NEIL PRYDE V8 8.7 2021 TEST REVIEW
The V8 might have the price tag to astound, yet backs it up with the performance to silence any critic. The ride on the V8 is as special as its appearance!
The V8 retains its place in the Neil Pryde lineup as their twin-cam powerhouse, developed in line with the brand’s reputed RS:Racing programme. In addition, the V8 Flight has been introduced to sit alongside – the foiling specific freerace contender with one less batten and an even higher aspect ratio. The geometry of this conventionally focussed V8 is relatively high aspect itself, with easily the longest luff length, whilst the two inset clew eyelets allow the suggested boom increments to be short. Rigged here on a top of the range TPX100 490 cm mast, the Integra cams can be pushed onto the mast easily with some downhaul tension applied and stay in place whilst the full tension is set. The custom printing, unique to Pryde, certainly enhances the V8’s visual appearance from afar – it’s a stunning looking sail. Close up, the detailing is also evident, with the brand’s integrated ‘Fuse’ batten pockets used to ensure the sail’s symmetry. Twin seams are used along vulnerable seams, and the double luff construction seen in the Speedster is also used here in the V8, incorporating a single continuous panel from head to tack, to regulate the forces in the vertical plane of the sail and mitigate any stetch or deformation. Downhauling the V8 is straightforward, the range of set prescribed by the wide trimming guides in the top panel. As tension is increased, the leech falls away progressively along its length, whereas the depth and entry point angle of the sail’s profile certainly softens.
“Extreme early planing, soft rotation, wide wind range, great upwind and top end control, the V8 has the extra power and drive needed to accelerate and go fast on high performance boards.”
The largest sail in this test, the V8 feels big and bold in the hands, yet poised and ready, rather than heavy or cumbersome. As a gust hits, it has a definite crispness to its delivery, transferring its energy quickly to the board and demanding it to respond. Accelerating quickly in the hands, the V8 is tight and purposeful, the centre of effort high and further back in the draft than most, located around the rider. In effect it makes for a fast and involving ride, constantly providing useable feedback through the back hand and involving the rider. There’s a real immediacy and efficiency to the V8; it seems to lift up and float in the hands as a gust hits, before accelerating and pushing the board forward with interest. This sensation is no doubt down to the attributes the V8 inherits from the brand’s successful race programme, including details such as the Airflow batten structure, where the battens are aligned to improve laminar airflow of the sail’s panels. As the wind increases, the V8 can be re-tuned with increased tension, the lower inset clew eyelet also making a noticeable difference to the sail’s handling in overpowered conditions. It does feel its size in transition, yet the cams rotate effortlessly, the shallower profile of the V8 helping soften the snap as the sail transitions between tacks. A sail for the seasoned rider, looking for that easy to use engine with that extra bit of sparkle and prestige, the V8 offers the performance to match its allure.
NEIL PRYDE V8 8.7 2021 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 522 cm
Boom: 213/220 cm
Ideal Mast: Neil Pryde 490 cm (520 cm) SDM
Available Sizes: 4.8, 5.2, 5.7, 6.2, 6.7, 7.2, 7.7, 8.2, 8.7, 9.4.
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