NAISH CHOPPER M 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW
A beautiful, compact feeling sail with heaps of wind range, bottom-end power and low swing weight for rotations and turns.
Modern multi-fin/compact boards and those used to a contemporary, upright stance with longer harness lines. Those who like a lot of backhand feedback in turns.
Ask some of the team and they’ll say ‘buy a whole’ set of ‘em’! But it’s a moot point. Slotting a single Chopper into an existing quiver will require some thought and potentially a demo as one size could possibly replace two sails. What a nice and economical dilemma! (Just a single and strong 370 mast required for all 4 sizes.)
‘An ultra compact wave sail that makes surfing and landing rotation moves easier than ever before … based on the power and drive of the Force, the Chopper packs more power per square meter than any other sail on the market’.
Outline: Squat 4-batten plan-shape with a ‘fat head’ and plenty of roach, slight dropped clew.
Build Quality: A good level of construction for such a lightweight sail. Out-of-the-bag, naked, it’s noticeably light and with tonnes of top-brand laminates, carbon tape and scrim used Naish have packed heaps of value into this product.
The first thing you notice when handling the Chopper is it feels like a kiddy rig – compact and amazingly light. The second is, when you sheet in, is that it’s super grunty – you can feel the power delivery is back and high above your rear hand, so when you bottom turn you feel the drive drawing lower and nearer the centre of your radius with quite a lot of backhand feedback for tightening-up your turns. For more drawn-out arcs it’s like it’s not even there! With a tight leech it’s not the fastest sail, but the added control means you can attack ramps with confidence. There is some shift in the draft when sailing around in a straight line, but all-in-all the Chopper is pretty stable, very manoeuvrable and amazingly easy to throw around. We found it flew upwind and puts you in an excellent ready-for-anything stance, upright and on the toes, which definitely motivates you to go for moves. Bigger guys found it back-winded a little when heavily overpowered, but generally a popular choice for handling gusty wind. That said, in terms of wind range, we had 85 and 95 kg testers happily swapping between this model (‘effective size’ of 4.2-4.7) and 5.2s – and 75 kg riders happy long after similar weight sailors were changing down to 3.7s.
Rigging: Very much plug ‘n play. We found it best in all conditions with the leech kept relatively tight and just tweaked with outhaul.
* Image showS the XS model
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