Gaastra Cosmic 8.0m 2014 Test Review Report
Gaastra – or GA Sails as they’re re-branding themselves – have two twin cams on the market. The Phantom – a racier 7-batten number and this 6-batten Cosmic. The Cosmic and Phantom are accompanied in the GA race/freerace range by the no-cam Savage freerace sail (tested in April 2014 issue) and the all-out PWA-level Vapor slalom/race sail – as tested in the May edition.
‘The Cosmic is our 2 cam freeride machine. The new LUFF CURVE CONCEPT delivers more low end and great handling. Its a 6 batten freeride sail for the camber fans, who love that locked in feeling that keeps the profile more stable. The relatively wide sleeve with zippers make it super easy to rig the sail with the method of popping the cambers on the mast later when the sail is already rigged. The rotation of the cambers is super soft and smooth. With the improvements on the 2014 design we were able to increase the performance and make the Cos- mic more efficient for a wider wind range.’ (Sic.)
The best thing about the DNA that filters down from Gaastra’s racing programme is the undisputed low-end push and the control that the deep-bellied draft provides. As obvious as the grunt is, it’s not raw or physical as the power delivery’s beautifully refined. Like a lot of Gaastra’s race, freerace and freeride products there’s a definite presence of ‘gears’ as you accelerate from standing to full-tilt. The draft is steady and predictable with a slight element of flex from the 6-batten frame and the depth of camber really pins down the livelier, racier boards that want to fly and hydrofoil over the rough water. As you’ll read elsewhere amongst this selection, the control the draft lends is very confidence-inducing and we found this to be one of the sails that we didn’t notice much during head-to-heads, simply because it’s just naturally reliable and really brought out the intricacies of the boards instead. If you’re thinking of some recreational racing then this characteristic can’t be underestimated. An ‘invisible’ sail that’s actually pretty powerful – yet still so easy to control – is a gift. The handling in gybes is pretty good for a 7.5 cammed sail and the rotation smooth and slick. Speed-wise the Cosmic is strong and the comfort will only help to maximise that. Although it’d be a good match for a freerace or performance freeride board, we think this is a sail that will allow you to progress straight onto a dedicated slalom board if you’re ambitious and want to experiment with fins and become familiar with the levels of acceleration and step-up in gybing ability required. Later on you’ll then perhaps be tempted into sailing a dedicated race sail fully overpowered, but who knows, with this level of control perhaps you won’t need to?
A perfect example of how a classic twin-cam sail’s control can now deliver the performance of an accomplished freerace model. Deep and drafty and capable of pinning-down quite advanced, racier boards, the Cosmic has a sophisticated engine with strong acceleration and excellent high-speed potential..
Other sails in this test: