LOFTSAILS PURELIP 5.7M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The PureLip has been in the Loftsails line-up as their five batten wave sail for many years now, the range extending over a mammoth 13 sizes, from 2.8 – 6.2m. For 2017, the brand claims its new design has made the PureLip more powerful yet more stable, thereby increasing its range and appeal further still. In this, the second largest size available in the PureLip range, the premise was for a higher aspect ratio and a modified shape profile, offering two clew eyelet options to increase tuning practicality, and forward profiled ‘standing battens’ to lock the draft in place. This batten type is unique to Loftsails, used in the longer pockets of their wave sails, for increased stiffness and therefore stability, without compromising durability. In addition, the PureLip retains the brand’s familiar Integrated Panel Concept (IPC), using radial x-ply layups to connect the sail’s three corners, providing structure, strength and stability. The materials used, from the long-lasting luff tube to the various scrim weights throughout the panels, combine with excellent detailing to uphold the brand’s reputation for quality.
“The new 2017 concept has a softer, easier, more compact feel with improved stability in all wind ranges” – Monty Spindler
Whilst compatible with an SDM, the PureLip is recommended for use with an RDM and is tested here on a 430cm Team Edition mast. It is straightforward to rig, the leech twisting off progressively along its length whilst the two lower battens sit clear of the mast, possessing shape and profile at rest. On the water this translates to a light, compact feeling sail at idle. There is plenty of skin tension in the draft, so as the wind fills and the sail’s profile deepens, most of the movement is bestowed by the play in the luff sleeve. Its bottom end grunt is good, if not amongst the top in the group and whilst the tension in the panels doesn’t necessarily lend it to pumping as much as others, the PureLip provides positive useable feedback in both hands as the pressure builds. Once going it has a decidedly crisp nature, feeling responsive and instantaneous in the hands. It does feel like a large wave sail, the centre of effort is locked high and forward, giving it an alert character and encouraging the rider to throw it around. And yet as the wind increases and conditions turn on, the PureLip has the stability and structure to be equally at home in a coastal blasting role. It can be re-tuned with more downhaul tension, beyond that recommended, opening the leech up even more, which, combined with using the bottom clew eyelet increases its top end efficiency further. Accelerating in gusts and maintaining its balanced manners throughout, the PureLip was a pleasure to use in challenging seas, rewarding an active riding style with the speed and response to make the most of the conditions, whilst others were left struggling.
The PureLip 5.7m has the crisp response you’d expect of a wave sail, coupled with the steadfast stability and speed to offer plenty of crossover /blasting potential.
Other sails in this test: