In this article, written by our Genoa tester, Max Rinaldi, we illustrate the test results of one of the most highly rated wave sails for windsurfing, available on the market, with 4 battens: the Severne S1 2020.
Windsurfing, test: Severne S1 4.4 and 4.0 2020
Editor's note: we thank Giampiero Venè, Italian distributor, and Claudio Saponiero, owner of the store Radikal in Genoa (Severne dealer) for the cooperation. We also thank Rossella Bozzano for kindly giving her permission to publish some of the pictures of this article.
After telling you about the S1 Pro 2019 (read review), here I am, talking about this Severne S1 2020, 4 battens sail waveriding oriented, but which has proved excellent in all conditions. The sizes I have available are 4.0 (red) and 4.4 (white).
I could have written this test a few months ago, but I didn't want to be hasty in the conclusions, and above all I wanted to wait to use these two sails in Cape Town (read all the reports), in conditions more suited to their characteristics ...
At this point, back in Italy, I can say that I have "squeezed" them properly in the South African spots, and tested in all conditions, including extreme overpowering (often I would have needed a 3.3), as well as some sessions with wind a bit unstable.
The first thing that has struck me has been the sails lightness: 2.6 kg for the 4.0 and 2.7 kg for the 4.4.
The weight is slightly higher than the "pro" version (2.2 kg for the 4.0 and 2.4 kg for the 4.4), and considering the big difference in price with the "noble sisters", I would say that these two "girls" place immediately the first point in their favor.
As soon as they were unrolled, I immediately noticed the dacron panel along the mast sleeve which guarantees a more deep profile and a softer behavior in gusts. I had some doubts that this could have a negative impact on handling and stability in over-powering conditions, but fortunately I was quite wrong.
The cut of these S1 is substantially the same as the "Pro" version, and aesthetically they are very accurate and graphically beautiful.
I'm not going to dwell on the materials used such as eM3, eM4 and SpiderFibre, because I don't have enough "technical" notions to understand what they really are, in detail, but I can say that the sails really give the impression of great robustness, and as for weight reduction, just try to lift them for tangible proof ...
They are available in two colors: red and white: both beautiful, in my opinion the white color, in live situation, makes it even better than in the photo.
Inside the mast sleeve pocket you find the key to adjust the battens. Personally, I appreciated the writing of the boom lenght shown on the sail at the height of the clew (useful for those who, like me, always forget the measurements and trim by attempts).
They both need the 3.70 mast to be rigged (I did not use the original mast, but my MaverX 100%, which fits perfectly): the 4.0 with 4 cm of extension and 152 cm of boom, while the 4.4 with 21 cm of extension and 156 cm of boom. As measurements of the downhaul, I have always respected those given by the brand, working on the clew to have more or less power ... I used a couple of cm more, only on the 4.0 to sheet it hard, when needed...
Test in the water
Let's move on to the impressions of use when sailing with them.
I can say I am literally thrilled with these sails!
The staff of Waterwind.it advised me not to overdo in praising, but the truth is that I continue to find no defects, and, even in conditions of extreme over-powering, the 4.0 has behaved in an excellent way, while remaining very neutral and controllable, as far as possible, considering the conditions on the spot.
As already said, with 40 knots I would have needed a much smaller sail (and I'm already thinking of going back to Severne again for an S1 3.6, or even a 3.3), but I still managed to stay in the water more than expected with the 4.0, which, despite being sheeted hard, and made flat as a blade, continued to maintain the profile and remain neutral and maneuverable...
The 4.4 was the sail that I used the most, so far, and that gave me the greatest satisfaction ...
I used it for the first time, in my home spot in Genoa (Sturla), with a high but disordered waves and sirocco (i.e. SE) wind, and, after a few days, in Voltri (again in Genoa), with North wind (flat water, and freestyle conditions). On both occasions. I was stunned by how well the sail behaved, reactive and "light" at the same time ... Even in freestyle maneuvers, it does not deny its handling characteristics, giving the feeling of having nothing in your hands ...
As I said, I waited to pronounce on this sail, after having tried it in the South African spots, but, once again, in Cape Town waves, the result was fully satisfactory: both sails, even in waveriding, always remain very reactive and perfectly support the movements of the rider, allow you to enter the wave in a fluid way, and then regain power, once you arrive to touch the lip.
I'm not sponsored by Severne, believe me, but I really haven't been able to find fault with these sails; kidding, with my friends, I always said that it seems they have sewn them upon my specifications, because they actually have all the features that I have always wanted.
I conclude by saying that they absolutely did not make you regret the "pro" version, in fact in some ways they seem more versatile, especially in conditions of over-powering. The list price for the 4.4 is 697 euros, 10 euros less for the 4.0, which stands at 687 euros, I would say in line with direct competitors models from the most important sailmakers on the market. As for the Pro version, it takes 1097 euros for 4.0, and 1147 euros for 4.4 respectively. Below, we publish a photo in which the S1 Pro 2019, and the S1 2020 are compared. The differences appear in the window, and in the clew area.
In my opinion, therefore, considering the excellent performance and the large price difference, I believe that these standard S1 are the best choice between the two types of S1 ... unless you are Jaeger Stone (or you are a Waterwind tester ...)!
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