Some thoughts when picking a new sail for blasting around


Some thoughts when picking a new sail for blasting around

I like to have a sail with a large windrange. I like a sail which is lightweight. I like something dureable. I like some speed, but more important not just a 3 second acceleration, speed which I can keep up all day (light sail on the hands). I like a cammed sail. I like a sail which is easy to gybe, waterstart, etc.

I don’t care about acceleration from 0-30 km/h. I don’t do slalom and getting into planning isn’t a problem.
I don’t care about max speed at 130~145 degrees downwind course. Most often I sail between 70-110 degrees.
I don’t care if the sail is used by the (next) PWA slalom champion.

OK ok ok, above some  thoughts for the sail I am looking for. It is required to filter some sails, because there are at least 15 brands and some of them have 2 types of cammed sails. To make chosing a bit easier I propose the following steps

  1. All PWA-slalom sails are not included (warp, RS racing, vapor, reflex, etc.). These sails are marketed for slalom. I don’t do slalom;
  2. All  non-cam sails are not included. I think non-cams sails have a smaller windrange. And having cams and a bit more weight is better than have to rig twice on a day;
  3. All freeride-cam sails are not included (these are mostly focused on the 0-30km/h acceleration part);
  4. It would be prefered if the sails are RDM and SDM compatible.

So what is left for those just blasting around?

  • KA Koncept (SDM/RDM compatible);
  • Severne Overdrive (SDM/RDM compatible);
  • Neilpryde RS:Racing LT1 (confusing is this a slalom sail or not?);
  • GA-sails Phantom ;
  • Point-7 ACK;
  • Gunsails Vector;
  • Avanti Condor;
  • Challenger GT2wing (kind of special?).

What didn’t make the first cut?

  • North sails, what happened to the RAM range???? The S-type is not convincing. concludes “Delivering a benchmark all-round performance, the S_Type combines enough performance potential for all but the most dedicated with sublime handling and a massive tuneable range.”;
  • These are a bit to much freeride for me, based on online reviews (Ezzy Lion, Tushingham Bolt, Simmer 2XS, Attitude Hornet).

My three sails for testing
If I had to choose three sails to test and do my final pick, I would choose between:

  • Severne Overdrive, again a new design, no fussle on the sail. Looks clean. RDM/SDM compatible. Increased twist and less back-hand pressure. If it is not just marketing, this sail sure sounds like a dream come true!
  • KA Koncept, RDM en SDM compatible. Lightweight character. Finetuned design for a decade. Sailsizes from 4.2-9.5 (very wide range). Looks durable.
  • Challenger GT2Wing, I mean who knows what to expect from this sail?? Is it racy or a fancy freeride sail?

Most other sails haven’t been included because they don’t feature RDM capability. Or many small features and fuzzle on the sail (all these small bits are weight and can be broken). Some seem to have a evolution in “looks” and not soo much “technical” evolution (eventhough these sails do not score #1 positions in tests).

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.