SIMMER ICON 5.0M
2020 TEST REVIEW
The range of the Simmer Icon never ceases to amaze, providing smooth dependable power and confidence inspiring handling whatever the conditions. Plug and play hassle-free sailing at its best, it has real versatility in its application.
The 2020 Icon is designed to offer “worldwide wave performance”, and is described by Simmer team captain Kai Katchadourian as the most versatile wave sail in their range. Retaining its conventional five batten layout, it has what Simmer are calling a progressive mast sleeve and luff curve design. In effect, the smaller sizes in the range have less luff curve and a narrower sleeve, for improved control and more direct handling, whereas the larger sizes benefit from more luff curve and a wider sleeve, to allow for a deeper profile and generation of more power. The brand’s vertical shaping concept is also employed, said to provide more balance in the sail’s skin tension throughout its panels, and easier handling as a result. The Icon has been in Simmer’s range for over a decade now and has gained quite a following as a result. To acknowledge this, the HD version of the Icon is called the Legacy, using x-ply and q-ply throughout its panels for increased durability. That said, the build quality of this standard version is to the brand’s usual exacting standards, with the battens integrated into the sail’s panels, a couple of Kevlar stretch control tendons radiating from the clew, and the moulded tack fairing folding back easily to expose the tack roller.
“For 2020 the Icon features more curve in the top 25%, but with a breaking point for the twist lower down in the sail. This allows the sail body and mast to generate more energy which effectively creates a more dynamic sail body.”
Rigged on a SX10 RDM and set to the specified settings, the Icon’s trailing edge loosens progressively down to batten four, its lower two battens retaining rotation around the mast, whilst it exhibits one of the more pronounced luff curves in the group. Reducing tension slightly for minimal wind strengths, the Icon’s profile is relatively flat at rest, yet expands to a much deeper shape as pressure builds and the movement in the luff sleeve is utilised. The lower luff panel is Dacron, which further extends the lung capacity of the sail, keeping its centre of effort low and forward in the draft. Power delivery is soft and progressive, the sail’s handling so balanced and comfortable between both hands. It feels full bodied and so settled, providing the drive when required to get out of sticky situations and pick your way out of trouble. And in transition, the Icon may not have the feathery lightness of some, yet drives through full railed bottom turns well, locking the board into the turn before becoming easy and manageable as it is sheeted out and its profile reduces. As the wind increases, the Icon simply turns on more! With increased tension its top end stability is stunning, pinning the board down whilst remaining locked in and secure in the hands. Translating the energy from gusts into useable power and acceleration, the Icon can make an exceptional coastal blasting engine, enabling the user to stay out on the water longer whilst others are forced to change down. It’s worth spending time experimenting with the Icon’s set to really explore its potential, safe in the knowledge that even if you get it wrong, the sail remains well mannered and forgiving.
Luff: 405 cm
Boom: 169 cm
Ideal Mast: Simmer 400 cm RDM
Available Sizes: 3.4, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.6, 5.9, 6.2.
Price: £665 | ICON LEGACY £695
Other boards in this test:
THE LINE UP