DUOTONE SUPER HERO 5.0M
2020 TEST REVIEW
Retaining its rider-focussed pull position, there’s real crispness and precision to the 2020 Duotone Super Hero’s handling, which combined with a super smooth and dynamic power delivery, makes it a doyen of the wave riding arena.
With the sweeping curve to the radial load stripe through its upper panels, the Superhero has had a visual facelift for 2020, disguising an otherwise iterative evolution of last year’s popular design. The main hallmarks of the concept are still very much present, such as the ‘free centre’ with extra spacing between batten three and the foot batten, aimed at providing lighter, more reactive handling. To counter any lower leech flutter that may occur as a result, there’s the ‘hollow’ outline and additional mini-battens in place. Duotone also continue with their iRocket 2.0 torx-head battens for 2020 – factory calibrated, tensioned and glued so that you don’t need to fuss – just rig the sail and go. This test version is the standard Super Hero, available in two colourways, with berry red or turquoise ‘X-ply Plus’ in its upper panels. There is also an HD version, with white X-ply Plus upper panels and a x-ply window … or if you really want to treat yourself, there’s the M.Plus Super Hero – a membrane version that is said to reduce physical weight by up to half a kilo. Build quality and detailing are exemplary as always, with a durable Tri-ply laminate in the foot panel and longstanding features such as the ‘Dura Luff Patch’ still in place (Dacron strips sandwiching the x-ply luff panel next to the boom cutout, to prevent unwelcome creases and material fatigue).
“Super Hero is THE ultimate wave sail which always performs optimally in all wave conditions around the globe. The perfectly balanced sail is the personal favourite of PWA Wave double world champion Victor Fernandez and is a real World Cup asset that is designed specifically for wave usage.”
Rigging the Super Hero on a 400 cm Platinum RDM, it is easy to downhaul and set, the visual trimming marks in the top panel helping to provide guidance. Forcing relatively little luff curve into the leading edge, the battens retain plenty of rotation around the mast, the sail exhibiting some depth and shape forward in its draft at rest. On the water, the Super Hero reminded us why we got on with it so well last year, its centre of effort low and focussed back, around the rider. In marginal winds, the power comes on progressively as the belly of the sail swells, the flex and tangible life in the mast helping to coerce the board from the water. Power delivery is soft and forgiving, but if anything its handling is more crisp and precise than we recall, as if you can almost locate the position of pull on the tip of a pin. Accelerating effortlessly, the Super Hero has an engaging nature, its leech taut whilst planing, as if the whole sail and its panels are put to use, relying on the flex and quality of the mast to twist and respond to gusts and lulls. It is a positive, involving experience and one a rider can learn to love and utilise to their advantage. Comfortably locked-in on the way out, the Super Hero’s rider-centred power really comes into its own whilst riding waves, the low balanced drive through both hands suiting different riding styles and board types. Drive hard through the front foot, or stamp aggressively through the back foot, the soft and fluid power delivery means that it’s always there and available should you wish to avail of it. And if the wind increases beyond that of the sail’s excellent natural range, there is the safety of an extra bit of tuning range to secure a respectable top-end stability.
Luff: 408 cm
Boom: 167 cm
Ideal Mast: Duotone 400 cm RDM
Available Sizes: 3.0, 3.4, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.7.
Price: £659 | HD £699 | M.PLUS £1089
Other boards in this test:
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