EZZY SAILS ZETA 5.8M 2019 TEST REVIEW
Described as their “Power Wave” sail, the Zeta was reintroduced to the Ezzy ranks in 2017, sitting alongside the Elite and Taka to complete the brand’s wave sail lineup. Available in two colourways for 2019, it sees a subtle reworking in the clew panel, with an extra seam extending down to the foot, whilst the rest of the design remains largely unchanged. Built without compromise, the quality of the Zeta’s materials and workmanship are clear to see, with plenty of visual guidance provided to ensure correct set is achieved for every session. The calibrated rigging guide in the tack of the sail continues to impress, giving a foolproof indicator and possessing two minimums, the second mark accounting for ‘float and ride’ power for those extra light wind sessions. Rigged on an Ezzy Ho’okipa 430 cm mast, the Zeta sets with an incredible amount of depth and pre-shape to its draft, the reduced luff curve and industrial tack roller making it a very easy sail to downhaul indeed. When we tested the Zeta last year, we couldn’t help but marvel at its wind range – would this be the case again this year?
“The Zeta is a powerful wave sail designed for onshore conditions and heavier riders. The extra power and stability in the sail’s profile are balanced by the luff panel, which gives the Zeta its easy manoeuvrability. You get a “locked-in-and-go” feeling off the beach but gybes, jumps, and wave rides are still easy.”
With its deep, defined profile, the Zeta provides constant pull and feedback through both hands as soon as it is sheeted in. As a gust hits its panels and pressure builds, it can be pumped incredibly effectively, thanks to its reduced luff curve enabling the mast to flex and drive power into the board with every motion. With such a forced camber to its profile, the Zeta doesn’t have the ability to go nigh-on neutral in the hands as it is eased out, like the Taka … or even depower easily like the Elite. But what the Zeta gives away in ‘on-off’ potential, it more than makes up for in tuneable wind range. From non-planing missions in glassy powerful waves, to humbling overpowered onshore churned up cauldrons, the Zeta will provide the dependable power source to do battle. It is just such a loyal engine, its power so obvious and delivery smooth that it takes any stress out of sailing in the variable weather patterns that the UK is blessed with. Any change in wind strength can be countered with a quick retune, be it solely through the outhaul or more extensively through the downhaul as well. Soft in manner without feeling dull or unresponsive, the Zeta is most at home being driven positively through transitions instead of being eased out tentatively. And when switching full power back on at exit, the little extra softness afforded by the light x-ply luff panel helps to cushion the delivery, making the re-power less forceful and abrupt. The centre of effort is high in the Zeta, encouraging the rider into a more upright stance over the board. As such, it is more suited to a manoeuvre-oriented riding style rather than locked in and blasting. If you’re looking for drag-racing potential across a flat-water arena then look to the Cheetah … but for a rock-steady performance whatever the sea state, the Zeta will not let
Balanced dependable power across a simply staggering range, the new Zeta provides the tuning to cope and enjoy the most variable conditions with just one sail.
Other sails in this test: