The Loftsails Wavescape 2018 is a 4 battens wave sail, which immediately aroused in us positive impressions: a light, stable and powerful sail, with a wisely robust construction.
Windsurfing, sails test: Loftsails Wavescape 4.2 2018
Sail area: 4,2 m2
Luff: 370 cm
Boom: 162 cm
N° of battens: 4
Weight: 2.97 kg
Rec mast: 340 (extension: 30 cm)
The sail has been purchased at ZZsurf shop in Italy, together with its dedicated mast. At first glance, the sail appears light and reasonably robust.
The tissue it is made with (X-Ply) has a medium texture, which ensures good robustness, and, in part, explains the behavior of the sail in the water (see later). The base mast sleeve is rather protected. The sail head has a tip that fits into the upper mast edge, and not a cap that fits around mast edge. Personally, I prefer the cap, because the tip, at the sea, tends to get stuck in the mast edge, if sand is around.
The sail is rigged with a reccomended 340 cm rdm mast, that is, a short one, and not with a 370, like many other 4.2 sails. This aspect is also decisive for the performance in water, described below. Together with its LOFTSAILS VISION RDM C75 340 cm mast, it forms a really light ensemble. The mast (which has a relatively subtle wall - resistance over time in case of significant stresses in wave spot should be assessed with a long lasting test) has an incredible weight of only 1.31 kg (checked with precision balance). The sail weighs just about 3 kg (also verified).
The sail trimming is quite simple. It requires 30 cm of extension, and you have to sheet the downhaul completely, without thinking to any particular regulation of this feature. The sail, so trimmed, will not have a particularly loosen leech, and this has made us think that it is a sail, designed for wave conditions, but with the idea of allowing hybrid freestyle/wave sessions, and to realize the most recent maneuvers of modern freestyle. In any case, the wind range managed by the sail can be extended using the two clew eyelets. And, in fact, to better manage the slight overpowering during the session test at Garda Lake, I rigged the sail by fixing the boom edge to the lower eyelet.
Test in the water
It must be said that the sail has always been tested with its raccomanded LOFTSAILS VISION RDM C75 340 cm mast, in order to make the test more reliable. The sail was tested in the spots of Le Brusc (France), with wind at 30 knots, in bump and jump conditions, in Bordighera (Liguria, Italy), with long waves of about 1 meter, but, unfortunately, with good wind only for half an hour, and at Prà de la Fam (Lake Garda), still in bump and jump conditions, with high quality wind.
At Le Brusc, the wind was of the right intensity for sail size. The first thing we noticed is that the sail, in gusts, or when it is pumped to keep or start planing, responds in a very progressive and gradual manner. It does not apply the rider any sudden strenght at all, does not cause sudden acceleration, and is very balanced all in all (note also that the sail was tested with a Fanatic Quad 87). And yet, the wavescape takes you quickly, almost without you get aware of it, at top speed for the intensity of the wind. The lightness and neutrality of the sail clearly emerges also while riding, when it gives the sensation of having a very easy motor to control in your hands.
But it is above all at Prà de la Fam that we have been able to test sailing properly, in almost three hours of session, with an average wind of 30 knots (again with the Fanatic Quad 87, set, this time, like Twinzer). We were a little overpowered (gusts well over 30 knots).
The sail, at Prà, has confirmed, and even further improved, the excellent impression, that we've already got in France, and I must admit that I was a bit biased against it at the beginning, for the lesser brand fame. The sail is really very neutral and light, and it is really a pleasure to handle while riding. It seems to us that the panels with a wide texture, are a wise compromise to give strength, without too much affecting the weight of the sail. The combination of the total X-Ply fabric construction and the rdm 340 mast, which guarantees an excellent reflex, is the winning mix that explains the balance and the neutrality of the sail. Also the boom size (162 cm), and the aforementioned unloosen leech, contribute to the gradual power feeling that the sail gives while riding, but also to the smooth response, under burst.
In conclusion, the Loftsails Wavescape proved to be a pleasant surprise: a powerful, neutral and light sail, with an excellent quality-price ratio.