GAASTRA MATRIX 6.5M 2013 TEST REVIEW
Any type of freeride or freerace board (compact or narrower outlines) in all water states. A good match for every body type but more suitable to accomplished sailors or heavier riders looking for hassle-free, slalom-style performance. A strong higher wind option for amateur racers to consider.
Allow for extra length in your extension as we found almost 10 cm more than quoted was required to downhaul the Matrix into its best higher end of the range settings.
The Matrix is billed as “The ultimate no-cam freeride machine” concentrating on being balanced, controllable and simple to use. ‘Sister sail’ to the 2-cam Cosmic and the step-up choice from the Pilot entry-level sail.
Outline: Low aspect, compact style. Shortest boom (cutaway clew) and second shortest luff on test.
Build Quality: EVA tack fairing, mast-head protector, adjustable head, C-film (claiming better UV resistance than standard monofilm) and x-ply.
Rigging and Tuning: Required more extension than stated. Worked well from almost neutral outhaul setting to quite positive trimming in strong wind. The leech is progressively loose from pretty low down but good levels of downhaul are required to get the best out of the twist.
Low End & Acceleration: Excellent power delivery for early planing and hasty pull towards top speed.
Top End: Definitely one of the fastest on test, especially on wider, more compact boards and superb downwards-driving force for control in more hectic conditions.
Gybing & Manoeuvres: The boom feels nice and short and direct, although the large clew cut-out does slow how fast you can throw the rig from tack-to-tack a tiny bit.
Handling: The pull is from low and central/forward and the Centre of Effort stays nice and stable in the hands. The solid feel give the Matrix a similar impression to riding a multi-cammed sail.
A grunty, racy feeling option with impressive top-end handling that’s definitely at the freerace end of the spectrum. Perhaps a handful for novices, but by no means overly technical to rig or sail.
READ THE OTHER REPORTS – to be released over the coming weeks!