Freeride sails without cambers are the perfect engine for those who love medium-long rides, full planing, with their windsurfing board. In this article we summarize the results of the tests conducted on thirteen 2020 models by the riders of the well-known French magazine Windmag.
Windsurfing, test: 2020 freeride sails
The tests were published in the March 2020 issue of the french magazine, which we invite you to purchase for all the details and for further information. Read also the article on the 2020 freewave boards, and the one on the 2020 freeride boards.
Freeride sails, without camber, offer stability and freedom of movement. The sizes that were tested, around 6.7 square meters, have 6 or 7 battens.
The 2020 models range from freeriding initiation sail, to cruising sail, and up to sails with more freerace oriented profiles. We highlight that Windmag testers particularly recommend these sails without cambers, since, after many years, they have convinced themselves that they are the right sails to satisfy their desire to glide without stress, and in complete freedom.
During the tests, the sails were associated with boards ranging from 90 to 150 liters; they were freeride, freerace, freewave, or foil boards, in wind conditions from 12 to 25 kn, and with a flat or choppy water surface. The test spots were: Almanarre (Hyeres), Le Brusc, Saint Syr sur Mer, in Southern France.
The sails tested were 13:
- Duotone E_Pace 6.6,
- Gaastra Matrix 6.7,
- Goya sails Mark 6.6,
- Gun Sails Rapid 6.7,
- Gun Sails Stream 6.4,
- Loftsails Oxygen 6.8 HD,
- Naish Sails Noa 6.4,
- Naish Sails Sprint 6.4,
- Point 7 AC-X 6.5,
- RRD Fire 6.8,
- S2 Maui Banshee 6.4,
- Severne NCX 7.0,
- Simmer V Max 6.6.
The Duotone E_Pace 6.6 is a deeply modified model compared to the previous freeride version of this brand (E_Type). It expands its field of use and becomes modular (more trimming choices). The larger sizes gain stability and performance; the smaller sizes are designed for foil riding, in the light wind. Particular attention must be paid to the trimming to make the most of the full potential of this chameleonic sail.
Despite a redesigned shape, the Gaastra Matrix retains its accessibility character. It is a lively sail, but at the same time, it's reassuring, and easy to use, with a very good overall performance. Thrifty as for reactions, the Matrix is a 100% freeride sail for recreational use, without having to be an expert.
The Goya Sails Mark has a sporty character not only for its nervous behavior, but also for the abundance of sensations generated. It is aimed at a rider looking for emotions, both in a normal freeride session, and in case it is matched with a freerace board.
Gunsails Rapid shows a good boost in navigation, and good overall performance. It is a freeride sail. It is simple to trim, light, performing, with a very competitive price. It is comfortable with both a freeride board, and a freerace board.
The Gunsails Stream has a sportier behaviour. It is the freeride sail par excellence; from price to behavior, this sail is accessible, perfect for smooth sailing. Why complicate your life? The Stream is a fun engine for free gliding. It can also be enjoyed with a modest technical level, but is also appreciated by experts, for its simplicity.
Loftsails Oxygen is renowned for its wide field of use, and for the harmony of its reactions. In the HD version, with an SDM mast, it offers a very effective yield. Loftsails Oxygen provides a pleasant glide without surprises, with reassuring navigation and constant thrust. The HD construction softens an already very conciliatory design. It is slightly bulky, before getting the glide. Slightly uninspiring for experts.
The Nash Sail Noa is a sporty model, for a competitive rider, who is looking for explosive riding. It is however an accessible freeride sail, which offers good overall performance, without becoming a race sail. It is located in the heart of the group of freeride sails without camber. It will ideally match with a slightly nervous freeride board, or it will make a classic freeride board perform well. However, it has a rather high price.
The Nash Sails Sprint is a model designed for those who are preparing to take their first steps in funboard. Its design is simple, and its behavior is more reliable, to reassure, to trust, and allow progressing. It is ideally matched with a large freeride board, for initiation or progression, and for beginner or occasional freeriders, who will appreciate it for the sweetness of the reactions, and for its ease of use. Too simple for experts.
