graph.
Garrett showed me how to use the quick release at the chicken loop, and we got to test it out a couple of times. I wish I had done that before, as I felt more confident knowing how works. He also explained to me that the leash to the back of the harness is generally only used if your kite is in the water in large surf and about to get hit by a wave. In that case, release the kite or else the kite will get destroyed and you’ll dragged along with the kite. Makes sense.
I was shocked at how comfortable the 8M Park felt in what I knew to be extremely gusty conditions. It felt smooth, responsive, and easily controllable. I used the 20M line setup. I got in the water at 3:10pm, and the wind was averaging in the mid-to-high 20s, gusting into the 30s. At 4pm, the wind really picked up to the point it was not comfortable. That was when the wind was averaging 30, gusting to almost 40. Wow! Even then, the kite felt OK, but I lost any desire to try jumping in that much wind. The few times that I jumped and got a bit out of control, the kite acted very nicely and predictably. Overall, it’s just awesome. I can’t wait to try it in some steadier winds, but maybe 8M conditions for a 200# guy will always be gusty.
My last kite was a 2013 Naish Ride. The 2014 Park felt way better for me. The Ride turned way too slowly for my preferences. However, slow could be good for a beginner.
Garrett tried the kite right before I went out, and he really seemed to like it. I’ll let him comment. He’s a very experienced kiter, so he’ll have something more intelligent to say.