fbpx Windsurf MagazineNEIL PRYDE ATLAS 5.8M 2022 TEST REVIEW

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A standout sail, whose nature and power delivery style can be changed dramatically through tuning. If you’re prepared to invest time in getting to know the Atlas, you certainly won’t be disappointed.


The Atlas is Neil Pryde’s ‘Power Wave’ sail and has been totally redesigned for the new season. As with its sibling wave sails, the Combat and Zone, it features the brand’s new panel layout, with a high-density outer frame and a lightweight centre, using the brand’s reinforced rip-stop laminate ‘Ultra Scrim’ above a 5mil monofilm window. It also features the brand’s new Powerfuse 2.0 laminate layup, with interlocking radial pieces in the tack and clew that actually form the panel, rather than sitting on top (an exclusive technology for Pryde), and said to be stronger and slightly lighter than the original concept. The other new development is witnessed in the sail’s continuous luff panel, which uses another new material called Taffeta. This is a reinforced laminate designed to have the lightweight, spring and durability of x-ply, but the elasticity and forgiveness of Dacron. It is down to the inclusion of this new luff panel that Pryde are keen to promote the Atlas’s new cross-shore wave riding potential, whilst maintaining the power and drive for onshore conditions or heavier riders that it is known for. We’re testing the Pro version here, available in two colourways, and there’s an HD version available too, which incorporates a x-ply laminate in the window panel. Capable of being used on an SDM too, this 5.8m was tested here on a TPX100 RDM and had quite an interesting set. Whilst the luff length is quoted as 444 cm, we found it required around 4.0 cm more to achieve maximum set, pre-bending the mast and allowing the leech to twist off to achieve anyway near the outhaul/boom length determined in Pryde’s provided increments. There are no tuning visual aids provided, so it’s worth experimenting, but as with all Prydes, the set is wonderfully clean, the quality of finish and fittings clear to see.



“Back in the range, the Atlas offers a predictable, stable and friendly ride, ideal to use in onshore wave conditions. Early to plane, the Atlas is up and ready to get into the action with efficient, usable power at all times.”


Set for light marginal winds, the Atlas has a good amount of shape to its profile, with plenty of rotation in the lower battens (including batten three) and a connected leech with minimal looseness. Feeling light yet positive in the hands, it pulls from a high, forward position and is a real weapon for making the most of the gusts as they hit. The new Taffeta luff panel material looks and feels as if it exhibits plenty of skin tension, yet there’s definite flex and movement horizontally, the Altas’s draft filling to a much more purposeful shape as pressure builds. It also means the new Atlas has the breathability and response to be extremely effective at pumping – helping to force the release of the board from the clutches of the water. Once going, it settles into an upright and active stance. It definitely has a softer, more accommodating nature than a typically direct ‘power wave’ sail, yet there’s still a degree of intensity and energy to the feedback the Atlas provides. Its power is balanced and crisp, driving through lulls beautifully, before demanding the rider take command as more gusts arrive. The key to enjoyment with the Atlas is the willingness to play with its set. We found it had broad tuning capabilities, from a ‘float and ride’ powerhouse to a stable dependable partner in powered conditions … yet the increments used did little to resemble those quoted. We often found ourselves using more downhaul than the 444 cm suggested (up to 448 cm), but the boom length varied from 172 cm to 176 cm – still a way off the quoted 179 cm. It means the Atlas actually feels quite high-aspect in nature, with its guts and engine room placed high up in its panels, leaving a short manageable boom length for use in close-quarters manoeuvring. And this rings true as the wind increases, the Atlas’s leech opening-up smoothly under more tension, as the draft is locked securely with increased skin tension. Whilst engaging to use, it remains dependable, the rider always knowing where the sail and its power is placed.





Price: £779.00 (HD: £709.00)

Size: 5.8

Luff: 444 cm

Boom: 179 cm

Battens: 5

Ideal Mast: Neil Pryde 430 cm RDM/SDM

Available Sizes: 4.2, 4.6, 5.0, 5.4, 5.8, 6.2.



Duotone Super_Star 5.7

Goya Eclipse Pro 5.7

Gunsails Zoom 5.6

Loftsails Wavescape 5.7

Point-7 Spy 5.9

RRD Move 5.7

Severne Gator 5.7



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