Naish Chopper Review!

Casey’s Blog:

Ahh the Naish Choppers are my new favorite sails! Hands down!   Here’s why: First I loved the concept for a wave sail. For a complete quiver all you need is 4 sails, one 370 mast, and one boom. That’s it!  Plus the choppers are a Super light 4 batten, short luff, maneuverable wave sail. Sounds great right? Almost too good to be true?  Well I bought into it (literally! Stupid expensive sport),  but I am so glad I did since they work exactly as advertised!

First, let’s start off with the sizes since everybody is freaks out about that. Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. Yup no numbers any more. I love it! It’s so easy. When the small is too little you go up to the medium. When Extra Large is too much you go down to the Large. Soo simple but people on the beach can’t handle it. They are adamant they want to know the number size. It soo funny!  I am pissing people off like crazy. I just say “small dude” or “I am on a large” then they say “WTF”. Hehe.  Fun stuff.  After sailing these things for awhile, now I know why Naish went this way for the sizing.  These sails are crazy powerful and efficient for their size. Let’s say the medium is actually a 4.2.  I have been out on that sail when everybody else has been out on 5.3 to 5.7 and I am perfectly powered up on the 4.2/medium.  So is a 4.2 really a 4.2 anymore with these sails?  Nope! That’s why they changed the size scale!  The choppers don’t apply to the traditional sizing.

Now how do choppers sail?  Well on a “wave”- Freaken Amazing! In the “Air” -Freaken Amazing!  Everything else, average at best but they are really only designed for hardcore side/side off wave riding and you have to keep that in mind. On a wave the power is very constant, even on the top of the lip with crazy gusty winds. I always felt in control.  The maneuverability of these things is so sweet you can throw them wherever you want with ease. Now, when jumping, Naish should put a big “Warning” sticker on these sails.  My first few back and push loops, I about killed myself because they rotate so fast! Once you get used to it, they are so controllable in the air I feel like I am flying a plane.

When just blasting back and forth they are a very “slow” sail. Not going to win any races, probably cause of the tight leach. The draft moves around quite a bit (moreso on the bigger sizes). A 400 mast on the XL size probably would help with that, though haven’t tried that yet. The choppers I find are a very tweaky sail. I always found myself tuning it to the conditions, and even more so on the bigger sizes (Maybe because my 200lb “butt” is a bit overweight for this design?) but I can get the perfect set-up by doing so.  For instance on the Medium, the wind picked up and I had way too much power, so I gave it just 2cm more of outhaul and presto, it was perfect!  It felt like I came in and rigged a 1/2 square meter less sail. Pretty neat.  Knowing how to tune sails is a must and can be challenging.

To sum up these sails’ performance: For me, in the waves for side/side off wind it’s perfect, especially when paired up to today’s newer short, compact wave boards. However, there are very few people I know that I could recommend this sail to.  I think the size “Small” is a size everybody could use in all conditions. That size seemed the best for just hopping-on-and- going and at eating up every gust like butter.  As for the rest, you really need to be a hardcore wave sailor and sailing in good wave conditions all the time to get the most out of these sails. Happy Chopping!

Funny Looking Thing!
They even are pretty good at Freestyle.
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9 thoughts on “Naish Chopper Review!”

  1. Great read. These sails aren’t for me, but I hope this concept will start a trend in simplifying windsurfing kit. In the end, it’s the consumer who must try to influence the manufacturer thru his buying power.

  2. very accurate review casey! even though i only sailed/own the xl chopper.i do rig the xl on a 400 it made a huge difference for me!GOT THE PULL OF A DC LOCOMOTIVE!your right very tuning senstive.GREAT JOB/REVIEW!joe

  3. Hi Casey,

    I wonder how much you weigh, considering you like the XL with a 400 mast. I, myself, weigh in at 77 kg, 170 lbs. I have a line of Boxers up to 5.0 and the 5.0 I put on a 400. I am either getting a 5.4 Boxer to still go on a 400 or get a Chopper XL to have my entire line go on 370 masts. I’m interested in you take on it. What do you say?

    By the way, I’ll say for me sailing is all about finding proper waves and side shore but I do like looping and am working on perfecting forwards, landing backies, even getting the hang of stopping rotation in pushloops. From reading you review on your blog I guess what kind of conditions I ride and what I do but, I didn’t really understand why you wouldn’t recommend the sail to everybody.

    Thanks for the blog!

    // Niklas

    1. I am a big dude. 200lb and 5’11”.
      I would stick with the boxer. I always like to have the same kind of sail for all sizes, and it will be way better in all around cond. and plus you already have a short luff with the boxers. if you sail in side/side off wave cond 100% of the time. then maybe give the XL a go.
      When the cond are light and onshore or flat. I use a Gaastra 5.7 and 4.8 Pure.
      The reason i dont recommend this sail to everybody, is the vast majority of sailors i know, sail in onshore, flat or bump and jump cond. and thats not what the choppers are for. or work well in. they are made to sub plane thru the wave break, turn around and pump on to a wave and shread that wave up.
      Now one exception! the small maybe and even the mediume size. are amazing and I would recommend to all. on the bigger ones the draft moves around too much and is a handful.
      Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Casey – what would you recomend 75kg guy , float n ride sideshore . want to work on wave360 , usually use a 5.3/171 boom , dont know about the 178boom of the XL . Has the L got enough power super light floatnride ? does the XL feel long in the boom . dont want to be digging clews whilst riding tight to the face – like you sometimes have to superlight conditions , but also need the power/drive to get thru bottom turns ok .

  5. Hi , what would you recomend to 75kg , sideshore float n ride . usually ride a 5.3/171 boom . XL looks good but 178 boom – maybe too long and clew digging the face . How much power has the L got ? enough to compete with a 5.2/5.3 ? cheers

  6. Getting some great feedback from the chopper sailers. Check it!

    unreal – the XL is just absoluitely ripping …. and super quirky in the air – in a good way , seems to really get a super lofty whip into backies off sloping waves if need be – like the head just goes totally nuetral and light – feels incredible , and really nice float n ride also , and had to lightwind waterstart with the foot a few times today – and the swing weight is ridiculously noticeable in something like that … and I like the longer boom bizarely – adds an extra zip to rotational stuff on the wave …

    only thing I dont like is the spectra view stuff …. cant judge distances of the lip thru it …… if it had a small pvc or monofilm window it would be an alltime fave sail and just no limits to it ….

    anyways , an eye opener on whats prepping for the future …

    cheers for the advice

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