When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Here’s why you can trust our tests and our affiliate partner.
Naish's entry all-round freeride board has been given a complete redesign and turns its focus towards longevity of use for the beginner to intermediate rider. This is no longer a one season board that a progressing rider will quickly outgrow, instead it has become a contender for the first time buyer wanting a board they can enjoy and develop their skills with through their first couple of years of riding whilst ensuring they won't get bored. The board features centered inserts so you can extend the usage and TPU rails for increased durability so would also be a solid choice for schools looking to maximize the use of their gear.
For the beginner who has not yet succeeded in mastering long runs upwind, the 2020 Hero's slightly more advanced shaping creates more of a challenge than its predecessor but for a confident rider it will ensure that their riding develops more quickly.
The new Hero now has a fun and playful freeride rocker (the same as the Motion) which is immediately evident on the water and allows the board to cruise and carve around in chop and small waves. A broader tip outline has been added to ensure the beginner rider still has a forgiving platform for them to overcome any instability they may have as they develop their technique. Additionally, a single concave has been added to improve the speed and efficiency that can be lost when increasing the rocker line. The Hero's soft flex combined with a stepped rail ensures that they have plenty of grip and control as they learn to ride in choppy waters. Improving riders will appreciate the smooth grip, light handling and flex that’s comfortable without overly dampening the feel of the ride.
Bigger entry-level riders may prefer a flatter, stiffer board to better cover them for basic get up and go in lighter winds but, if you're after a progressive board at an affordable price point, the Hero's playful, simple design can support your riding for many years.
In a sentence: The Hero manages to tick a lot of boxes and capably bridges the gap between beginner/school and progression – it’s great to see a brand putting a lot of thought into this sector of the market.