GA SAILS MANIC 5.3M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Manic remains in the GA Sails line-up as their all-round wave sail for real world conditions, yet has had quite an overhaul for the new season. Firstly, all the sizes are now designed around a constant curve luff shape, with a refined outline to boot. The battens in the head of the sail are now integrated into the sailcloth to sit symmetrically in the middle of the sail. There’s also an interesting step in the leech outline at the main batten above the boom, which combined with the brand’s ‘Posi-Leech’ concept, is said to provide more power and manoeuvrability. There’s a second clew eyelet for increased tuning options, improved fittings (such as an integrated rope pocket in the tack fairing) and enlarged abrasion pads for improved durability. The Manic also retains the three-quarter-length batten option, but for 2017 the full-length batten count reduces from 5 to 4 at 4.7m.
“Used by many of our team riders while travelling and competing across the globe this proven design will not disappoint. The Manic will keep you equally happy blasting around your local beach as well as attacking the long walls of the best breaks on earth. The 2017 Manic offers the perfect balance between power and top end control.”
Used in either full-length or ¾ length batten mode, the Manic is easy to rig and set, with positive rotation in the bottom batten (the main batten protruding significantly from the sail’s leading edge when used in full length mode) and only moderate looseness above the step in the leech. If we were to choose between full and ¾ length, it is interesting that most of the team opted for the latter. In full length setup, the Manic is balanced and dependable, the power delivery relatively precise and focussed. Opt for the reduced batten option, and the extra movement in the luff panel provides breathability in the draft, making the power delivery softer and more useable in marginal winds, yet forgoing little noticeable compromise to top end stability. Its bottom end is assured and progressive, rather than forceful and grunty, the profile expanding smoothly as the pressure builds. And despite the elasticity in the sail’s luff panel, there’s plenty of skin tension throughout the rest of the sail, giving a real sense of crispness and response to its handling. Even when the wind increases, the Manic remains composed and balanced in the hands, twisting smoothly in its head, whilst feeling compact and manageable in the hands. Ease out and the sail springs back to a flat neutral profile, making it light and willing to reposition in transition. With an excellent natural range on one setting, the Manic never seems to lose its manners, even in challenging seas and variable winds.
Adaptable for different riding styles and requirements, the Manic has been injected with a new lease of life for 2017, combining manageable power with crisp handling in a beautifully compact and balanced package.
Other sails in this test: