I may be a little biased toward this kite because of the personal generosity of Robby Naish and the efforts of another good-guy, Rick Iossi, in providing this kite along with other items in a raffle for Claudio Silva who was hurt kiting last year in Miami. Not only did Claudio have a large group of friends who came to his aid, but appears to be one of those unusual people who make friends where ever he is. It may also relate to his talents in the capture and display of our narcissism on film. You really should take a look at his pics on his site: http://www.kitefury.com
The Torch is NaishÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new medium aspect kite and is pretty much a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœsomething for everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. The first thing I see are details - hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s some of the things I saw.
The big bag I made, because I leave my struts inflated 100% of the time. The new Octopus system which is a one-pump like Slingy works seamlessly in the background but over time most of the struts go flaccid somewhat defeating my bag but hell, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so easy to pump up, I forgive them. One thing: they made a fine bag for the bar/lines. I forgot what their shoulder bags looks like already..
The bar is ergonomic and the lines colorful so it is not easy to get confused. Their Ã¢â‚¬ËœShiftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ system is an evolved 5th line setup. They were smart enough to keep the lines from the bar all the same which means you have different 5th line leaders Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfrom each kiteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ to make an easy bar switch between kites. (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be making leaders for my Norths) It takes a little getting used to seeing your font lines running half way up together. It kinda scary when you are used to four (five) well spaced lines running directly off the bar. But it works great - right out of the box. Not only is the kite well sorted, but they even anticipated line stretch buy providing extra knots and directions for when the lines stretch into position. One nice, little surprise: a reverse Donkey Dick. It attaches to the spreader bar and works with every chicken loop in your quiver.
Again falling back to details - Naish figured that weight aloft is dead weight. They even made the rub strakes various sizes based upon where the kite is likely to rub. Nice Beefy shoulder patches on the ends like the WW also.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an area full of goodies. Not only do they provide a second valve - it's a BIG one to help you dump the air. Most companies that provide a second valve make it the same as the filler ...like youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re goona get your girlfriend to pump on the other one. (Mine pumps while I connect the lines..) ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also a trick little piece here that I have not seen before: a little bungie cord loop to pop over the top of the valve to secure the velcro lock. Very cool.
The only goofy Ã¢â‚¬ËœDuh?!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ here is the instructions/warnings are printed upside-down - you have to stand inside the kite to read the words?! One warning says to not Ã¢â‚¬Ëœover inflateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ but nowhere does it say (even in the manual) what that means. I gather it means; Ã¢â‚¬Å“When it goes POP - youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re FkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d kiddo.Ã¢â‚¬