GUNSAILS EXCEED 8.0 2020 TEST REVIEW
With range, manners and performance, the Exceed is a very easy sail to rig and get on with, and at this price, it simply can’t be ignored.
Replacing the Sunray for 2020, the Exceed has been developed by the Gunsails’ R&D team in Tarifa, Spain. Presenting seven sizes in half-metre increments (in all bar the largest size), the three smallest sizes are compatible with RDM or SDM, whereas the larger sizes (of which this 8.0m is one) are recommended solely for use with an SDM, to increase drive and range. Constructed mostly of monofilm in its panels, there’s a couple of thin x-ply luff panels, along with x-ply in the head and foot. But more interesting, in their literature, Gunsails disclose that there are Kevlar reinforcements used in the sail’s makeup to ensure its structure, stability … and longevity. Tested on a Select 100 SDM, it is straightforward to rig, the movement in the Dacron luff sleeve enabling the cam to be rolled onto the mast without the necessity of a cam pocket. Applying tension according to the brand’s F.R.E.D. tuning marker (present in the top panel), there’s a moderate amount of luff curve exhibited, whilst the leech falls away progressively to batten five. At rest, the sail’s profile displays a fair amount of depth, located forward in the sail’s draft. And whilst Gunsails price their products very competitively, there is certainly no let up in detailing, with all the features you’d expect of a modern sail included, such as beading along the length of both bottom battens, a padded tack fairing with pocket incorporated, and alternating battens to enhance the sail’s symmetry on both tacks.
The Exceed is the new freeride appearance in the GUNSAILS range. Whether on land or water, the handling of a camber sail has never been that easy. Nevertheless, it is packed with performance and unique windsurfing capabilities. Let’s Exceed your expectations!
Big and bold in the hands from the start, the Exceed is full bodied, and generates a good amount of crisp bottom end power. The centre of effort is located far forward in the draft, focussing the drive and blessing the sail with a degree of lightness and ease that belies its stated size. There is also some built in softness and breathability in the leading edge, encouraging the active rider to pump the sail, and making the desired feedback and response easily attainable. Once going, the Gunsails settles into a comfortable stance, the twist in the upper panels keeping the draft honest and forward facing, whilst the sail copes with gusts and lulls admirably. It wasn’t the most efficient in the test when racing upwind, yet pulls smoothly and consistently … but off the wind, the Exceed delivered an impressive and more competitive performance, accelerating through gusts and keeping the board pinned down superbly. In transition the size of the Exceed’s area above the boom is noticeable, yet the cams rotate smoothly and the pressure in the backhand gathers progressively, making it very sympathetic and manageable. And when the wind increases to challenge the Exceeds top-end stability, we couldn’t help but be impressed by the sail’s ability to adapt, the use of the low, inset clew eyelet significantly reducing the boom length and bestowing it with a more compact feel.
Luff: 487 cm
Boom: 206/215 cm
Ideal Mast: Gunsails 460 cm SDM
Available Sizes: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.5.
Other sails in this test:
THE LINE UP