GAASTRA POISON 5.4M 2015 TEST REVIEW REPORT
‘GA Sails from Gaastra’ have re-vamped the popular Poison powerhouse with a new reduced seam outline and batten layout that apparently lowers the centre of gravity plus they’ve beefed-up the head and clew, brought the draft back slightly, raised the clew height for more direct power and have added x-ply higher up in the profile. All the range will fit on two masts (400 and 430) and there’s also a new EVA mast protector that’s lighter and intended to be easier to use.
‘Whether you are in wavy or flat water conditions, the Poison is an excellent choice. Anyone who likes a direct sail with useable power through the backhand is in the right place with the Poison. Just sheet in and gusty winds or strong currents are no longer an issue.’ (Sic.)
We certainly got to test the low end of the Poison early in this trip and definitely felt like the sail produced less obvious, direct force than earlier incarnations, yet the power delivery is undoubtedly much smoother, subtler and more refined. The Poison is certainly light and there’s also an element of spongy, forgiving springiness to the way it reacts and fills nice and early. At the extreme low end the pressure does struggle to convert 100% into usable drive, with some testers describing a ‘heavy’ – but not in a physical way – feel from the downward drive, but generally it’s very smooth and efficient and actually quite deceptive in the way the power is put through the board. The clew feels quite narrow and the profile tall, but checking the specs it’s actually fairly short and high aspect overall. Okay, so it’s not the most manoevrable, but a 5.4 ‘power wave’ is rarely ever going to manage this anyway. Additionally, the strong element of backhand pressure is very helpful in the turns in onshore conditions. With that in mind, overall we think this is great sail for larger, gnarlier surf conditions, be they stormy onshore mush burgers with a lot of rip involved, or sideshore and down-the-line setups of good size where the slightly less throw-about nature will be right at home. We honestly can’t vouch for the more extreme top-end, but everything got easier and easier as the wind increased which is often a vital sign of high-end range.
A light, efficient foil with a smooth power output and forgiving feel. Ideal for doing all the hard work in tricky conditions, the Poison’s would serve well at a wide range of sailing locations.
Other boards in this test: