SEVERNE NCX 7.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Compact, refined and supremely balanced, the NCX truly comes to life when properly powered, its handling and manners making it the standout performer when the conditions turn on.
Described as more than just a no-cam freerace, the NCX is Severne’s “no-cam slalom” sail, giving a clear indication of intent with this newly rejuvenated design for 2021. The NCX in the tested size is recommended for use with an RDM mast (but will work on SDM mast too according to the brand) and is tested here on a Severne RDM Blue; the four larger sizes in the range recommended with SDM. And despite it setting with a relatively moderate amount of luff curve, the amount of tension through the leading edge is noticeable; the x-ply luff panel as tight as a drum whilst the leech falls away uniformly down to batten six. The orientation of the tack roller pulley helps to reduce friction whilst applying the tension, and the extra roller provides additional mechanical advantage to help the whole process. Once set, the panels of the NCX are faultless, the sail adopting a wonderfully pronounced profile locked forward in the draft, the three lower battens retaining plenty of rotation around the mast at rest. It certain looks the business. Material and build quality are as you’d expect, with x-ply used in the seamless foot panel and just above the clew. This leads into the brand’s reputed Spiderfibre reinforcement tendon that extends up the sail’s leech and is said to, “eliminate vertical stretch between the sail’s panels”. Clean in set and visual appearance, the NCX has the shortest boom length in the test group, with two clew options, both dropped in position, for the intention of promoting stability and manoeuvrability.
“High skin tension, powerful profiles combined with race sail geometry make the NCX fast and furious, without the cams.”
Despite its quoted size, with its short boom length and physically light nature, the NCX feels more like a 6.0m or 6.5m in the hands at rest. As a gust hits however, the bottom end power is very much there, its forced forward-facing profile helping to generate useable feedback. It is also recommended for use with an RDM in this size, the extra play in the luff sleeve and softness of the reduced mast diameter accentuating the sail’s breathability and response to pumping. Accelerating quickly, it settles into a comfortable locked in stance, feeling light, crisp and easy to manoeuvre in the hands. In light to comfortably powered conditions, the NCX is a well-mannered and user-friendly sail. It is comfortable for cruising around, yet remains relatively neutral and passive, gliding through lulls yet showing little in the way of an extra gear through the backhand. It’s supremely balanced, if not a little quiet and apathetic to the touch, much like a smaller sail would feel. All this changes however as the wind increases. As pressure builds in the NCX’s panels it comes to life, accelerating positively in the hands and charging the board with the energy to perform. The twist in the NCX’s upper panels is stunning; there’s not a hint of leech flutter as the sail’s profile remains fixed, forward in the draft. In powered to overpowered conditions, it is a match for any sail in this group and comes into its own when the conditions become more challenging. In choppy, turbulent seas the softness of the RDM helps to cushion the ride, allowing the sail to move smoothly around the rider, who in turn can keep the hammer down, uninterrupted. And in the gybe, its short boom length keeps the NCX honest and manageable, allowing the rider to transition quickly between tacks and get the power on again early.
SEVERNE NCX 7.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 464 cm
Boom: 191 cm
Ideal Mast: Severne 460 cm RDM/SDM
Available Sizes: 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0.
OTHER SAILS IN THIS TEST: