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NEILPRYDE COMBAT PRO 5.0 2022 TEST REVIEW

02/03/2022
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NEILPRYDE COMBAT PRO 5.0 2022 TEST REVIEW

THE VERDICT

Crisp, precise power over a wide natural range, the Combat delivers an active, energy-fuelled ride that can’t help but inspire, yet is also accessible for most.

OVERVIEW

With the 2022 Combat due early in 2022, on review here we have NeilPryde’s 2021 Combat. We did not have the chance to try it last season and this version remains very relevant for our current winter’s sailing. Available in two constructions, this is the dearer Pro version, utilising the brand’s new ‘Ultra Scrim’ in its head panels, described as “a premium lightweight UHMPE (ultra-high molecular polyethylene) reinforced rip-stop laminate” – quite the mouthful! The stats claim it to be 25% lighter, yet twice as strong as a conventional x-ply. There’s then the quality engineering we should expect of the NeilPryde loft thrown in – the Powerfuse laminated panels, redistributing the loading in the tack and clew throughout the rest of the sail and mitigating material stretch. Double stitch seams are used extensively, along with integrated batten pockets (referred to as Fuse Pockets) and Pryde’s tried and tested batten tensioners for ease and practicality. The ‘Continuous Luff Construction’ concept, using one luff panel along the majority of the luff length, is another feature continued, targeting improvements in the sail’s stability and weight. And with the brand’s exclusive custom printing technology in the laminates, there’s no denying that the Combat Pro looks incredibly sharp in its yellow-green livery.

BRAND CLAIM

“The best keeps getting better. Lighter than ever and way smoother through the gusts, the Combat is the sail I take with me everywhere.” – Robby Swift.

PERFORMANCE

Rigged on a TPX 100 400 cm mast, the Combat is easy to downhaul and set, thanks to the trimming guides in the upper panel. There’s good low-down depth to the Combat’s draft at rest, with a moderate to high amount of luff curve in the leading edge, the lower batten just remaining in touch with the mast, whilst the main batten above the boom sits away. It certainly sets cleanly, using Pryde’s excellent integrated batten tensioners to iron out the last creases in an otherwise unblemished profile. On the water, the Combat is a real pleasure to use, finding particular favour with those that prefer a more involving ride. The power delivery is crisp and precise as a gust hits, the pull coming from high and forward in the draft, helping to lift the board clear of the water. There’s also plenty of movement in the Combat’s luff sleeve, enabling it to adopt a much deeper profile, after which the Combat’s full x-ply luff panel takes over, providing the instantaneous feedback. It offers just enough breathability for the Combat to be pumpable in the lighter airs, yet means acceleration happens swiftly once going. Fast on all points of sail, the Combat feels alive and energised in the hands, helping to inspire the rider to hit the oncoming ramp, or overtake the swell line and drop down the face. In manoeuvres the Combat’s forced profile helps to enter transition actively and remains controlled at all times without ever going completely neutral. It always lets you know where it is and has the power available to hand, which is a real asset for heavier or more assertive riding styles. That’s not to say the Combat is solely the domain of the heavy or experienced. It has an excellent natural range, and whilst its power is more obvious than many, it is also very focused and balanced, giving it great accessibility to the more novice pilot.

www.neilpryde.com

NEILPRYDE COMBAT PRO 5.0 2022 TEST REVIEW

 

SPECS

Size: 5.0 m

Luff: 408 cm

Boom: 168 cm

Battens: 4

Ideal Mast: Neil Pryde 400 cm RDM

Available Sizes: 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.6.

PRICE: £779.00 (HD: £709.00)


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