NAISH FORCE 5 5.7 2021 TEST REVIEW
The Force 5 is a very well-engineered and refined sail offering light handling and a crisp power delivery over an impressive natural range, with a definite leaning towards manoeuvre-oriented sailing.
The Force 5 is the sibling of the Force 4 tested earlier in the season, the number in the name predictably depicting the number of battens in the sail’s structure. The Force sails are two of three wave sails in the Naish lineup, the third being the Chopper MKII – an ultra-compact wave sail range with super short luff lengths. The Force 5 stems across eight sizes, from 4.0m to 6.2m and is described by the brand as the ‘Power Wave’ option, “designed for wave riders looking for extra power and control over a wide wind range.” This is the first time we’ve had a chance to test the Force 5 in a while and there are a few notable design features. Firstly, Naish use an integrated batten method, trademarking it as the ‘Equilibrium’ batten pocket system. The batten pockets are effectively produced by overlapping the neighbouring panels, said to improve rotation and reduce weight. There’s a ‘Carbon Airframe’ utilised, with carbon strands lined up along the sail’s main stress lines, for even load distribution, and a ‘partial Spectraview composite’ in the main window panel, providing clear visibility, surrounded by a catchily entitled X-166 scrim in the luff and upper panels, for lightweight and durability. Rigged on a RDM 100 mast, the Force 5 sets conventionally, the leech falling away progressively as more tension is applied, whilst the two lower battens maintain good contact with the mast at rest. With detailing such as abrasion pads and double stitching present, there is also a real sense that Naish haven’t overthought or overengineered aspects of their sails, the radial patch in the tack cleaning up the webbing of the optimally aligned roller, whilst the moulded tack fairing is straightforward and minimalist, if not a little stiff to roll open when new.
“The power makes it ideal for heavier riders, while the extended range and extra stability makes it the go-to sail for anyone looking for accessible power. It is also a great choice for high wind, flat water sailing, making the Force 5 stand out as the most versatile Naish wave sail.”
Light and balanced in the hands at rest, the Force 5 quickly generates power and useful feedback through the hands as a gust hits, the battens pulling away from the mast as the draft adopts a much deeper profile. With x-ply utilised in the luff panel, there’s an elastic limit, which, as soon as it is reached means the Force delivers crisp and punchy power. It also means the Force responds well to pumping, as if its energy is pushed and telegraphed directly to the board. Once going it adopts a poised upright stance, feeling light and crisp in the hands, ready for any command or order; it’s like a young obedient puppy, full of energy and ready to do its master’s bidding! The centre of effort is high, placed forward of the rider, pulling them over the board and into a manoeuvre-oriented position, yet offering light subtle feedback through the backhand. It’s not really a sail for locked-in blasting, although its natural wind range and balanced nature does mean that it is easy to use for long periods, without sapping energy from the rider. In a wave environment, the Force 5 really come into its own, striking the right balance between comfort and response for making the most of the variable conditions we find around UK shores.
Luff: 436 cm
Boom: 178 cm
Ideal Mast: Naish 430 cm RDM
Available Sizes: 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.7, 6.2.
OTHER SAILS IN THIS TEST
THE LINE UP