GA SAILS MANIC 5.0M 2018 TEST REVIEW
The Manic remains in the GA Sails range for 2018 as their “Hardcore Wave” option, but takes on an extended role with the departure of the Poison. Completely redesigned, it uses the knowledge gained and heritage of the old ‘Power Wave’ sibling in the larger sizes (5.4 – 6.2m), with the 4.7m and 5.0m strategically evolved to bridge the gap between the two styles, and the smaller sizes (3.3 – 4.5m) exhibiting the classic Manic qualities of control and manoeuvrability. This 5.0m is the largest size in the line-up with 5 battens (4.7m and down use a four-batten configuration), albeit the option is there to convert the full-length batten above the boom to a ¾ length alternative. Following the guide provided, this is done very easily before the sail is rigged, using a second internal pocket. Available in two different colour schemes and in a ‘Heavy Duty’ complete x-ply layup, the Manic is an attractive looking sail, with quality scrim in the upper panels and performance-focussed detailing, such as integrated battens and double clew eyelets.
“A staple of the GA line up, the Manic is a proven classic for many of our pro team. A perfect all-rounder that inspires greatness in any conditions the weather throws at you. Whether you are looking for ultimate control during stormy winter days or want to make the most of the best waves of the season, the Manic has the tools to deliver.”
Sheathing GA’s constant curve RDM mast up the sleeve, the tack fairing folds away easily for clean access to the tack pulley. There is a good deal of luff curve in the Manic and it requires significantly more downhaul than the quoted increment – 4 / 5cms more extension seemed about right. This amount of tension provides the looseness in the top two panels, whilst both battens retain plenty of rotation around the mast. On the water, this setting translates to plenty of bottom end grunt. The Manic feels large in the hands for a 5.0m, the power crisp and direct in nature, and can be used to unstick the most stubborn board. The Dacron luff panel certainly absorbs any harshness in the feedback as you travel over choppy seas, allowing the sail to be locked into place, whilst the sail’s centre of effort remains very focussed and balanced. If the wind increases, the Manic displayed some excellent tuning capacity, through more tension and using the lower clew eyelet, but we were most impressed with its transformation when using the ¾ length batten above the boom. The sail’s character is instantly transformed, from powerful and direct to soft, breathable and more playful in the hands. It was a delight to use on a wave, providing progressive on-off power and more neutral handling mid-transition. With its wider function in the GA range, the Manic fulfils its brief superlatively, finding most favour amongst the team in its converted state.
The Manic is one of the most diverse wave sails available, its tuning aptitude capable of entirely altering its character. With the capacity to suit very different sailing styles, it is
worth experimenting with to find your dream set.
Other sails in this test: