HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE
7.5 – 8.0m Twin Cam sail test 2014
After taking a bunch of no-cam freerace sails (7.5s, see April 2014 issue), we questioned why anyone would want camber inducers on a recreational racing or fast freeride sail?
Offered as ‘de-tuned’ versions of brands’ no-compromise slalom machines, they’re designed to offer a little more user-friendliness and comfort that allow everyday windsurfers a chance to maximize their speed or dip their toes into the racing or GPS competition scenes.
Arriving in Tenerife to test these 7.8 twin cams, alongside full-on, cammed slalom racing sails and slalom and freerace boards (see May 2014 issue for reports, here and here), gave us the perfect opportunity to test the theory out. (Apart from the fact we should’ve brought the ‘benchmark’ no-cam sail for comparison, which in our opinion is the Severne NCX.)
This test was originally published in the June issue.
TO CAM OR NOT TO CAM?
Even without such a ‘control’ sail, after the first run-throughs on each sail we continued to think that twin cams may no longer have a place in our quivers – apart from maybe in sizes over 8.0m and for use in gusty locations, such as tree-lined lakes and other locations with a lot of holes and light, fluky wind.
But there is, once again – as we see in so many sail and board test categories – a real ‘scale’ of use, generally ranging from the powerful, deep, drafty, more-technical-to-sail end, stretching to a friendly, efficient – which can arguably be faster – nature at the other extreme. So what should a twin cam deliver then? This question certainly had us scratching our heads. We remember them always being actually quite tight-sleeved, easy to use and still quite manoevrable toys for use over 6.5m. More hours on the water soon began to throw up a few answers …
PRINCIPAL TEST TEAM
Chris Rainbow 75 kg. Med. Height
Julian Da Vall 83 kg. 1.95 Tall. Experience national and European-level racer.
Brian McDowell 100 kg. 1.90 Tall.
Thanks also to the various PWA pro sailors on hand in Tenerife who also lent a hand, showed us the best tweaks on their affiliated brands’ gear and gave opinion on boards and sails from rival manufacturers.
DRINK IN THE DRAFT
Primarily using the 110L freerace boards that are also reported on in this same (June) edition, we soon began to find that some of these twin cams are actually performance machines and, that, especially if you read the May issue slalom report findings, that there are some serious overlaps in range-of-use between these twins and some of the full-on racing machines, with some of them having, relatively speaking, quite deep sleeves and pretty full-on wind range and acceleration. That’s what cambers bring over the no-cam sails – that little extra boost in the dirty air and, of course, some vital glide through lulls and holes around the park. Can a no-cam bring that and the same wind range? No – and yes – respectively is the answer.
OK, so it’s fair to say we only really got to test the upper limits of this gear thanks to howling wind and a super challenging sea state in El Médano, Tenerife. The lightest wind we got in two weeks was about 18 knots and most of the testing was carried out in 20-30 knots! But it’s impressive how this group coped on the whole – another big plus for camber inducers.
Yes, yes, there’s never any outright winners – although we do generally reach consensus on ‘benchmark’ products that encapsulate a category and are what we’d judge next year’s gear or new entries to the market against. We’d like to start taking our benchmarks back out on trips with us to use as the yardstick of progress and the required standard. To help you sort out what’s best for you from the individual reports to follow this is what we found:
Comfy can be faster than pure power, but the Severne Turbo offers both. Light and medium weights will love the North S-Type too.
Best Entry-Level Racing Potential:
The Severne Turbo or Gaastra Cosmic.
Best Wind Range:
For low-end the Severne Turbo, Gaastra Cosmic and the Pryde Hornet. The Ezzy Lion also has a vast tuning range.
THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND
ABOUT THE TESTING
• We’ve tested individual models, NOT ranges, so have an open mind if it’s other sizes of the products we review that you’re considering.
Ezzy Lion and Simmer 2XC.
Easiest to Rig:
Ezzy Lion by a country mile.
Which Ones Would We Buy?:
For hassle-free, comfortable freeriding, the Ezzy Lion. To accessibly crossover into genuine racing/GPS performance the Severne Turbo or Cosmic. They’d both help you go straight into a top-end slalom board too. The North S-Type is also a
lovely ‘fingertip’ sailing product.
Absolutely everybody loved the Severne Turbo and we think it best bridges the gap between no-cams and full-on slalom sails – and can genuinely compete with many all-out racing models.
Special thanks to Tenerife Windsurf Solution (TWS) centre for hosting us – the best demo/hire centre in the world, F-Hot/Dave White for the loan of their mast mounts, I Love Meet and Greet Airport Valet Parking Services and windsurfingfins.co.uk for the loan of control fins and North Sails for supplying adjustable outhauls for our test rigs.