GUNSAILS HY-WING 5.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Solid dependable and powerful, the Hy-Wing’s unique handles take some getting used to, yet fail to detract from what is a very impressive first foray into winging from this long-established windsurfing brand.
“An all-round wing for all skill levels with immense wind range and stability. The HY-WING is super easy to handle and still develops a high level of performance. It is the perfect choice for the absolute beginner to those who are currently expanding the horizons of this sport.”
The Hy-Wing is Gunsails’ first offering for wing surfing and is available in three sizes, this 5.0m being the middle sibling. Supplied with a sturdy rucksack bag, pump, repair kit and elasticated webbing leash, it is inflated through a single airlock ‘bayonet’ valve, the centre strut self-inflating through a single connecting tube. The prescribed pressure is relatively high at 8 PSI, which combined with the leading-edge strut being medium to large in diameter, imparts the Hy-Wing with plenty of stability and form in its structure. There’s a defined vee to the leading edge, its planform being moderate to high aspect in relation to the rest, whilst at just 2.25 kg, it is one of the lightest wings on test here. Three long, decidedly loose, handles are available along the centre strut, complimented with two extra grab handles on the underside of the leading-edge, and we have to say build quality is excellent, with plenty of examples of attention to detail throughout.
Getting going on our initial outing with the Hy-Wing was very interesting, quickly exposing some of its unique features. The first detail to note is the handles – thin and incredibly loose, they are comfortable in the hands, but feel unlike anything else on the market. You have to learn to trust them and let the wing pull away from your hands, holding it as if suspended above you on lines. Light and free, it can then power up unhindered and certainly generates some good power, the stiff strut structure only impeded slightly by the loose canopy style whilst pumping. Once flying the Hy-Wing is very stable and comfortable, the large windows providing good visibility downwind, the long wrist leash offering plenty of length to switch hands easily during transition. It is also respectfully fast and powers well on all points of sail, including pointing well upwind. In transition, the dihedral geometry of the leading edge means the Hy-Wing rocks smoothly from one tack to the other mid-transition and powers up progressively so as to not upset the rider’s stance. It de-powers quickly as desired and whilst not the most balanced or stable in a parked position using the neutral handle, the centre strut handles are so loose and flexible that you can reach under and stabilise the wing by holding the foremost one. After a session, the Hy-Wing deflates slowly but surely, the air squeezing out of the boom strut through the tube from whence it came. Gunsails specify a fold position on the canopy via a graphic, so that the windows aren’t folded or compromised in the process. There’s a dump valve for quick pack down on a side strut to help roll the wing tightly, but perhaps an extra dump valve on the centre strut would help speed up the process further?
A real all-rounder, the Hy-Wing’s combination of a solid structure and loose canopy, give it the power range and stability to be suitable for all, from beginner to advanced. If we were to change one aspect of the wing, we’d tighten up the handles to provide more control and immediacy at the rider’s fingertips.
GUNSAILS HY-WING 5.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Weight: 2.25 kg
Canopy Style: Loose.
Recommended PSI: 8
Centre Strut Inflation: Single tube.
Handles: 3 long, 2 front strut.
Supplied with: Bag, pump, leash.
Available Sizes: 4.0, 5.0, 6.0.
OTHER WINGS IN THIS TEST