EZZY LION 7.5 2020 TEST REVIEW
Creating more power than most, pound for pound, the Lion provides constant dependable drive and balanced handling across a simply staggering wind range.
The Lion has been in the Ezzy lineup for many years, but has been revitalised this season with a coherent change seen throughout the brand’s range. Gone is the once ‘quintessentially Ezzy’ vinyl panel, replaced with a Dyneema reinforced window, said to increase stability and the sail’s energy-transfer efficiency. But just before you think that David has lost his way, your mind can be put at rest with the knowledge that there isn’t the slightest whiff of any monofilm in the Lion’s panels. X-ply and scrim are used throughout, each material carefully chosen according to the panel’s position and load requirement. Designed meticulously for practicality, and built robustly to last, the Lion has easily the narrowest luff sleeve in the test group, yet can be used with either RDM or SDM (an SDM cam pack is available for purchase, should you wish to use a wider mast diameter). Tested here on a Ho’okipa 460, it is rigged in a conventional manner, applying some downhaul and outhaul before opening the Velcro pockets and popping the cams onto the mast. The depth of the Lion’s profile never ceases to grab your attention, with shaping evident in the front of every batten bar the top one. And adjusting the downhaul tension according to the calibrated rigging guide in the tack, there is relatively little looseness exhibited along the leech, the tuning range in the outhaul proving far more extensive.
The Lion comes with 2 cams, but you can remove either the top or bottom cam to create a single-cam freeride experience. And you can even use the Lion without the cams—the flatter shape of the Lion without cams works great for learning to foil.
With its deep profile and reduced luff curve, the Lion feels bigger than its quoted sail area and generates a massive amount of bottom end grunt. Soft and flexible, it can be used to pump effectively onto the plane, before rocking back into a comfortable, secure stance. Set for marginal conditions, it is certainly one of the earliest to get going in the group, and pulls forcefully through prolonged lulls, providing balanced useable feedback through both hands. It can encourage the most stubborn platform onto the plane and will find particular favour with those riders that like to have a more positive, obvious power delivery to play with. It was also a real asset when foiling in marginal winds, the flex and response the Lion delivers during each pump helping to surge the board forward and kickstart the foil into action. As the wind increases, the Lion can be re-tuned with more tension in both downhaul and outhaul, softening the depth of the draft slightly, but more importantly halting any decay rearwards in the centre of effort’s position. And the beauty with the Lion is that you can keep this process going (playing the outhaul in particular), long after sails of similar size have been de-rigged in favour of their smaller siblings. There is a simply massive tuning range available in the Lion, providing hours of hassle-free cruising or blasting, whatever your preference or the conditions may be. Rock steady and dependable, its structure and balance are the stuff of legend, letting the rider concentrate on their own performance or that of the board. Used in an overpowered drag-race environment, it doesn’t have that slippery release or efficiency possessed by others in the group, reaching the limit of the acceleration it can feed into the board. That said, it requires far less input or energy to trim well and blast with, capable of covering great distances in comfort, its built-in softness allowing it to move harmoniously around the rider. And in transition, the Lion’s rotation is one of the smoothest in the group, the forward focussed camber helping to keep the board driving through the turn.
Luff: 476-479 cm
Boom: 204-212 cm
Ideal mast: Ezzy 460 cm RDM
Available sizes: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.5, 9.5
Other sails in this test:
THE LINE UP