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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Naish Torch ’07 Kite…Having Exploding Issues

Posted by direwolff on May 22, 2007

(See my update below, as I’ve gotten some more info since originally reporting this story yesterday.)

What’s sadder than a boy with his broken dreams? Well, that would be a boy with a torn kite three days before getting ready to go do some wave riding down the California coast. And here’s what that boy with broken dreams’ face looks like…

This late afternoon, just as my buddy Charlie picked up his kite and began turning it over on its back to deflate it, after a most excellent kitesurfing session at Crissy Field, we all heard a loud bang, like that of a blown tire. Well, it was the leading edge of Charlie’s kite basically exploding right at one of the seams. According to another fellow kiteboarder, this is the second time this has happened this season with the Naish Torch 12 meter kite. Another friend of ours experienced the same phenomena recently. The tear is clean along the seam and through the bladder. To say that Charlie, who has really liked this kite since he’s been riding it this season, was not terribly disappointed, would be an understatement. We all tried to console him, but you could tell that this wasn’t easy on him. He put his faith in Naish, and he was let down with what appears to have been a defective product. Wwe’re only now hopeful that the company is prepared to stand by its product and provide Charlie an exchange, but given that it’s not the first time this has happened, there’s obvious cause for concern.

Of course, most disconcerting of all, is that Charlie and his wife had big plans for some coastal riding this weekend which may now be up in the air as a result of this fiasco. I’ve always had respect for the quality of Naish kites, and I just hope that they make good here, as it would be very sad if they let this event, witnessed by 15 local Crissy Field kitesurfers including a Naish team rider, represent the new image of the company.

(Update – 5/23/07: In the spirit of fairness in reporting, I had a chance to speak to the other kiter who had experienced the blown bladder on his Torch. First off, he loves the kite and continues to fly it, and he explained that while the bladder exploding was certainly unusual, he was willing to attribute this to perhaps having over-inflated it. When I relayed Charlie’s experience and we realized that these two events took place within two weeks of each other, lots of questions loom, but given his positive experience with the kite, the fact that he continues to swear by it and ride it, the fact that Charlie also really likes this kite, we might conclude that these incidents were flukes that shouldn’t get in the way of a kite that so many people enjoy riding.)

(Update – 7/29/07: So it appears that at the recent Crissy Kite Week here in San Francisco, 4 more kites including that of two other good friends of mine also exploded in the same way as Charlie’s.  I took a lot of heat from some friends on the original post but I have to say now, that given the number of people I know who kitesurf, the percentage of those who use a Torch, and the percentage of those who have had it explode in the exact same place, this is faulty construction issue if I’ve ever seen a case for one.  More importantly, it was one of those who gave me the upbeat talking to that fell victim to a blown bladder…he apologized and now supports my assertion ;)

(Update – 9/28/08: Well, it’s not just over a year later and Charlie’s misadventures with Naish Torches are still happening.  Needless to say, he *really* likes these kites, but I think he’s beginning to rethink his commitment here.  Below are pics of his kite and the recent exploding bladder in the exact same spot…)

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18 Responses to “Naish Torch ’07 Kite…Having Exploding Issues”

  1. Charlie said

    Hey all, Charlie here. I second Pierre’s Update from 5/23 and testify that I love the way the Torch rides. I am not sure why the bladder split…but I surely can’t wait to get back on a Torch.

  2. Alp said

    Hey,
    Just thought I drop you a line and say that I just had my 2006 12m torch explod on one of the leading edge seams…

  3. Alp said

    And looking at the picture above it looks like we have the same exact rip.

  4. Edd said

    I have had it happen at both ends of my kite now, just sent an email to Naish to day.
    awaiting reply.

    How did Naish deal with your issues.

    edd

  5. I had the same experience with 3 Raven Naish ( 1x 16 and 2 x 12 )since 2 years :
    the kites would just explode just turning them over …with no particular stress : Repair cost everytime : 80$ at Airtime …. did you get a replacement by Naish or Naish retail store ?

    eric

  6. p-air said

    wasn’t me who had the prob, but a friend of mine. since i wrote about this last year, he got another torch this year and a month ago, the same thing happened again in the exact same spot as last time. apparently naish is having it fixed for him, but needless to say he’s seriously contemplating other kites at this point ;)

  7. mthomo said

    I had my Naish Torch 12m 07 model do the exact same thing. Mine happened while launching. Lucky for me the bladder didnt burst so I repaired it and it was fine. 2 weeks later it burst in the exact same spot but on the opposite side of the kite but this time the bladder exploded.
    Went through Naish Australia and they were very helpful. Offered to fix the kite for free even though it was 14 months old..or give me the 09 model for $700 AUD. So I am purchasing the 09 model and hopefully I wont have the same problem.
    On the same token, I was told that that this was a ‘once off’ and they had never seen it before.
    Its amazing what you can find on google!

    • p-air said

      That’s great to hear that Australian Naish contingency stands by its product like this. As for this being a “one-off”, not likely given the number of these incidents we’ve seen here in the SF Bay area…or maybe it’s just our water :)

  8. Sean said

    Wow, it’s a little late but I’m glad I found this article.

    I had the exact same thing happen to my 07 Raven 16.
    It blew right at the center seam of the LE while someone was fliping it to launch me.
    The kite had around 10-15 sessions on it, but I was just past the 3 month mark. I had my local shop deal with Naish, but Naish would have nothing to do with it, not even repair it.
    This happened around August of 07 so by that point Im sure Naish had to know about this problem from the sounds of this article. It almost makes me mad all over again.
    In the end, I made out ok since my shop hooked me up with a new Raven, but it was at their expense which I don’t feel good about.
    Anyway, it’s time to buy some new kites again but I don’t think it will be Naish since they don’t stand behind their product

    Cheers from Michigan!

  9. justo said

    hola que tal, mi nombre es justo Y la verdad que yo compre la 2008 y se me revento ya tres veses por sitios diferentes. Y la compania no se hace cargo de la garantia.

  10. Frank said

    Same happened last week with a Torch 3 9m! First time it happened was last summer when turning over, total blow-out madness destruction. Last week it happened as I was teaching someone with little wind, kite was on 5th line, and during relaunch. BANG. But now on the other side :(. I still think this is a faulty construction!

  11. Marcel~ said

    Mmm, my Naish Torch 12 2008 Model (4) exploded almost exactly as the one in the first picture. Lucky for me i’m rather familiar using a sewing machine…

    Had it once before on a naish raven 2 14 alon the LE zipper.

  12. ME said

    Same with my 12m Torch. Happened on one side had it fixed, bladder replaced, with in 5 rides the other side did the exact same thing. Obviously a problem but Naish says there absolutely nothing wrong here, no defects. To be fair my kite was at half life, it’s a little suspect that these kites all seem to die the same way. Still love the way they fly though.

  13. Federico said

    I had the same problem on my torch 12 m 2008, i tried to contact italian Naish importer, but for Naish there’s no defect.
    My next kite will not a Naish for sure!

  14. Darnell said

    My 2005 Naish Boxer blew up the other week. It’s outrageous that Naish won’t accept this as a warranty issue. After all, it’s just been beat up for a few years by quite a few previous owners. Also, my Chevy from 1976 has started to rattle. GM better pay for this repair…

  15. dr said

    Same happened to my Torch 2009 12m yesterday.The bladder exploded at the same place while I was pulling it gently from the rear line.There was no wind and I pulled it to get it back to the beach

  16. Mike said

    So now me. I thought that mine Torch 2009 12m had been indestructible, but the same happened to me after 3 years usage mainly as a weekend warrior;). Well, still like it

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