Windsurfing wave sails must satisfy many requirements at the same time, to offer the best performance in waveriding, and in jumps, and also in the short rides, when you have to go upwind. In this article, we summarize some results of the tests done by the french magazine Windmag on 14 new 2020 items.
Windsurfing: 2020 wave sails tests
A wave sail must allow you to position yourself in the best way to pass the breakers, and to go back to the lip; it must allow you to accelerate when you want to jump, but it also must let you forget it, to waveride freely, and to provide the necessary thrust in key moments. It must offer a wide range of use, and must also be able to resist some wipe-outs among the waves.
Typically, it is a sail used in combination with multifins wave boards, but sometimes it is also loved by riders, who intend to match it with freewave boards, or, even, freeride, to ride in strong winds.
The models tested are 14, and are as follows:
- Duotone Super Hero 4.5,
- Gaastra Manic 4.7,
- Goya Sails Banzai Pro 4.2,
- Goya Sails Fringe Pro 4.5,
- Gunsails Seal 4.5,
- Loftsails Purelip 4.7,
- Loftsails Wavescape 4.7,
- Nash Sails Force Four 4.5,
- Neil Pryde Combat Pro HD 4.7,
- RRD Compact Vogue 4.6,
- Severne Blade 4.7,
- Severne S-1 4.8,
- Simmer Style Blacktip Legacy 4.5,
- S2 Maui Dragon 4.6.
Duotone Super Hero is, without a doubt, one of the market references among modern wave sails. It is a multi-purpose sail, for all conditions, without asking too many questions. It combines general effectiveness with homogeneous behavior, for a very wide field of use, offering both the necessary thrust and freedom of movement, depending on the need.
Also the Gaastra Manic is a market reference among wave sails. It is ultra-versatile, ideal for both jumping and surfing at the highest levels, in all conditions. Its control and its very wide field of use also make it very performing in Bump and Jump sessions, in strong winds.
The Gaastra IQ 4.4 is super light and very fun. It is ultra handy, whithout sacrificing its effectiveness. It is a sail exclusively dedicated to surfing, jumps and tricks. It is not ideal for sailing on straight rides.
Goya Banzai Pro is direct and responsive sail, very similar to the previous year version. It still gains a bit in tolerance, and in softness, but still remains a market reference, especially for tonic riders.
The Goya Fringe Pro, in short, is a sail for pure waveriding, ideal for those who want to ride only shortly on straight line, just the necessary to regain water, and catch the next wave. In surfing it becomes completely neutral, and makes the rider completely free. It is characterized by a smoother and more comfortable style than the Banzai; it is certainly an interesting choice for side-off spots, for light riders, or for those who prefer surfing performances to the general effectiveness of the sail.
Gunsails offers a new Seal model significantly improved in terms of handling and reactivity; it proves even more pleasant and effective in the waves, on modern boards. It still gains in versatility, with a field of use that remains very wide.
The Loftsails Purelip is an always appreciable sail, oriented to control and stability. It is a clear reference in the allround sector in wave sails, allowing you to alternate sessions among the waves, and Bump and Jump sessions, with a wide field of use, and a very homogeneous behavior.
Loftsails Wavescape takes up the quality of the models of previous years, which have determined its success. It is a good modern wave sail, for active riders who want to jump, and surf at their best.
The Naish Force is a sail very different from all the others, but it is really fun in straight lines, and does not lack in strengths. Powerful, playful, ultra easy to handle and light in your hands, it remains versatile to explore a wide spectrum of conditions, both in radical wave sessions and in Bump and Jump.
The Neil Pryde Combat, tested here in the pro HD version, is a sail highly appreciated for its lightness, its reactivity, and its dynamism. Its versatility and its ability to be effective in both jumping and surfing, in all conditions, are no longer to be demonstrated. It always remains a reference for the category.
RRD offers a very interesting and innovative Compact Vogue. It shows clear progress this year from the point of view of balance, and profile stability, but also in terms of finishes.
The Severne Blade does not lose pace this year, and excels in general performance, control, handling, in a wide field of use, being able to cover all types of conditions that wave spots offer, and even freeriding sessions (for the record, the measures range from 3.0 to 6.7). It is designed for riders looking for a comfortable, light and high-end sail.
The Severne S-1 does not betray its reputation, and this year it is hyper light and ultra easy to handle. It is an excellent modern sail, effective in all conditions. It is very comfortable: we recommend it to medium-low weight riders, while the Blade is recommended for heavier weights, since the S-1 deforms a lot under stress. The Severne Blade was also the subject of a specific test done by the Waterwind testers: click here to read our review.
The Blacktip Legacy proved to be a very good wave sail, with all the qualities to exploit a very wide range of conditions in waveriding. The Legacy version responds to the need to better withstand stresses and hits, but the Windmag testers also recommend the classic version, which is already well built, and which offers a more direct, and more homogeneous feeling that will satisfy the most demanding waveriders, in the spots who are working in best conditions (the Legacy version is less nervous, and feels lighter in your arms).
Finally, the S2 Maui offers a very good Dragon, a modern wave sail more oriented to waveriding than the average. Its control and lightness are particularly appreciable. It has, though, a limited power.
In conclusion, the sails were compared with respect to 5 types of performances: glide start, efficiency, field of use, handling, neutrality.
As for the planing start, the best of all is the Neil Pryde Combat. The other sails are more or less equal, and at a medium level, except for the Goya Fringe, the Loftsails Purelip, the S2 Maui Dragon which are less performing in this respect (less powerful).
As for the general performance, the Goya Banzai and the Severne Blade are the best, followed, at a short distance, by all the others, with the exception of the Fringe, the Naish, and the RRD which offer a lower overall performance.
As for the field of use, the best are the Loftsails Purelip and the Severne Blade; all the others are only slightly lower. The Goya Sails Fringe, the RRD Compact, and the Severne S-1 appear to have a less wide field of use.
As far as handling is concerned, most of the sails are extremely easy to handle; the Goya Banzai, the Loftsails Wavescape, the RRD, the Severne Blade, and the Simmer Style are slightly less handling than the others, and the Loftsails Purelip is even something less than the other models.
Finally, as regards neutrality, the Goya Sails Fringe, and the S2 Maui Dragon are superior to all the others, which, however, offer only slightly lower performances, and are ompletely equivalent to each other.
The choice of testers fell upon the Duotone Super Hero, on the Gaastra Manic, on the Goya Sails Banzai, and, as already mentioned, on the Neil Pryde Combat Pro HD.
Have a good choice, and riding. Fabio Muriano
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