NAISH ASSAULT 85L 2021 TEST REVIEW
Fast, early planing and easy to sail, the Naish Assault offers a user-friendly versatile bump and jump board that is still plenty of fun on the wave. Its fast smooth ride means that it offers plenty of performance across all water states.
The new look Assault line returns for 2021 as Naish’s wave board line specifically designed as an easy to use versatile platform. Unlike any of the other boards on test, the Assault is designed and supplied as a single fin. However, it comes with the option to set the board up as a thruster as well. Naish emphasise its ease of use, but also its versatility, not only in waves, but also on flat water.
As you might expect from a board designed as a single fin, its main design focus is speed, with a relatively flat rocker line and a continuous vee bottom shape throughout the board. At 219 and 58 cm wide, the board is neither the shortest nor widest on test, but certainly fits into the compact outline shape that you’d expect from many of the crossover wave boards. The visibly square nose and tail are joined by a very parallel outline, more than highlighting its place as a compact wave board.
Naish’s S-glass construction means that the 85 Assault weighs in as the lightest board on test at just shy of 6 kg (naked). The board is finished with grooved and embossed deck pads, Naish ergonomic straps and supplied with a 23 cm MFC AR US box single fin, with additional blanking plates for the thruster slot boxes. Naish are also offering a series of custom Assaults with more multi-fin options.
BRAND CLAIM: “The Assault is for any wave sailor who needs a board to perform in a broad range of conditions. Keeping versatility in mind, these unique boards combine early planing with the turning ability of a pure wave board.”
When you step on the Assault its compact outline and overall plan shape make it feel larger than its quoted 85 litres. As expected, it planes early and is fast, with the feel of a high wind blaster. The board’s vee and construction mean that whilst having a fast ride, it’s also very controllable and ‘soft’ across rough water states and will give plenty of options for those looking for a fast bump and jump board, with plenty of spark to make it engaging enough, even on high wind flatter days.
The single fin helps the board rocket upwind and gives plenty of lateral stability for any level of wave sailor looking for something that is easy to get on with, with minimal tuning. Turning on the wave the single fin gives the board plenty of grip and speed, giving you the ability to fully commit to turns without any worries of skipping out or bogging a rail. In the top turn, if you hit the right section it’s possible to get the board to snap back round, but if you do want to get a more rail to rail feeling you will need to set the board up in thruster mode. In thruster mode the turns tighten up and there is still plenty of drive and speed, but it doesn’t necessarily allow you to adjust your arc through the turn, rather make better use of the board’s vee as you transition from bottom to top turn.
Volume (quoted): 85 litres.
Length: 219 cm.
Width: 58 cm.
1ft off (tail width): 42.2 cm.
Bottom shape: Continuous vee.
Weight (‘Naked’): 5.9 kg.
Fins: US centre box MFC AR single fin 23 cm / 2 x side slot box (w/cover).
Sail range (Quoted): 4.0m – 5.7m.
Sizes available: 75, 85, 95, 105.