We continue with the tests of the 2018 wave sails, talking about this Simmer Blacktip, which I have been able to test for a rather long time, and in various conditions ...
Windsurf sails test: Simmer Blacktip 4,7 2018 (by Max Rinaldi)
The Blacktip is the 4-batten wave sail of the famous Hawaiian sail brand. You rig it with a 3,70 rdm mast, 22 cms of extension and 165 cms of boom. It respects fairly accurately these given measures, and it can be trimmed very easily. During testing, I used a 100% Carbon Simmer mast, and a Carbon extension, so stuff proper to the sail in question.
The design (sail patches, battens, etc ...) has remained substantially unchanged for a couple of years (as they say: never change a winning team). The graphics, very nice and clean in my opinion, is similar to that of the previous year, and the colors available are three: yellow, blue and orange. I had the "orange" model available, that is orange/white and black.
The construction seemed very good to me, with the weaving in all panels, except for the central window, and the base mast sleeve properly reinforced.
However, consider that you also have a version called "X", with weaving in all panels, for the most radical. The "X" has a PVC window so it will probably be slightly softer in response, too.
In the water, the Blacktip I had tested has behaved even better than I expected; it seems that Simmer has managed to improve this sail even with a few tweaks.
The first positive impression was the stability even in overpowered conditions, which usually "penalize" the sails with 4 battens compared to 5 ones.
Very neutral while surfing, it delivers the right power once you have closed cutback, and, even in onshore conditions, it remains manoeuvrable and light in the hands.
Good also in jumps, where it always behaved very well. I particularly liked the way in which it looses power during the rotations to return reactive once again immediately after. Even in freestyle tricks I could appreciate the maneuverability and reactivity.
I used it with my freestyle board in Voltri in conditions of flat water and rather gusty wind, with a single fin freestylewave baord at Andora (Bump and jump spot) and Sturla (onshore wave spot), and with my wave trifin (at Imperia, sideon wave spot) and at Andora, again, without noticing big differences of behavior.
To make it more or less powerful, I almost always acted on the outhaul, sheeting or easing at the need, while I seldom acted on the downhaul, apart from the only time I found myself so overpowered, that I was forced to to add a couple of cms to the extension. In this case, it lost a bit of profile in the high panels, without having any major problems of stability.
In short, a sail that I liked without reservations, powerful when necessary, but not nervous, and above all very well balanced.
Perhaps the only thing that I would have slightly lowered is the list price, which, despite being in line with other prestigious sailmakers, could in my opinion be slightly reduced, since the sail has maintained the same design for some years; that would have allowed it to conquer another big slice of the market.
We thank Giancarlo Bertacco and his wife Nuccy, for the kind concession of some of the photos of this article.
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A video, shot by Nuccy, taking Max at Andora, in action with the Simmer Blacktip 2018.