POINT-7 F1e 5.4M 2021 TEST REVIEW
A unique sail in this group, there is much to like about the F1e. It may not have the bottom end gear of a pumpable 6.0m, but its top end stability, speed and balance are its standout qualities. Can a cammed sail be used for coastal bump and jump? If blasting at speed and hitting ramps is your thing, you better believe it!
The F1e is a unique sail within this test group, not least for its size being just 5.4m. This is a new concept for Point-7 – a sail brand that has real heritage for making extremely fast, race-oriented power houses. So, it’s not really a surprise that they’re the ones to try and bring the impetus of speed, range and stability into the crossover arena. Dubbed their “electrifying hybrid freewave” sail it also plausibly reintroduces a terminology of old, reigniting the ‘wave slalom’ mantra. Available in only one size (but joined by the ‘Hybrid Slalom’ sail in 7.6m), the unmistakeable uniqueness of the F1e is that it possesses an internal cam on the batten below the boom. In addition, this fact isn’t hidden by a small luff sleeve, but rather championed and celebrated with a wider sleeve, said to spread the pressure over a larger area in the front of the sail, making it more neutral in the hands. Reading more about the sail’s concept, brand founder and designer Andrea Cucchi recalls the seed of the idea came whilst observing crossover sails used for foiling and conventional fin sailing, recognising the real demand for more stability. And whilst his own early wave sailing experiences were on fully cammed sails and wave boards, as he couldn’t afford a wave sail in his youth, he posed the question of reintroducing the stability, efficiency and speed advantages of cams back into a typical coastal bump and jump environment.
Rigged on a 400 cm RDM, the F1e sets with plenty of depth to its profile, focussed low and forward in its draft. All this shape is propagated through the bottom batten and cam, with all other battens resting clear of the mast. Once rigged, the F1e sets with a moderate amount of luff curve, using the trimming markers in the upper panel as a guide (albeit there were two present on our sail, and one was peeling off. In future, we’ve been told they’ll be printed on, solving this issue). The leech falls away progressively down to batten four, and two clew eyelets can be used to fine tune the power supplied. Build quality and detailing are up to Point-7’s usual high standard, with double-stitching used extensively between its all x-ply panels and x-ply used in the alternating batten pockets to mitigate any material creep occurring over time.
“Whether it’s foil or fin, the most important is to get on the water to have fun. The F1e is the perfect balanced sail to have great performance both when using a foil or fin under your board.”
Light and easy in the hands at rest, one of the statements made of the F1e is that it generates the power equivalent to a 6.0m sail. In response we have to say that the pull is certainly there, as you’d expect of a cammed sail, but comes from low down, and in light airs its smaller size is still noticeable. There is some degree of softness provided by the 400 cm mast, yet the stability provided by the cam works against the F1e in the more marginal winds, and coupled with the shorter boom length, there just isn’t the feel and response offered when pumping a soft rotational 6.0m. Nevertheless, when going the F1e settles quickly into a locked in and comfortable stance, accelerating to an impressive speed and pinning the board to the floor. It feels compact and incredibly nimble in the hands and we can understand why it would inspire some explosive bump and jump enjoyment in a coastal environment, providing a stunningly dependable power source. We had the opportunity to try the F1e in the waves and whilst it demands a committed and energetic riding style, never going neutral in transition, (and the forced profile sticking it to the water’s surface during recovery!), it certainly didn’t feel out of place in a cross-onshore environment. In fact, the extra speed and balance manifested in some pretty high-octane runs (and airtime) on the way out! Cam rotation was also very smooth and easy, the low down profile straightforward to manage and counteract as pressure built. And as for top end stability, the F1e just seems to yearn for stronger winds, becoming lighter and more inspiring as the wind increases and speed is gathered. We can understand why it is a real asset for those looking for a crossover sail for both fin and foil, its stability and manners extending a rider’s comfort zone right up to 4.5m weather.
POINT-7 F1e 5.4M 2021 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 426 cm
Boom: 172 cm
Ideal Mast: Point-7 400 RDM
Available Sizes: 5.4
PRICE: €599.00 / £549.00
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