HOT SAILS MAUI QU4D 4.7M 2014 TEST REVIEW
It’s not right to pigeonhole this as a lightweight’s sail, but if you like heaps of ever-present pull the Qu4d might on the surface of things seem gutless. But keep an open mind as actually the power is refined and deceptive and plenty of torque is put down through the mastfoot.
We found it best – in line with a growing trend of ‘slack’ outhauls – set full, touching the boom from the clew until past the adjuster clip in all but the strongest wind. Always needs leech loose to at least batten #2. Over downhauling creates excess leech flutter.
Hot Sails hype the Qu4d as a ‘super-compact 4-batten wave sail designed for radical and aggressive riders for use in a variety of wave conditions’.
Outline: Short and squat 4-batten frame with ‘negative’ cut foot, heavily scalloped leech and a lot of roach.
Build Quality: Hot have gone to town in the construction department, with lots of attention to detail and a very light but ‘built’ product being the outcome.
Things we noticed included: Hot sails like leather! (And are not fans of susceptible-to-tears film.) There’s a ridged PU-leather head protection. Leather sleeving handle and we’re sure there’s a whiff of leather on the batten end protectors too! Their (rod) battens are all placed on alternate sides, scrim in the upper section panels, 2-piece luff sleeve with moulded mast sleever. Mainly x-ply in the foot and window – no film to be seen. Beefy carbon Technora radial clew. Brass/bronze 90-degree metal Loop-go pulley, a fabric tack fairing with uphaul cringle featuring a nice closure system, internal stash pocket and radial tack webbing.
We published a test on the Qu4d 4.3 in September and found a lot of consistency between that and this 4.7. When you first see or handle this product your immediate impressions will focus on the detail and quality of materials and subsequent lightweight feel. The power sensation is strange. It’s not a grunty, powerhouse – especially not for heavier riders – but it does deliver a lot of drive down into the board, both in a straight line and when turning. Looking at the outline and knowing the history of sails involving Kauli Seadi in the development, we expected slightly more backhand pressure in the bottom turn, but actually it’s quite neutral in the hands, with all the roach working instead to keep power on through the turns instead. That throaty head and leech also work well in controlling power off-the-top (especially helpful in the onshore test conditions). Turning-wise we enjoyed the ability to control the arc without losing power in both tight carves and long onshore-style ‘false’ turns. In general terms we found the wind range good and this 4-batten lively and particularly keen to be thrown about.
A light and energetic sail that’s super-manoeuvrable and armed with a good wide wind range. The power delivery is smooth and deceptive with plenty of drive despite the light-in-the-hands feel.