Hawaii’s Robby Naish is one of the most accomplished and famous sailors that many Anarchists have never heard of. A legend in board sailing sports, Naish is a multi-time World Champion in a variety of disciplines of both kite-surfing and wind-surfing. A true innovator and entrepreneur, he’s built a hugely successful business empire that remains on the cutting edge of the kite boarding market; a thriving segment of the sailing world which has been revolutionized in recent years by the addition of foils. So it was no surprise to us when we scrolled through our social media feed a few days back and first saw the now-viral video of Naish’s new foiling downwind standup paddleboard.
In the hands of big-wave surfer and pro paddleboarder Kai Lenny, Naish’s new creation has just completely revolutionized another segment of the sailing world. Lenny, while seemingly dancing across the ocean fully on-the-foil, is achieving speeds previously thought unimaginable in a game that prides itself on innovation and constant development.
Top sailors have long trained on and loved these wind and human-powered machines; at just a couple of grand serious ocean voyages and cross training potential can be achieved on ultra-sexy, all-carbon race craft. A sport where the preferred conditions are sending it downwind in big breeze, ‘down winding’ combines downwind driving skills, tactics, fitness and agility., It’s a favorite of a lot of the America’s Cup guys, including 2-time champion helmsman Jimmy Spithill, who last year paddled in the ‘Transpac’ of downwind paddle boarding, the infamous 32-mile Molokai to Oahu race.
As some of ultra-high performance sailing and foiling’s biggest cheerleaders over the years, we’ve promoted the hell out of innovative one-designs like the GC32 and made it a priority to shine a spotlight on classes like the Moth, covering the ‘Little Cup’ and the international explosion of kiting and now foiling kiting. We knew it was only a matter of time, and we’re over the moon to see downwind paddle boarding step into the foiling era. The smile on Kai’s face tells it all. Wind-powered, fully-foiling, game-changer fast and fun as shit? Sign us up.