NORTH WINDSURFING X-OVER 5.0 2023 TEST REVIEW
North’s X-Over is one of the most exciting evolutions in sails we have seen for some time. An incredible game changer for cross and onshore conditions with the ability to instantly up your wave sailing level.
The long-anticipated return of North to the windsurfing market has sparked much conversation around the brand’s innovative designs. On test in this article, we have North’s X-Over 5.0, which is said to be the brand’s power wave sail. Coming in several sizes, the X-Over ranges from 3.7 to 7.4. The upper ends of the sail range have a freemove-oriented design, whilst the smaller sails in the range (5.8 and below) are focused towards their wave sailing potential. The 5.0 is a 5-batten wave sail which is consistent in all sizes upwards from this, whilst the smaller sails from 4.7 and below are four batten sails.
The X-Over is produced with North’s innovative one-piece 3Di moulding technology, which has a significant impact on the sail’s durability, allowing the brand to thicken the sail in areas that receive impact, whilst other areas of the sail can be thinner, lighter and softer, assisting with shaping. The weight of these sails has been a hot topic at the beach in recent months, and now that we have gotten hold of one, we can see why. The X-Over 5.0 comes in at 2.67 kg, notably lighter than the other sails on test. The light weight is a result of the brand’s moulding technology, where they use 3D precision moulding along with one piece of Dyneema to create a sail without seams, even for the batten pockets.
Priced at £889, the X-Over is one of the more expensive sails on test, but with North’s innovative design, it seems fair that the sail costs a little more. If you are interested in whether the price translates into performance on the water, then read on to see what we found.
“The X-Over sail range is designed to excel in all water and wind conditions, no matter what the day throws at you.”
With its first outing in the conditions that the brand claims are the X-Over’s bread and butter, we were immediately impressed. Cross-onshore winds and messy waves are where this sail excels at its best for several reasons. Sheet in to pull the power on, and you will immediately notice the whole sail working, delivering consistent and manageable power. These characteristics make driving the kit onto the plane an easy task. Once up to speed, the sail feels exceptionally light in the hands and responds well to changes in pressure, with gusts translating almost immediately into forward speed. During lulls, the sail maintains good flow and connection with the wind as the rider focuses on their own performance.
Boost into the air, and the main areas of feedback from the sail are flow and stability. The X-Over avoids any jerky feelings, making control at height easy. Even as the wind builds, the sail’s stable qualities are blaring, making rotations smoother and more comfortable. Through the gybes the sail is exceptionally easy to direct, allowing the rider time to position their body well, ready for the exit.
The performance of the X-Over on the wave during onshore and cross-on conditions was staggering. The light feel in the hands combined with the ability to direct the sail wherever the rider pleased was a huge asset when trying to squeeze the most out of the wave. This ease of positioning allowed the rider to really dig deep into turns, providing aggressive drive at both the bottom and top of the wave. Additionally, it seemed almost impossible for the rider to position their body incorrectly with the sail, making it easy to get weight in on the turns and weight back over the kit when necessary.
Luff: 412 cm
Boom: 161/165 cm
Ideal Mast: North Ultimate 100 RDM
Available Sizes: 3.7, 4.2, 4.7, 5.0, 5.4, 5.8, 6.2, 6.7, 7.4.