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Gaastra IQ 4.5m

Stats Size (m2) 4.5 Luff (cm) 386 Boom (cm) 162 Battens 4 Ideal Mast 370/17 IMCS RDM Extension Req (cm) 16 Price £489

BACKGROUND
The IQ is Gaastra’s four batten wave sail, it is the lightest wave sail in their range and is designed for ‘in-the-pocket’ style radical wave action. For 2013 Gaastra say it has been tweaked to improve all round performance, featuring new materials such as a new 2-ply laminate construction that is claimed to be 10% lighter than before.

AT A GLANCE
The shape for 2013 has been adjusted from last year’s model, it has a narrower head shape with a shorter luff and slightly longer boom length. It has a 2Ply laminate material in the head of the sail and a full X-ply frame with plenty of re-enforcement where needed so it should stand up to some abuse. It’s a well-built sail that really stands out on the water. It also has a new large lightweight foam tack-fairing, which completely conceals the mast foot.

RIGGING
It rigs on a 370 mast and we tested the sail on a Gaastra 100% RDM. It has a decent tuning range that can be adjusted through both the down and outhaul. It sails well however rigged but we found it best set with just enough downhaul to break the leech and then tune with some out-haul to suit the conditions. The new tack pad on the Gaastra extends very low, which can make accessing the downhaul pulleys tricky when rigging but once it’s rigged it does keep everything tidy.

PERFORMANCE
The IQ powers-up very smoothly and it also has a sense of urgency to get you going quickly, with plenty of low-end grunt to accelerate you. It is light in the hands and feels well balanced and poised. The pull comes from low down, so it’s an easy sail to control in all conditions, with a decent wind range. When it comes to wave riding, the drive is very easily switched on and off, so you can power into transitions and then throw it around however you like.

THE VERDICT
The IQ will suit a wide range of rider weights and styles but be most appealing to more radical riders and multi fin boards in particular. It is lightweight, well-balanced and very playful on the water.

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