fbpx Windsurf MagazineLOFTSAILS SWITCHBLADE 7.8

We use cookies to improve your experience. To find out more or disable the cookies on your browser click here.

AVAILABLE ON

LOFTSAILS SWITCHBLADE 7.8 2020 TEST REVIEW

07/01/2021
by

LOFTSAILS SWITCHBLADE 7.8 2020 TEST REVIEW

JC loft

THE VERDICT

The SwitchBlade continues to impress, offering a wonderful blend of power, control and performance over a simply massive tuning range.

OVERVIEW

With all the uncertainty and chaos that 2020 has suffered, it serves well to look for the positives, one of which is that some brands now have the very latest 2021 material available. And this Switchblade HD is just such a sail. Slightly shorter and certainly wider than its 2020 incarnation, it has turned green instead of blue for the new season and sports a slightly different panel layout, with a smaller window panel and one less mini-batten, hinting at less twist or looseness along the leech. Rigged on a Team Edition 460 cm RDM, it comes supplied with the required Reduced Tekcam2 cams as standard; the metal cam interfaces between batten end and camber (a feature unique to Loftsails) eliminating any failure or degradation over time. Opening the zippered cam pockets and applying enough tension to pop the cams on, the trim marker in the top panel provides clear guidance on the amount of tension to employ. The leech in turn plays its part and falls away … but not as far as we’ve come to expect from the SwitchBlade in the past, loosening to batten four, whilst the mid-leech remains relatively connected. Similarly, the depth of the sail’s profile is moderate, placed low and forward in the draft. Looking at the sail more closely, the build quality from head to foot is exceptional, with performance features such as x-ply on the integrated batten pockets and extensive use of tubed battens, to practical features, such as the large Velcro-opening on the moulded tack fairing, or the neoprene boom cutout closure. And durability is visibly considered too.

BRAND CLAIM

Freerace! The Switchblade is fast and easy for all… proven performance.”Monty Spindler.

 PERFORMANCE

With its high skin tension and defined structure, the SwitchBlade feels large and solid in the hands as you step on the board. Set with reduced tension, the sail’s mid leech is relatively tight, connecting the whole sail and making it feel as if every bit of area is generating power. It isn’t the softest or most breathable, but generates a useful amount of bottom end power, the centre of effort further back in the draft than many, focussed around the rider. Possessing the torque to power the most stubborn wide-bodied board, it accelerates rapidly as pressure builds, locking into a comfortable upright stance thanks to its low cut foot shape. As the wind increases, the full-bodied feedback delivered through the hands as the board travels over chop, means the rider is more than aware of the sail’s presence at all times. As such, we came in to apply more t

OVERVIEW

With all the uncertainty and chaos that 2020 has suffered, it serves well to look for the positives, one of which is that some brands now have the very latest 2021 material available. And this Switchblade HD is just such a sail. Slightly shorter and certainly wider than its 2020 incarnation, it has turned green instead of blue for the new season and sports a slightly different panel layout, with a smaller window panel and one less mini-batten, hinting at less twist or looseness along the leech. Rigged on a Team Edition 460 cm RDM, it comes supplied with the required Reduced Tekcam2 cams as standard; the metal cam interfaces between batten end and camber (a feature unique to Loftsails) eliminating any failure or degradation over time. Opening the zippered cam pockets and applying enough tension to pop the cams on, the trim marker in the top panel provides clear guidance on the amount of tension to employ. The leech in turn plays its part and falls away … but not as far as we’ve come to expect from the SwitchBlade in the past, loosening to batten four, whilst the mid-leech remains relatively connected. Similarly, the depth of the sail’s profile is moderate, placed low and forward in the draft. Looking at the sail more closely, the build quality from head to foot is exceptional, with performance features such as x-ply on the integrated batten pockets and extensive use of tubed battens, to practical features, such as the large Velcro-opening on the moulded tack fairing, or the neoprene boom cutout closure. And durability is visibly considered too.

BRAND CLAIM

Freerace! The Switchblade is fast and easy for all… proven performance.”Monty Spindler.

 PERFORMANCE

With its high skin tension and defined structure, the SwitchBlade feels large and solid in the hands as you step on the board. Set with reduced tension, the sail’s mid leech is relatively tight, connecting the whole sail and making it feel as if every bit of area is generating power. It isn’t the softest or most breathable, but generates a useful amount of bottom end power, the centre of effort further back in the draft than many, focussed around the rider. Possessing the torque to power the most stubborn wide-bodied board, it accelerates rapidly as pressure builds, locking into a comfortable upright stance thanks to its low cut foot shape. As the wind increases, the full-bodied feedback delivered through the hands as the board travels over chop, means the rider is more than aware of the sail’s presence at all times. As such, we came in to apply more tension and open up the leech further. We went beyond the trimming guide in the top panel, extending the looseness further down the length of the leech, without noticeably affecting the depth of the draft. The structure and twist profile of the SwitchBlade is excellent, and as with all Loftsails, its top end stability makes the sail a delight to use, when others have long since been exhibiting control issues. The draft certainly seems shallower than we recall of past incarnations, which has perhaps made the power delivery more subtle, yet improved the sail’s efficiency and natural range. Entering corners at speed, it feels incredibly dependable and secure, and whilst it doesn’t go as light mid-transition as some, the cams rotate smoothly from tack to tack, the power returning progressively rather than punching or pulling the rider’s stance out of shape.

ension and open up the leech further. We went beyond the trimming guide in the top panel, extending the looseness further down the length of the leech, without noticeably affecting the depth of the draft. The structure and twist profile of the SwitchBlade is excellent, and as with all Loftsails, its top end stability makes the sail a delight to use, when others have long since been exhibiting control issues. The draft certainly seems shallower than we recall of past incarnations, which has perhaps made the power delivery more subtle, yet improved the sail’s efficiency and natural range. Entering corners at speed, it feels incredibly dependable and secure, and whilst it doesn’t go as light mid-transition as some, the cams rotate smoothly from tack to tack, the power returning progressively rather than punching or pulling the rider’s stance out of shape.

VITAL STATS:

Size: 7.8

Luff: 490 cm

Boom: 218 cm

Battens: 7

Cams: 3

Ideal mast: Team Edition 460 cm SDM

Available sizes: 5.3, 5.8, 6.3, 6.8, 7.0, 7.3, 7.8, 8.5, 9.5.

PRICE: £899.00 HD: £949.00


Other sails in this test:

THE LINE UP

DUOTONE S_PACE 7.8 

EZZY LION 7.5 

GA SAILS PHANTOM 7.8 

GOYA MARK 2 7.8 

GUNSAILS EXCEED 8.0

POINT-7 AC-Z 7.8 

RRD X-WING 7.8 

SEVERNE OVERDRIVE M3 7.8 

SIMMER 2XC 7.8 


Back to overview page:


 

You must be logged in to post a comment.