EZZY LION 3 7.5M TEST REVIEW
With the third generation Lion only just available in time for our twin cam test last season, it is no real surprise that it remains current for the 2016 season as well. Available in three colourways, David Ezzy evolved the sail from its predecessor to become lighter, faster and more controllable. Firstly, it makes use of a lightweight scrim to reduce overall weight and improve handling. It is also said to be faster thanks to a refined twist pattern, made possible by spacing the battens progressively, bringing them closer together towards the head of the sail. And lastly, the sail’s profile above the boom was reduced, increasing control in stronger winds. Rigged for testing on an Ezzy 460 RDM, the Lion3 possesses the brand’s signature deep draft, accentuated by the addition of the two cams. Easy to rig, thanks to all the rigging guides provided on the sail, if you’re ever unsure there is a wealth of information and resource on the Ezzy website to boot. Downhaul tension is applied effortlessly, with minimal friction through Ezzy’s industrial roller tack pulley, the sail setting with the least luff curve in the group, whilst the power delivery is largely fine-tuned on the outhaul.
“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.”
On the water the Lion3 remains a fantastically dependable powerhouse, providing easy, accessible performance across an incredible wind range. In light winds and under minimal tension, the sail bags out to provide constant useable feedback through the hands, championed yet further by its punchy responsive nature during pumping. With its reduced luff curve, the Lion3 allows the mast to flex and breathe, resulting in the sail feeling lighter and more reactive as you pull it towards you. Once going, the Lion3 instinctively settles into a comfortable locked-in stance, the centre of effort is positioned well forward in the draft. It is almost as if the Lion3 generates its own power, accelerating with every gust and gliding effortlessly through lulls, pulling positively in both hands. It can also be partnered with any style of platform, from freemove to freerace and even slalom, feeling loose and lively enough to keep up with the most demanding pilot, yet soft and forgiving so as to not unnerve the more novice rider. As the wind increases the Lion’s tuning can be refined to accurately determine the amount of power delivered, using the outhaul to fine-tune on the go, whilst not forgetting that the downhaul tension can also be adjusted to good effect. With the cams rotating effortlessly during transition and the added practicality of the narrow luff tube, the Lion3 marries both performance and user-friendliness, giving it a wide user appeal.
From supernatural pumping response to unwavering top end stability, the Lion3 fuses performance with practicality across a massive wind range.
Other sails in this test: