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Gaastra IQ 4.2 2014

GAASTRA IQ 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW

Stats Size (m2) 4.2 Luff (cm) 377 Boom (cm) 154 Battens 4 Ideal Mast 370 Gaastra 100 Extension Req (cm) 9 Price £545

GAASTRA IQ 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW

THE VERDICT
The IQ allows for an easy entry into a more dynamic, new-skool style of sailing. It’s a little more physical to sail than some, but has amazing wind range on-tap.

BEST FOR
It’s hard to call any wave sail specifically an ‘onshore’ model as they’re all incredibly multipurpose these days. However, the IQ does excel in onshore environments where manoeuvrability and early planing
are critical.

RECOMMENDATION
Keep the Gaastra mast as a priority as the performance is definitely superior than on others we tried. In line with the rest of this category we advise pretty much one downhaul setting to wake up the leech and then tune with downhaul for both wind range or feel. (Slacker outhaul in onshore works in nearly all wind strengths.)

BRAND CLAIM
“The new IQ has a new luff curve while the profile and 4 batten concept remains the same. The shape has been updated for greater comfort. Although the IQ has been modified slightly, compared to the other 2014 wave sails, you can feel a great improvement on the water. The sail now feels lighter in the hands and is much more controllable in the jumps. On the wave it is radical and agile as ever. The 4 batten design for the latest new school style, powerful and radical, for those who want to always stay closer to the hollow part of the wave.”

OVERVIEW
Outline: Due to the narrower head, the IQ initially looks taller than some of the other 4.2s in the group, but is actually about average in terms of luff/boom lengths.
Build Quality: Much more functional and less printed/cosmetic work than in the past. Good feel of build quality but not particularly light. Moulded adjustable head. Top section largely scrim with x-ply on leech. Narrow batten pockets, all on starboard side. (Rod battens.) Silicon bumper one side and tensioner head stand proud on other. 2 leech battens with thin wide glass battens. Leading edge luff protection internal taped seam. Moulded luff sleever. Large film window, boom markings printed inside luff cut-out. Silicon clew protection each side. Double radial single cringle clew. Foot bumper from clew-to-tack. More silicon tack radial seam protection. Anti-chafe foot panel.  X-ply foot panels. EVA moulded tack fairing with handle, uphaul hole. Metal loop-go pulley.

PERFORMANCE
On this trip – and in subsequent ‘home waters’ testing – we got to examine the two extremes of the groups’ wind range and found the IQ could cope with an impressive scope of conditions. In fact we could often get going earlier than and power through the inside before many people on 4.7s – and were happy enough in wind up to 45 knots. On the whole it’s pretty stable, but less ‘precise’ and settled to ride than its Manic stable mate, with the pull coming from around head high and central in the draft. With more outhaul it feels lighter in the hands but with more onshore wind angles riding is definitely enhanced with a looser setting that naturally makes it feel ‘heavier’. In the bottom turn the IQ is capable of extreme downwind, onshore bottom turns, where the clew is past the wind, mainly thanks to the progressive twist – that opens far and allows you to stay in control – and the nice and low clew height. Again, compared to the Manic there’s more backhand pressure for those tighter-in-the-pocket turns, but it does require a little more athleticism to maximise the performance. A popular testers’ choice.

www.gaastra.com

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