The Manic has been Gaastra’s all-round wave sail for many years now, last year the range was fully redeveloped and for 2012 it has received even finer tuning. The Manic is available in either standard (lightweight) or HD (heavy duty) constructions.
At a glance
It has a classic five battened shape and full X-ply construction. The build quality is amongst the best, it is incredibly well made and the HD construction looks bomb proof, so it should stand up to some serious abuse and punishment.
It rigs on a 400 RDM with just 2cm of extension required. We tested the sail on a Gaastra 100% RDM. There is some tuning that can be done with the down-haul but once set, most adjustments can be made with the out-haul if needed. It has a really wide tuning range that can be adjusted to suit a range of riders and conditions, even when rigged badly; it still delivered good performance, so you couldn’t go wrong with it.
On the water
The Manic feels perfectly balanced in the hands and despite being in HD construction and packing a little extra weight due to the re-enforcements, it also actually felt surprisingly light. The bottom end power feeds in very smoothly and the pull is forward in the sail, getting you going nice and early. Once planning the top end is also very good, with a high top speed and complete control in all conditions. The natural wind range on the water is superb, it deals with varying conditions so easily and doesn’t ever need too much re-tuning. On the wave or in manoeuvres the handling is sharp and the sail reacts very quickly enabling you to switch the power on and off whenever you need.
A perfectly poised and balanced sail that is built to stand up to some seriously hard-core use. Suitable for a wide range of riders and board styles in all conditions. Highly recommended.