LOFTSAILS WAVESCAPE 5.7 2022 TEST REVIEW
The Wavescape offers on-off power across an impressive wind range, with more bottom end power than its appearance might have you believe. Its delivery is balanced and defined, put to best use by the pro-active manoeuvre-oriented rider.
With Loftsails adopting a two-year life cycle, we decided to swap the position of their manoeuvre-oriented sails in the tests for 2022, to avoid any repetition. The Purelip was reviewed in the 5.0m wave sail test, so it’s now the turn of the Wavescape in this crossover sail test – one of only two 4-batten sails in this review. Classed as their ‘Manoeuvre Wave’ offering, it was revised last year, with a higher aspect ratio and shorter boom length, intended to provide a more compact nature with improved handling. X-ply of varying weights are used exclusively in the Wavescape’s panels to ensure the sail’s integrity to cope with the most inhospitable environments, and there is certainly a lot of thought gone into its form, with a real finesse to its finish. The fully opening tack fairing, for example, just oozes quality, as does the double Dacron head panel to mitigate damage whilst rolling the sail. From head to toe and without a blemish in the panel between, the Wavescape maintains Loftsails’ reputation for high-quality engineering and competence. Rigged on a Team Edition RDM, it sets with a moderate to high amount of luff curve, the amount of downhaul tension recommended clearly marked with the ‘trim diamond’ in the upper panel. The resultant set is a super flat profile, with no rotation left in the battens and plenty of visible room for movement in the luff sleeve. The leech falls away significantly along its length and there are other hints as to the amount of wind the Wavescape can handle, with large mini-battens spaced evenly between their full-length counterparts, coupled with a concave-scooped outline between each batten for good measure. Available in two striking colourways, green (as tested here) or fuchsia, it is certainly designed to stand out on the water.
“Powerful going out, but quick and agile coming back in, the 4-batten Wavescape is the ultimate Loftsails design for fluid wave expression!”
Being so flat at rest, it was no surprise that the Wavescape felt light and balanced in the hands initially. What was surprising was the amount of bottom end power it is actually capable of producing, albeit it takes an active riding style to make best use of it. There is a good amount of movement bestowed by the play in the luff sleeve, which is reinforced and amplified by the stretch in the Dacron luff panel. Using less downhaul tension than the visual aid recommends, combined with the use of the upper clew eyelet, the Wavescape has a very pumpable nature. The mid-leech is connected and the elongated third batten means there is plenty of sail area above the boom to provide the feedback and punch to get the board released. Once going, the Wavescape remains balanced and easy, the centre of effort high and forward in the draft, encouraging the rider into an upright, manoeuvre-oriented stance. The power is smooth yet precise, the Dacron luff panel providing some softness and breathability until the elastic limit of this pre-determined movement is reached, awarding the sail with a crisp and defined delivery style. It makes for wonderful on-off capabilities, allowing the Wavescape to be used to great effect in transitions, and manoeuvre environments. As the wind increases, re-applying the downhaul to open the leech and dropping to the lower clew eyelet as desired, confirms the Wavescape has one of the best top ends in this group, despite its lack of a fifth batten. Even in the most challenging conditions, its stability is assured, providing both the dependability and confidence to keep pushing.
LOFTSAILS WAVESCAPE 5.7 2022 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 448 cm
Boom: 176 cm
Ideal Mast: Team Edition 430 cm RDM (SDM)
Available Sizes: 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.4, 5.7, 6.2.
OTHER SAILS IN THIS TEST