ATTITUDE HORNET 7.8M 2015 TEST REVIEW
Classed as Attitude’s ’Freeslalom’ sail, the Hornet is tested here on a Unifiber flex-top SDM mast and was straightforward to rig and set, the leech falling away to the fifth batten whilst still retaining a deep profile in the lower panels. More downhaul tension reduced the draft depth significantly whilst only opening the leech a little more, so we found that fixing the downhaul and fine-tuning the power delivery using the outhaul settings across the two eyelets was most effective.
“A 3-cam sail, with a moderate volume luff tube provides the performance advantages of a race sail, but without the drawbacks that come with it. SDM or RDM mean compatibility is not an issue. Profile stability, top performance, easy and effortless handling characteristics with smooth cam rotation provide the pure efficient sensation and huge wind range.”
This is the first Attitude sail we (the OTC test team) have used – it is one of the newest brands on the block, recently conceived by Dutch company Unifiber. One of the tallest and certainly widest on test here, it feels larger than most yet remains balanced and stable in the hands as the wind fills. It generates an impressive amount of bottom end power and responds well to pumping, the sail seeming to hinge above the fifth batten as it breaks and flicks back into place, punching the most stubborn board onto the plane. In lulls, the Attitude keeps driving well, providing useable positive feedback through the backhand, the higher clew eyelet helping to emphasise this sensation without becoming overbearing. The centre of effort is locked firmly in place by the Hornet’s three cams housed in its mid-sized luff sleeve, which itself remains quite wide and profiled even in the head of the sail. As such, with its larger dimensions, profiled head and heavier x-ply build quality in its leech, the Attitude does encourage a more locked-in committed stance rather than an upright or relaxed manoeuvre-oriented riding style. As the wind increases, the Hornet’s set can be refined, using the bottom eyelet and pulling on a fraction of outhaul tension to help settle any movement in the draft. There wasn’t any hint of leech flutter either, the subtle concave cut of the leech between battens, the mini-leech battens and thicker x-ply used all combining to help cancel out any leech motoring. In transition the Hornet does feel its size, whilst the rotation of the cams can be quite firm, requiring positive input and good technique from the rider so as not to get pulled to their toes. Overall, the Hornet was a well-liked sail, and will provide years of service, really coming into its own in light, marginal conditions.
Well built and competitively priced, the Hornet provides excellent bottom end grunt, remaining comfortable and balanced across a wide wind range. Whilst not quite keeping up with some of the other freerace specialist sails here, it offers a great performance return and real value for money.
Other sails in this test: