GA MANIC 5.0M
2020 TEST REVIEW
Evolving into a real powerhouse of a sail, the GA Manic is larger than life. With a high pull position and a dependable manner, it thrives on being commanded by a confident riding style.
The Manic is classed by GA Sails as their ‘Hardcore Wave’ offering, sitting next to the ‘New school Wave’ IQ in their 2020 lineup. It is designed to cater for all wave environments, including what the brand are calling ‘Euro wave’ spots (which we assume refers to cross / onshore tight pocket style waves), right through to bump and jump coastal sailing. And while both the IQ and Manic are now predominantly 4-batten sails (in all but the Manic 6.2m), the distinction between their power and handling has been made ever more apparent in their marketing and promotion. There are certainly plenty of obvious upgrades in the Manic for the new season, from the new 2.5mil 2-ply scrim in the upper panels for lightweight handling, to the carbon stringers radiating up the sail from the clew, to improve structure and control. Detailing is up to the brand’s usual high standard, with integrated batten pockets, and various silicon anti-abrasion patches placed in vulnerable areas. Produced in a couple of colourways (this two-tone blue or an orange/yellow), the Manic is also available in a red HD construction, using x-ply scrim throughout its panels.
“One single sail to boost you into huge jumps, carve through bottom turns in onshore conditions and perform powerful cutbacks in down the line waves, the 2020 Manic is equipped with inimitable versatility.”
Rigged on a C100 400 cm RDM, the Manic sets with plenty of shape in its profile, both below the boom and higher up, around the main batten. There is relatively little luff curve in the leading edge, the leech in the upper panel falling away quickly, whilst the mid-leech remains relatively tight. On the water this pronounced shape in the Manic provides masses of bottom end grunt and punch. It feels big for a 5.0, yet settles into a powerful and committed stance – something the larger rider will instantly appreciate. The centre of effort is high yet relatively far back in the draft, providing constant feedback whilst feeling purposeful and dependable through both hands. The delivery is softened thanks to the play in the luff sleeve and Dacron luff panel, although the Manic doesn’t go soft or neutral as it is eased out, its deep profile manifesting in constant power and return. As the wind increases, so too should the tension in the sail to help maintain manners. With more extension applied than suggested, the leech opens and the draft flattens, yet the sail’s power still comes from a high rearward position, in line with the rider’s stance. As such, it demands a more commanding sailing style, locking the sail into position, where its power can be put to good use. It is certainly fast, the heavier or more assertive rider thriving on the energy the Manic provides, enabling them to actively charge at ramps or into transitions. It also means there’s the opportunity to get away with using a smaller sail area than normal, providing obvious manoeuvre advantages, as the Manic generates more power, pound for pound, than others. If you are looking for neutral on-off handling, look to the IQ in GA Sails’ range. For those that want constant dependable power coursing through both hands, the Manic is fit for purpose.
Luff: 411 cm
Boom: 170 cm
Ideal Mast: Gaastra 400 cm RDM
Available Sizes: 2.8, 3.3, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.4, 5.8, 6.2.
Price: £669 | HD £729
Other boards in this test:
THE LINE UP