EZZY ELITE 5.3M 2016 TEST REVIEW
The Elite remains unchanged in the Ezzy range at the time of testing, used here in a ‘limited edition’ colour way for the UK market. Classed by the brand as their ‘best all-round wave-sail’, it sits alongside the recently released Taka 3, as the versatile manoeuvre-oriented option for use on flat water to waves. The number of size options in the Elite line-up is extensive, from 3.4 to 6.8, stepping up from 4 to 5 battens at 6.4m. With its familiar high aspect outline and ‘bulletproof’ construction, the Elite is a cinch to rig, guided by the visual aids built into the sail for both the downhaul and outhaul … or by following the video tutorials on the Ezzy site. Rigged on a 90% 400cm Ezzy mast, it sets with plenty of shape low and forward in the draft, with little looseness in the leech and plenty of play in the outhaul for tuning.
“Our most versatile wave sail ever. It’s the perfect balance between speed, stability, handling and comfort.”
There is not much more to say about the Elite that we haven’t already mentioned in both our previous reviews (5.7m tested in April ‘15 and 5.3m in October ’15). Be that as it is, the Elite never ceases to amaze us with the amount of power and raw bottom end grunt it can generate in marginal winds! Set with minimal tension, it has a deep fixed profile, which expands further still as the wind fills, thanks to the minimal luff curve and high batten position above the boom providing less resistance. The power is constant and positive, yet delivered in such a soft balanced manner that it is easy to use effectively. Such is the build quality of Ezzy sails (having long been using Spectra x-ply sail-cloth throughout their panels), that they often got critiqued as ‘sturdy yet heavy’ or ‘dull’ in the hands in the past. Well, the Elite dispelled that stigma for us back at the start of last year, and continues to do so today. The delivery is certainly smooth and progressive rather than sharp or instantaneous, yet there’s a user-friendliness to the Elite – a level of control that will be welcome by everyone who uses it, from novice to pro. As the wind increases the Elite can be retuned almost exclusively on the outhaul, making it incredibly practical for variable conditions. With its dependable power, nigh on indestructible build and vast tuneable range, the Elite can be used to charge confidently right into the thick of the most inhospitable conditions.
The Elite maintains the exalted Ezzy reputation for build quality, and has become a benchmark for providing soft dependable power across a simply staggering wind range.
Other sails in this test: