GAASTRA POISON 5.4 2013 TEST REVIEW
The Poison is Gaastra’s ‘power wave’ sail. Intended for more onshore use and/or larger riders, it sits in-between the softer Manic/Manic HD and IQ 4-batten/compact sails in their wave program. For 2013 it’s been completely redesigned with handling stability, weight-reduction and increased wind range in mind – Gaastra also say that more seam shape has resulted in the power moving further aft.
One of the higher aspect shapes in this line-up, but still quite a compact five-batten frame on a medium luff length. The construction and build quality are top-class with lightweight 2ply laminate throughout the sail and tactically-placed X-ply reinforcements. The Poisons are available in four fairly bright new colourways for 2013.
Using the recommended 100% Gaastra 400 RDM it set with good shape in the foil and a pretty tight leech. The tuning range is quite wide and can be adjusted through both down and outhaul.
The Poison does provide plenty of power, but it’s delivered very subtly to make life easy for the pilot. It’s well-balanced and light in the hands, with a soft feel that absorbs gusts and bumps to keep things comfortable. The draft is set in the middle and is light on the backhand with solid drive. The bottom-end grunt is ample for getting up and going early in light winds and we found it could also be pumped very effectively for even earlier planing. At the top end it remains controlled and could reach impressive speeds. It’s a decent jumping sail and offers excellent control in the air as well as being easy on landings. On the wave it’s quick to flick into neutral and is very light and throwabout in manoeuvres.
The Gaastra Poison isn’t the most powerful of ‘power wave’ sails but its light handling and easy-to-control nature make it very effective for riders of all weights in either bump and jump or onshore wave riding conditions.
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