GAASTRA MANIC 4.7M 2014 TEST REVIEW
All shape and sizes and board types, but a genuine hard-core sail that might attract a few heavyweights usually drawn towards ‘onshore’ or ‘power’ wave sails.
The tuning range is wide but we found that enough downhaul to keep the leech active in all wind strengths and quite a slack outhaul setting best. In general it’s better rigged pretty full.
“The 2014 Manic has been completely redesigned. The all- new Manic is more powerful and stable, with a constant and smooth power output which keeps it very light in the hands. We have greatly increased the drive. The new character improves the light and balanced handling with Gaastra’s legendary neutrality on the waves. These new improvements make it easier to get out through the impact zone and give the sail a lot more stability. The Manic is in a class on its own! In any wave conditions, you can tell it what to do, where to go and how to do it … She will listen!”
Outline: The luff and boom measurements belie the taller looking profile but actually the sail is pretty low-aspect overall.
Build Quality: Good feel of build quality but not particularly light. Moulded fixed 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 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.
Although not billed as their ‘power’ wave sail, which is the Poison, the Manic is noticeably grunty with smooth power delivery that gives plenty of feedback from the second you sheet in – all handy for getting up-to-speed fast and hitting ramps early. Although stable in a straight line – and also particularly keen to fly upwind – it’s not all about the torque, as this 4.7 is also instantly eager to show-off its manoeuvrability. We found it held the drive very well in longer, onshore ‘fake’ turns while also going nice and neutral in more genuine arcs on the wave face. All that power is readily usable and controllable when riding, with a nice smooth transition in the top turn and without any excess whip off-the-top – handy on bang-onshore days. The drive is pretty low and forward and puts good force through the hull. We mostly tested it in onshore conditions but also gave it a good run-out in UK conditions that included both side and cross-on setups.
A well-built, manoeuvrable smooth-handling sail with refined power for a wide range of wavesailing environments.