GA SAILS IQ 4.7M 2016 TEST REVIEW
The power source for 2015 Wave World Champ Thomas Traversa, the IQ sits in the GA Sails range as their ‘new-school wave sail’, offering light direct handling and controllable power. It has been reworked for the new season, with a refined luff curve, heightened clew position and incorporating the brand’s ‘compact batten positioning’ concept to improve its range. One of the first 4.7 sails on the market to move to a 370cm mast, it has a subtle profile low down in the draft, yet lots of breathability in material stretch as the wind fills. Like the 2016 Manic tested last month, the IQ benefits from GA Sail’s convertible batten system, replacing the batten above the boom with a three-quarter length option. Take time to read the instructions on how to do this – it requires relatively little time once mastered. Taking the full-length batten out relaxes the skin tension in the luff panel and draws more shape into the bottom batten, giving it an even more defined profile low down.
“The 2016 IQ is even better than what I hoped for! More control, more compact. I can tell there will be a lot of guys loving this improved feeling.” Thomas Traversa
Light and neutral in the hands initially, the IQ soon fills to adopt a deep profile as the back hand is pulled in, giving a useful and positive amount of bottom end power. The centre of effort is placed quite far back in the foil compared to others, focussed around the rider and ensuring the sail’s energy is balanced in both hands. This bestows the IQ with a real on-off nature, which combined with its high cut foot and high clew position, provides fantastic lightness or instant drive. Used in rough seas, the IQ’s crisp character could serve to unnerve the pilot, yet the Dacron used in the luff panel helps to soften the delivery and keep the IQ driving forward without unsettling the rider’s stance. On a wave face the sail was a true riding weapon, providing the power when needed to drive into the turn, before going ultra neutral in the hands ready for repositioning. “So, with such an accomplished performance in 4-batten mode, why the need for a convertible batten system?” I hear you ask! We were thinking exactly the same, but humoured GA Sails and tried it out. We’ve got to say, it is a worthy addition! Certainly not to everyone’s taste and reducing the IQ’s sharp response, it allows the sail to breathe into an even deeper profile, yet softens the delivery beautifully, and even emphasizes its neutrality in manoeuvres. It took a bit of getting used to but provides the IQ with an extra dimension.
With plenty of useable power and a crisp on-off nature, the addition of the convertible batten system provides the IQ with a whole new dimension. It comes recommended for riders looking to take their wave sailing to the next level.
Other sails in this test: