READY FOR ANYTHING
6.0m Crossover sail test 2014
Crossover sails probably have the most demanding brief of all brands’ development programs.
As the clichéd ‘Swiss Army Knife’ rig of choice, they have to, in the 6.0 range, ideally, span wave use – probably in more moderate wind, onshore environments – be fast enough to enjoy some drag-racing and bump and jump action, (most likely as a change-down size for inland sailors), have enough manoeuvrability to enjoy some freestyle – as well as being a sensible and popular choice for entry-level freeriders.
That’s a tough call so it’ll come as no surprise that there is a little bit of a spectrum ranging from the blastier, more freeride-oriented end to genuine onshore wavesailing powerhouses.
This test was originally published in the July issue.
TRENDS – WHAT DID WE FIND?
Well, compared to recent seasons we reckon this category has seen a massive increase in the upper end of the wind ranges. On this trip we were more than happy in over 30 knots of wind on 105L FSW boards, which equated to a effective wind range of 14-33 knots. That’s not a ‘we could hang on in 33 knots’ statement. We’re talking excellent control and comfort in most cases. Considering some of these sails are more expensive than others, it’s worth bearing in mind that you definitely need less of them these days so budget can arguably be less of an issue than in the past. Bear in mind though that all our test findings are only relevant and in context of what else we had on the beach at the same time. If a sail isn’t the earliest planer in this group for example, it doesn’t mean it’s not got good low-end, it’s just that we can only state what its performance is like compared to what else we were trying on the same days in the same conditions.
PRINCIPAL TEST TEAM
James Randall 70 kg. Med. Height.
Julian Da Vall 83 kg. 1.95 Tall.
Toby Gibson 87kg. 1.90 Tall.
Brian McDowell 100 kg. 1.90 Tall.
Thanks also to: Kevin Salmon 85kg & Kevin Pijl 70kg.
WHICH ONES SHOULD YOU BUY?
FOR BLASTING AND SPEED: The Vandal Addict, Severne Gator and the NeilPryde Fusion are probably your best bet in a drag race.
MANOEUVRABILITY: A tough call in this multipurpose category but the North Volt, Attitude Source, Severne Gator, Gaastra Cross and Pryde Fusion stand out as the most throwabout picks.
GENUINE WAVE PERFORMANCE: The compact Attitude Source, RRD Move, Simmer Iron, Severne Gator and, to some extent. the Naish Moto will all serve well in cross-on wave environments.
WIND RANGE: The widest overall range came from the Naish Moto, Gaastra Cross, North Volt and Severne Gator. For bottom end grunt it’s the Simmer Iron, Goya Nexus and Gaastra Cross that will power the big boys, wider boards and deal with current and patchy wind best.
BUILD QUALITY: The Naish Moto, Pryde Fusion and Severne Gator both display the techiest materials in the lightest packages. At the budget end of the scale the Attitude and Ezzy will be hard to beat too. For techy, cutting-edge materials it’s Pryde and Naish that stand out most.
EASY RIGGING: The straight-luffed Ezzy and the Vandal are probably the easiest to assemble without breaking into a sweat!
VALUE FOR MONEY: There’s the most bang for your buck in the Attitude, Vandal, Point-7 and Ezzy.
FOR ENTRY-LEVEL USE: The Point-7 HF and the Vandal Addict are hard to beat.
FOR HEAVYWEIGHTS: The Gaastra Cross, Severne Gator, Simmer Iron and Goya Nexus will haul your ass best.
FOR LIGHTWEIGHTS: The Vandal Addict and the Point-7 are probably best for ladies, kids and lightweights.
SOMETHING NEW & DIFFERENT: Naish have produced a unique feel with the ‘Fusion’ construction used in the Moto. The Dacron skin is nice and flexy but the frame is well tensioned and locked. You have to try one to experience it!
THE BENCHMARKS: This large group makes it a tough call. If a new crop launched on the market tomorrow, we’d probably take the Severne Gator as the most representative of this selection to measure them by. A sort of ‘Desert Island’ sail if you like. That said, we all liked the Moto’s unique feel. However, nobody would complain if they were given the Attitude for Christmas. Darn it we’d like them all for Christmas! Amongst the various size testers the Ezzy, Gaastra and RRD were all very popular across the board too.
* Also consider: Tushingham submitted their long-standing Storm to this test but have since released the Bolt, a line that changes throughout the sizes to suit most conditions in any given wind strength. We aim to find out the wave credentials of the 5.5 on our upcoming wave sails test trip.
Read on and see which ones stir your burn and turn juices!
Special thanks to Harry Nass Centre Dahab, F-Hot/Dave White for the loan of their mast mounts, I Love Meet and Greet Airport Valet Parking Services and North Sails for adjustable outhauls for our test rigs.