EZZY ELITE 5.3M TEST REVIEW
We tested the 5.7m of the Elite back in the April issue this year and were impressed by its range, soft useable power delivery and handling … so would it still stand up to scrutiny in this smaller size? As before it is quite a high aspect sail, with a long luff length and relatively short boom. Rigging the sail is as fool-proof as it could possibly be, with numerous rigging guides on the sail and a torrent of information on the Ezzy website. It sets with lots of shape low down in the draft and little looseness in the leech. The build quality is exceptional as you’d expect with an Ezzy, although don’t be alarmed when it sets with a wrinkle in the luff panel at rest (as well as one just below the top batten); it does pull out as soon as the sail’s in use.
David Ezzy is nothing if not passionate about sail design and his latest focus is to improve wave sail performance by minimizing the number of battens in the foil. So he has used this concept to refine the Ezzy range, replacing the 5-batten Panther with the 4-batten Elite as their premier wave sail and backbone of the Ezzy line-up. To quote the man himself, he believes the Elite is, “Our most versatile wave sail ever. It’s the perfect balance between speed, stability, handling and comfort.”
Not surprisingly, the 5.3m is very reminiscent of the 5.7m we tested earlier in the season. With its deep draft it provides constant power that has such a unique blend of balance and ease to it that it makes the Elite incredibly useable and effective. Even when set with minimal downhaul tension, you can rest assured that in the event of a sudden increase in wind, the sail can be out-hauled at a moment’s notice (in the water if necessary), to regain any stability lost. As in the larger size, the power is soft and subtle rather than sharp or instantaneous thanks to the elasticity in the panels, whilst the centre of effort is low and forward in the draft relative to others so as to not pull the rider to their toes. The Elite has certainly put paid to critics of previous Ezzys that their handling is ‘heavy’ or ‘dull’; this 5.3m is anything but. Encouraging a manoeuvre-oriented stance, it provides the horsepower across a massive range and the dependability that exudes confidence.
A class act, the Elite combines balanced handling and easy useable power across such a wide tuneable range that it would be at home in any wave environment. Recommended by all who used it.
Other sails in this test: