POINT-7 AC-X 7.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
The 2021 AC-X has lost none of the top-end potency its predecessors have been recognised for time and again yet has gained more life and useability in lighter airs, extending its wind range and appeal.
The AC-X has been a prominent feature in the Point-7 lineup over the years, bringing the thoroughbred race heritage of the Italian brand into the no-cam arena. Using the lessons learnt in the development of the all-new 2-cam AC-Z (tested in 7.8m in October ’20), the AC-X has been refined this season with a new structure, including vertical shaping and a large second x-ply luff panel just above the window. The claim is that the new layout has resulted in “a significant increase in stability and direct reflex, ensuring a higher comfort, more stable profile and improved acceleration. The average speed has been boosted!” Lower down, the tapered Dacron luff panel remains, providing the AC-X with the lungs to breathe as the wind fills, yet is said to be partnered with a couple of strips of Kevlar “to increase the reflex in a gust and stability of this softer material.” Housing tubed battens in every single one of its alternating, x-ply-reinforced pockets, the AC-X was rigged for test on a K-80 SDM and sets with an incredible amount of looseness extending all the way down its leech. Just look how inset the trimming guide is, and you have an idea of just how much looseness and twist there is. There’s a moderate to high amount of luff curve through the leading edge, with just the two lower battens retaining any rotation around the mast. And to complete the picture, tensioning and pulling shape into the foot of the sail, there’s a robust tack strap hidden underneath the extended tack fairing. Available in two colourways, it was tested in its Code Yellow last season, so we return to the brand’s signatory Code Black here.
“Slalom speed seekers, who do not like the hassle of cams. If cambered sails are not your cup of tea, then the sheer performance specs and looks of the AC-X should be the one for you. Let the wind fill in the sail, and you’ll be smiling seeing others eating your spray!”
On the water the AC-X feels full-bodied and poised, ready from the off! Its dimensions are somewhat average amongst this group, neither long in the boom nor luff… and yet it feels big in the hands. The reason for this is that the centre of effort is placed high and relatively far back in the draft, focussed around the rider. As a gust hits and pressure builds, the AC-X is quick to deliver useable feedback, feeling positive through the back hand and responding excellently to pumping. There has certainly been a marked improvement to the AC-X’s bottom end power over the years; once its Achilles’ heel with its shallow draft, high skin tension and pronounced luff curve. Today, the AC-X feels much more alive and active in marginal to powered conditions … accelerating quickly and settling into a comfortable stance. The mention of a high, rider-focussed centre of effort could sound alarm bells for all but the larger, power-hungry rider, envisaging a control decay during fully-powered/overpowered conditions … yet the AC-X has a fantastic in-built coping mechanism for these conditions – the lower Dacron luff panel. As the pressure in the sail builds, this thin slither of material helps to dictate the movement in the sail’s draft, bringing the centre of effort lower and further forwards, and in doing so helping to maintain control and pin the board to the floor. The extra power is translated into acceleration, and in essence, the sail becomes lighter the quicker it goes. Fully powered, the AC-X has lost none of its magic, instilling the confidence in the rider to charge harder and enter transitions at full speed. And paired with a freerace or slalom board, this sail will more than hold its own, the softness of the lower Dacron panel once again coming into play in choppy seas, cushioning the ride and helping to maintain control.
POINT-7 AC-X 7.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 470 cm
Boom: 198 cm
Ideal Mast: Point-7 460 RDM/SDM
Available Sizes: 4.7, 5.4, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 7.9, 8.4, 9.0.
OTHER SAILS IN THIS TEST: