EZZY LION 3 7.5M 2015 TEST REVIEW
Now in its third term as Ezzy’s twin-cam contender, the news is that it’s been made lighter than its predecessor, with use of a new lightweight scrim in the upper panels; more controllable in strong winds due to a flatter profile above the boom, and faster, thanks to more progressive batten spacing enabling a smoother leech twist. We tested it here on an Ezzy RDM 460cm mast, although it is compatible with all mast types thanks to a sheath of batten pocket end-caps and cams of varying sizes to ensure easy smooth rotation. Uncomplicated to downhaul and set (see the Ezzy website for a library of videos, done by the man himself, with plenty of useful rigging tips), there is also an exhaustive number of indicators and tuning guides on the sail to help tune it accurately. It really is a well thought out product.
“The Lion3 is a race sail stripped of everything that makes race sails difficult. The luff sleeve is narrow and easier to waterstart or uphaul than a wide sleeve that fills up with water. Like the Lion2, the new Lion3 rigs on all RDM and SDM masts. And, like all Ezzy Sails, the Lion3 is built to last. The Lion3 makes fast easy.”
As with all sails in the Ezzy range, the Lion has plenty of shape built into its panels. The cams then merely help to support this structure and lock the draft forward. As the wind fills the sail and the pressure builds, the Lion feels smooth and positive in the hands rather than sharp and instantaneous, driving the board forwards from a low position, focussed around the rider. It is incredibly easy to use the power, responding well to pumping and naturally settling into a comfortable locked-in position as it accelerates willingly through both hands with every gust. And once on the plane, the Lion simply won’t give up the chase, gliding through lulls with impunity and almost seeming to generate its own drive. It offers a perfect balance between a soft breathable nature and balanced useable feedback, without feeling at all dull to the experienced rider or overbearing to the novice. Nor did it seem to stretch much in its panels as Ezzys of old did – not once did we need to come in and reset the outhaul as the sail was wrapping round the leeward boom-arm. As the wind increased we did come in to apply more downhaul tension. We actually went about 1cm beyond the maximum setting on the downhaul, which we believe improved the twist and precision of the power. But there is no doubting that most of the tuning can be done on the outhaul, making it both easy and practical to do on the fly. And irrespective of set, you can be sure the cams will rotate effortlessly!
A real tour de force, the Lion is a delight to use, with masses of easy applicable performance across a wide tuneable range. No longer ‘a large overgrown wave-sail’ this Lion is light and supremely balanced in the hands, with the build and quality we have come to expect from the Ezzy loft.
Other sails in this test: