DUOTONE SUPERHERO 5.0M 2019 TEST REVIEW
The Super Hero is the Duotone’s ‘all in one’ wave sail, for use all over the world, whatever the conditions. Look at the sail in more detail and it is fair to say there is lots going on … and we mean lots! There are just so many graphics, trimming guides, marking and material references all over the sail to grab your attention and add impact. The defining design feature remains the FREE.BOOMZONE.CONCEPT, now in its third year, referring to the increased distance between the two bottom battens. The premise is to give the sail more life and response in light airs, akin to a three-batten sail, whilst to counter any loss in top-end stability, designer Kai Hopf implements various countermeasures. These include the use of two mini-battens in the lower leech, load stripes radiating from the clew and a definite step in the leech outline just below the main batten, referred to as the HOLLOW.LOWER.LEECH. Duotone have made every effort to highlight the sail’s durability, with a reduced monofilm window panel (becoming x-ply in the HD version for £20.00 extra), “virtually unbreakable” epoxy battens, and the use of carefully considered ‘x-ply plus’ and ‘tri-ply’ laminates in the panels. So confident are they of the sail’s longevity that there’s the option to extend the warranty to five years when you register your new sail with them. Sheathing easily onto a Platinum RDM, the Super Hero is one of the easiest to rig in the group, the downhaul applied effortlessly despite the sail possessing a luff curve comparable to most. Must be an attribute of the FREE.BOOMZONE.CONCEPT as well? There are plenty of visual guides to fine-tune its set and the Super Hero comes with a neat little Velcro marker in the foot, so that you can register your perfect personal downhaul setting when you find it.
“I’ve tested hundreds of wave sails during my career, but the Super Hero is clearly the best wave sail I’ve ever sailed!” – Klaas Voget.
Set with minimal loadings, the Super Hero has a slight crease or fold by its Dura Luff Patch (between the leading edge of the two lower battens), which soon disappears as the wind fills and pressure builds. It allows the sail to breathe effortlessly into a deep powerful profile, making it incredibly useful for pumping, punching the board clear of the water. The centre of effort is focussed around the rider – relatively low, but quite far back, providing very balanced feedback through both hands. For a 5.0m the Duotone provides an impressive amount of bottom end power – ideal for float and ride and going neutral in the hands as it is sheeted out, making it child’s play to reposition. As the conditions change, the setting of the Super Hero can be adjusted accordingly. We’ve got to say that the range of the new sail easily surpassed our expectations, even though the range of its predecessor was excellent. As the conditions turned on, the Super Hero just kept giving, setting the downhaul according to the marking in the top panel and tuning the power on the outhaul. The handling and balance remains throughout, making it easy to handle even in the most violent gusts, or holding the sail clew-first through prolonged cross-on turns. A dependable, well-mannered partner with tuning range to compliment its massive natural range, the Super Hero just keeps getting better.
The brand may be new, but the design acumen within the Duotone ranks is immediately apparent. There was clearly a goal to pull out all the stops at launch … and this Super Hero sail is testament to that, with detailing and performance that has reached another level.
Other sails in this test: