LOFTSAILS PURELIP 5.2M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Purelip has been in the Loftsails range as their hardcore wave sail for years now. Designed for use in any environment, from side-shore and onshore waves, to coastal bump and jump, it has been refreshed for the new season to incorporate a deeper profile and revised luff curve. The intention is for the Purelip to have a “softer, easier character” … “breathing and feeling more natural” in the hands. Build quality and attention to detail are synonymous with the brand name and the Purelip displays why, with a durable mast sleeve material, various grades of Biax / Triax laminates throughout the sail’s panels and moulded PVC protection pads in all the vulnerable areas. There’s even some PVC moulded beading along the whole length of the bottom batten. Compatible with SDM masts, the Purelip is recommended for use with an RDM mast and is tested here on one of the brand’s Team Edition 400 RDM masts.
“Wind vision is performance greater than the sum of the parts: the board, the rider and the rig become life-like windsurfing at its best! Designs from The Loft are alive, breathing, living performance available from the rig in all conditions. Forward sail profile orientation, high skin tension and a soft-twisting, exhausting leech work together to produce life-like rigs that expand performance and wind range.”
Rigging for marginal winds, the Purelip can be tuned with only a moderate amount of downhaul tension, the leech opening in the sail’s top two panels whilst the two lower battens retain rotation around the mast. Using the upper clew eyelet, the sail feels balanced yet direct in the hands, the centre of effort relatively high and forward in the draft. It has a longer boom length than any other sail in the group, providing useful leverage and feedback to push energy into the board and release it from the water’s surface. With pressure building, the Purelip adopts a fuller profile thanks to the play in the luff tube material, its elastic limit determining the depth of the draft. This movement provides some progressive softness to the delivery as well, before the x-ply luff panel takes effect, providing finesse and precision to the sail’s handling. As the wind increases, the Purelip can be re-tuned with more downhaul tension, allowing the leech to fall away further down its length and reducing the rotation in the battens – the batten above the boom sitting away from the mast entirely. Choose the bottom clew eyelet and the sail becomes a foundation of stability! Its drive is locked steadfastly forward in the draft, the leech venting any excess energy efficiently, leaving the rider’s stance unaffected. Fast and stable, the Purelip makes for an excellent high wind coastal blasting sail, providing the speed and impetus for bump and jump antics and the control for covering distance in comfort. In manoeuvres its long boom is noticeable compared to others in the group, yet the balance of the sail combined with its on-off ease makes it easy to manage and reposition on the wave face.
Fast, direct and with impressive top end stability, the Purelip is marvellously adaptable through tuning and use of its clew eyelets to compliment the prevailing conditions and any riding style.
Other sails in this test: