HOT SAILS MAUI FIRELIGHT 5.3M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Purist riders who want a versatile and light rig primarily for wave riding use. Although it can handle stronger wind, the draft profile’s not ideal as a blasting crossover option, but will suit both heavier and more slightly built pilots.
There’s a wide tuning range using both out and downhaul, especially at the lower end of the wind range, which is arguably where the sail excels. We preferred it with minimal outhaul most of the time.
“The revolutionary Firelight will transform the way you think about windsurfing. The first thing you notice about the Firelight is its weight; at only 2.9 kg for a 5.3m this is the lightest production 5 batten wave sail on the market today. Once on the water this is transferred into a light and direct feel in the hands, which redefines possibilities in your wave sailing. Whether you sail in onshore bump and jump or mast high Ho’okipa you will complete more moves, build confidence and develop skills faster.”
Outline: Squat, short, 5-batten chassis. Slightly negative foot and lower clew. Roachy head with scalloped leech. Fairly straight luff curve. Fits on 400 Mast for extra strength and weight reduction
Build Quality: Fixed head. Ridged PU-leather head protection. Rod-to-square batten profiles. Light weight film/ ply batten pockets. Mini leech battens. Lots of scrim in upper section. 2-piece luff sleeve. Dimension laminate X-ply with Dacron crumple panel in foot. Film window. Bronze 90-degree metal pulley. Technora radial clew reinforcement – 5 materials. in foot. Foot bumper progresses into leech/clew area. Fabric tack fairing with uphaul cringle. Leather sleeving handle. Nice tack fairing closure system, internal stash pocket. Loop-go pulley. Radial tack webbing and technora. Two large silicon bumpers either side of tack fairing.
Hot Sails have clearly put a lot of detail and a generous amount of materials into the Firelight with the result being a strong and instantly light-feeling sail. There’s definitely low-end power on tap, with the pull mostly coming from high and towards to the back. There’s also quite a loose leech for a sail with so much roach. The high pull gives a nice on-the-toes stance but this has the feel of a purist riding sail with the draft definitely drifting around a little in straight-line sailing – especially at the top-end of its range – making for a slightly nervous but excitable nature that just begs you to throw it about. And on the wave this is exactly what it allows you to do – all with a super featherweight sensation. There’s some backhand nature in the bottom turn but to be honest we just found it beautifully invisible in the hands and capable of turns in both seriously onshore and more sideshore setups.
Awesome build quality in a super lightweight package, specialising in lower wind speeds, the Firelight’s a dedicated wave sail that will drive any type of board in either sideshore or onshore surf.
READ THE OTHER REPORTS