TEST: NAISH JET 1650 S25
JET 1650 S25
TESTED BY: Jim Gaunt - WSW editor
TEST TEAM NOTES: The Naish Jet 1650 has been an incredible ally that I've had in my possession for the last 18 months or so. Now replaced by the S26 model, the updates are mostly cosmetic, so hopefully you'll find this a very relevant review as you do your research.
While it wasn't the foil I used for my first sessions as a complete newbie, it was the one I settled on using a few weeks later for all my intermediate progression. I still reach for it if I want an easy session nailing new tack or gybe variations, or if the wind is particularly light or the waves very small, so it's been an excellent, progressive tool. I only weigh around 70 kilos, so this 1650 should really feel like quite a big, bulky foil by now under my feet, but the Jet 1650 has a fantastic range, from light winds up to having been able to help me manage much stronger winds and very difficult, choppy waters in my early days.
The ride feel is very secure and the lift beautifully smooth. There's nothing jerky about this foil at all, I've used it for a lot of my early progression, and when I've gone back to it again I've really appreciated its spectrum of use. Working well in a broad range of winds, I also don't find myself particularly held back by its speed. While it's no rocket, the 1650 doesn't start to tremble and shudder like some big wings can when you're pushing its top speed limit. Everything just remains smooth and calm. In strong winds the Jet doesn't just keep creating more and more lift. It's very easy to level off and manage the ride.
TURNING I remember when learning to turn a wingfoil I found my turns were going in three stages. First the bear off, then a re-engagement of further toe pressure to force the wing through the wind and then yet more effort to come around closer to a broad reach again. An entirely different shape, the F-One 1780 I'd come off seemed much more leg work to turn and more suited to bigger riders. As soon as I got dialled in to this 1650 I found my carves became smoother and felt more intuitive with the delta design. Now I'm a better rider, able to influence my carves more forcefully and at higher speed with more commitment, I still enjoy the brilliant glide and the constantly smooth turning arc of the 1650.
STABILITY Looking at the shape of the front wing, it's very thick at the front, which is where the smooth lift originates from at low speed, and this combines with the very large 450 moustache shaped rear wing for more solid lift and overall stability. The 1650 feels rock steady between my front and back feet. The central section remains very flat between the tips, which helps provide a stable platform, while the down curved tips offer the necessary lateral grip for easy riding and carving without feeling too locked-in. The 1650 is incredibly stable and what I still appreciate is the very low stall speed. You have to really be going very slowly for this wing to drop, which is remarkable when you also consider how comfortable it is in more tricky conditions with a very acceptable riding speed.
Above: Notice the thickness for lift, the broad, flat section for stability and the gently curving tips for a forgiving feel Below: Awaiting action with the Hover 75L
WHO WOULD ENJOY IT? I highly recommended this to lighter to mid-weight riders as a wing to both learn and then also progress with. Particularly heavy riders could progress onto it as their intermediate foil a little further down the line. This isn't simply a stable platform to get inexperienced riders mowing the lawn. I'm still using it in lighter wind conditions and really enjoy it with the Hover 75 litre board, though it's obviously well suited to much bigger boards, too. I enjoy turning on swells and the really forgiving glide time it offers when getting used to pumping. I also find that I can combine tacks and gybes in very quick succession, turning almost in circles, such is the nicely mixed relationship between stability, manoeuvrability and low stalling speed. It's really great fun and inspires confidence.
BUILD AND PACKAGE The Naish aluminium mast set with the easily interchangable front and rear wing sets really offer you a strong set-up that's built, not only to physically last, but also only requires purchases of front and rear wings as you progress. Naish offer a really wide range of sizing options and styles too, so once you make the initial investment, you have a lot of avenue options as you progress. Finally, the 100% pre-preg carbon front and rear wings seem very strong and, when combined with the aluminium mast, deliver a very acceptable overall weight, especially when considering how tough the overall set-up seems. I've certainly hit the sand bank a few times, as well as given everything a good chance to be scuffed up when resting the gear on our shingle beaches, but so far everything is wearing very well. This year the only change on the S26 model is a new gloss finish and more subtle branding, so you can expect the same wear strength.
WHAT'S NEW IN THE S26 JET 1650 MODEL? * The design continues this year, but now has a gloss finish with more subtle branding and cleaner graphics.
“The Jet 1650 delivers an excellent combination of smooth, gradual lift that starts at low speeds and yet is able to offer the progressive rider many fun sessions to come as they gain confidence to link carves and pumping between sections.”
SUMMARY: When buying your first proper hydrofoil once you've had a few lessons, your main concerns are likely to be: will you be able to ride it easily enough; and if so, will you outgrow it quickly? For most people I'd say the answer to those questions are: yes and then no. The Jet 1650 delivers an excellent combination of smooth, gradual lift that starts at low speeds and yet is able to offer the progressive rider many fun sessions to come as they gain confidence to link carves and pumping between sections. It's a really dynamic ride for what is quite a thick, meaty shape. The interchangeable wings, part of a huge range that Naish offer, are another appeal in deciding to invest in the brand. WSW LIKED:
Confidence in the low stall speed and super smooth ride and turning characteristics to help you progress your riding.
WSW WOULD CHANGE: I've had this foil for close to 18 months and am still enjoying it, so there's not much more to say. Plus the Naish foil suitcase package that the set-up comes in is really well presented with a very solid Torx screw driver and plenty of padded compartments for easy travel and protected storage. All the M6 stainless steel bolts are still completely free of corrosion, but I do loosen them off after every session, religiously, and more often than not rinse the gear off when at home.
JET 1650 BALANCE POINTS x/10: Robust / Build: 8 Lightweight handling qualities: 6.5 Stability: 8.5 Rider level: Early intermediate – early advanced Wing range: 8 Smooth turns: 8 Tight turns: 5 Glide: 8 Ease-of-use: 9 JET 1650 DIMENSIONS: Aspect ratio: 4.8 / Wingspan: 34.8'' – 88cm / Projected area: 255.8''² - 1650cm² The Jet 1650 is available as a complete set with a 75cm aluminium mast, or semi-complete and you choose between the aluminium, carbon or carbon 35 mast options.