The Point 7 is a truly freerace oriented model. It is aimed at a fierce windsurfer, passionate about slalom, who is looking for performance without having to choose a camber model. The AC-X is the ideal alternative to experience the thrills of slalom typical speed. It goes well with a sports freerace board, or even with a slalom board. It is too nervous for the beginner.
The RRD Fire is not a complicated sail, but still offers good overall performance. It matches with a sports or freerace/freeride board. It generates speed without much to do. This particular will be appreciated by those who like to go relatively fast, without having to suffer physically. It offers a good thrust but without too much stress. Negative side: the price.
The S2 Maui stands out for its simplicity. It's light and docile: 6.4 is managed as a smaller size. It offers constant propulsion and simple gliding. Simplifies learning, and freeride practice, without too much technique. It is less suitable for strong wind conditions.
The Severne NCX excels for its typically sporty behaving. It is ultra effective, with excellent hold in the strong wind, and offers excellent overall performance. It guarantees active and dynamic sailing. It goes well with a freerace board. It will seduce performance lovers for the sensations it can offer and its speed.
Finally, the Simmer V Max offers sporty sailing, especially as the wind gets stronger. It may surprise non-experts for its power excess. An experienced and unleashed freeracer, or a heavy rider will appreciate its performance, and his great drive. It is ideally coupled with sporty boards.
In a few words, the Naish Sprint offers simple navigation, for its lightness and tolerance. The S2 Maui also offers gentle, stress-free, and comfortable sailing. The Gaastra Matrix is also quite simple in navigation, with a constant thrust, without surprises. The Gunsails Stream is also very accessible, at the heart of the freeride category. The Naish Noa allows freeride sailing a little more dynamic, but always in control. Loftsails Oxygen has a large field of use, and an effective boost, but rather passive navigation. The RRD Fire 6.8 represents the real turning point of this group, starting to show a good performance, but still with an autopilot. Gunsails Rapid offers performance, and simplicity for a rider, who starts looking for a bit of emotion. The Duotone E_pace has a slightly sportier performance. The last 4 sails are characterized by a freeride behavior more oriented towards freerace. Goya gives endless accelerations, both on short and long rides. The Simmer V Max is coupled with a performing board, giving lots of power. The Severne NCX is explosive, and is reserved to a rider who loves challenges on the water. Finally, as already mentioned, the Point 7 has a slalom profile, which will appeal to speed and sporting sailing specialists.
Finally, the sails were compared with respect to the following 5 types of performances: gliding start, power, holding in the strong wind, easy handling, overall performance.
As for the planing start, the best are the Loftsails Oxygen, the Severne NCX and the Simmer V Max; the Goya Sails, the S2 Maui folow. The other sails are of a lower level, with the Nash Sails Sprint showing lower performance than all the others.
As far as power is concerned, the most powerful sail is undoubtedly the Simmer V Max, followed, at a certain distance, by the Goya Sails Mark, the Loftsails Oxygen, the Point 7 AC-X, and the Severne NCX. The other sails are lower, in particular, the Gunsails Stream, the Naish Sails Noa, and the Nash Sails Sprint.
As regards holding in the strong wind, the best sails are the Naish Sails Noa, the Point 7 AC-X, the Severne NCX, and the Simmer V Max. At a certain distance, the Duotone E_Pace, the Goya Sails Mark , the Goya Sails Rapid follow the previous ones; the other sails are inferior, from this point of view, with the Naish Sprint, and the S2 Maui, which are the least performing in this respect.
As for handling, the best sail is the Naish Sails Noa, followed, at a certain distance, by the Goya Sails Mark, the Gunsails Stream, the S2 Maui, and the Simmer V Max. The other sails are less manageable, in particular Gunsails Rapid, and above all Loftsails Oxygen.
Finally, as regards general performance, the best sails are the Goya Sail Mark, Point 7 AC-X, Severne NCX, and Simmer V Max, followed, a short distance away, by the Duotone, the Gaastra Matrix, and the Rapid Gunsails. The other sails are lower, with poorer overall performance, especially for the Naish Sprint.
The testers' preference fell upon the Goya Sails Mark, the Severne NCX, and the Point 7 AC-X.
Good choice, and good wind. Fabio Muriano
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