LOFTSAILS PURELIP 5.7 2021 TEST REVIEW
Crisp, rider-focussed performance, the Purelip comes into its own when the conditions turn on, with incredible top end control and feel.
Emblazoned with the motif of ‘Hardcore Wave’, the Purelip and its forebearers have been a feature in the Loftsails lineup for more than two decades, rightly gaining great repute and a real following. And for the new season, there have been a good deal of changes made to the Purelip, firstly sporting a much more compact outline, with a shorter boom and luff length. Said to possess a higher aspect ratio, with more area in the upper panels, the leech outline has also been extended at the third batten, with the intention to provide a “smoother and more reactive power release during wave riding transitions”. Available in deep green or a bright pink livery, it is certainly designed to stand out, and is compatible with both RDM and SDM, for maximum practicality. The usual build quality is evident, including details such as a triple-reinforced foot panel, a Dacron head panel (for durability when rolled) and beading along the length of both sides of the bottom batten. New features for 2021 include a couple of radial tendons that start in the clew and stretch out across the x-ply window. There is no literature related to these by Loftsails, but we would guess that it is their intention is to partner the brand’s established Integrated Panel System (IPS) and strategically placed standing battens for increased stability and structure. Rigged on a Team Edition 430 cm RDM, the sail we had on test was a final sample, without some of the graphic detailing that will be present on the final products … and some additions too, such as two trimming guides in the top panel! Downhauling to set intuitively between the two, the leech falls away progressively, whilst all the battens pull away fully from the mast.
“The Purelip design provides pure wave performance and an enormous wind range.”
Flat and neutral at idle, the Purelip generates a subtle amount of bottom-end grunt in the hands. There is a fair amount of play in the luff sleeve, which helps the profile to deepen as pressure builds, yet it still relatively shallow, the sail’s high skin tension and high cut foot providing relatively little room for manoeuvre in the pumping stakes. We did play around with the downhaul tension and the drive can be improved in marginal winds by reducing the downhaul, which in turn tightens up the leech and makes use of the whole upper sail area. That said, it’s not really the desired set for the Purelip, and as the wind increases, we found ourselves returning to shore to re-apply the specified pressure through the downhaul. Once planing, the Purelip accelerates positively in the hands, feeling lively and crisp, with a precise rider-focussed centre of effort. It continues to gain speed through gusts, and feels incredibly balanced and alert, helping the rider to focus on their own performance, goals or tactics. The faster it goes, the lighter its handling and the more it instils the confidence to push. This is the same in transition, where the Purelip’s dynamic handling combines with its high cut foot and steadfast stability, enabling it to govern even the most erratic winds. There is certainly a lot of feel and response to the new Purelip, with more manoeuvre-bias than we recall of its immediate predecessor. And as with all Loftsails we’ve tried in the past, it has a simply stunning amount of top end stability, keeping its head and manners when others on similar sail sizes have long since changed down.
LOFTSAILS PURELIP 5.7 2021 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 446 cm
Boom: 176 cm
Ideal Mast: Team Edition 430 cm RDM/SDM
Available Sizes: 3.0, 3.4, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.2, 5.4, 5.7, 6.2.
Price: €819.00 / £729.00
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