EZZY LION 7.5M TEST REVIEW
The Lion has had a visual update for 2018, with a refined graphic layout in the upper panels. Otherwise, it remains very similar to the Lion 3 we tested back in 2016, with only a marginal reduction in the luff length noted. Featuring just two cams housed in its narrow luff sleeve, the Lion is one of the more straightforward sails in the group to rig, its reduced luff curve enabling the desired downhaul tension to be applied with ease. Set on a Ho’okipa RDM 460cm, the plethora of rigging guides and gauges now synonymous with Ezzy Sails help to ensure the exact set is achieved, the boom effortlessly fitting to the mast thanks to the ample access provided at the cutout. It is also compatible with SDM masts, the sail supplied with a number of alternative inducer and pocket sizes, plus a comprehensive guide (also available online) on how to fit them. Access to the relevant battens is provided through Velcro openings in the luff sleeve and the whole conversion process is fairly foolproof. Once rigged, there is plenty of shape in the sail’s profile as you’d expect, extending high and forward up the sail’s luff length. With its elevated top batten and tapered outline, the Lion looks tall at first glance, yet its dimensions make it one of the more compact sails in the group. Sporting the trademark PVC window to compliment the Dyneema reinforced x-ply and Scrim-X used throughout the Lion’s panels, it is a visually striking sail that looks set to last considerable amounts of use, the attention to detail and material quality undoubtedly some of the best on the market.
“How to go fast and piss off your friends! The Lion 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 previous Lion sails, the 2018 Lion rigs on all RDM and SDM masts. And, like all Ezzy Sails, the 2018 Lion is built to last.”
With less luff curve than most sails here, the Lion feels alive and responsive in marginal winds, the mast springing back into position during pumping and surging power into the board. It has fantastic bottom end credentials and can be partnered with any type of hull, from wide-bodied freeride to slalom boards, making the most of the lightest airs. Once going, it has plenty of area below the boom and easily locks into a comfortable stance, the profile locked well forward in the draft as it pulls positively in both hands. And whilst it may resemble the visual robustness of an oversized wave-sail, the Lion’s handling response is far from dull or spongy (an attribute levelled at the industrially-built Ezzy in years past). Instead, it feels quite loose and active, accelerating in gusts and gliding through lulls as if impervious to any loss in pressure. There’s more than enough feedback to keep the experienced rider engaged, whilst the balance and poise of the Lion means that it won’t intimidate the more novice passenger. In transition, the Ezzy is manageable and predictable, the power always apparent through the hands, yet easy to manipulate due to the sail’s balance, the cams rotating smoothly and effortlessly once on the new tack. As the wind increases the sail can be fine tuned largely on the outhaul, yet it is certainly worth playing the downhaul as well. We experimented a little and found the Lion’s top end speed improved as we tensioned a little beyond the mark provided in the tack. And for those that are exploring the new and exciting world of foiling, the Lion has the potential to steal the show, with its bottom end power and range.
Whilst possessing more freeride / freerace genes than race-winning DNA, the Lion is a delight to use, with masses of bottom end grunt and tuneable range. An easy to use, practical package that offers years and years of service, it holds the Ezzy flag high.
Other sails in this test:
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