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NP Firefly 4.9 2012

Neil Pryde Firefly 4.9

Stats Size (m2) 4.9 Luff (cm) 412 Boom (cm) 161 Battens 5 Ideal Mast 400/19 IMCS RDM Extension Req (cm) 12 Price £520

The Firefly is NeilPryde’s dedicated freestyle sail, designed to be lightweight and powerful for modern freestyle use on flat water or in the waves. The 4.9 is the smallest in the range and they are available in two different and bright colour schemes that will get you noticed on the water.

At a glance
This five batten sail has a compact outline, with a short boom and a high foot. It has plenty of X-Ply in high stress areas, with a large clear mono window in the middle. It is a quality looking sail with the usual NeilPryde touches, such as a thermo formed tack pad, head and clew.

It rigs on a 400 mast and we tested it on a NeilPryde X9 RDM. It has a decent wind range and we found that setting it with a little less down-haul and plenty of out-haul gave it the best punchy freestyle performance.

It is light and balanced in the hands, the power feeds in very smoothly and it has a decent amount of bottom end grunt to get you going early. This 4.9 is one of the smaller sails in the test and while it wasn’t the earliest to get going, it’s low-down power is certainly comparable to the larger sails. It has a neutral feel, with a forward pull and in all conditions it remains perfectly controlled and very stable at the top end. When it comes to throwing it into moves, the short boom makes it very easy to duck and the light, balanced handling allows you to spin through manoeuvres with total confidence.

The verdict
The Firefly is a highly capable freestyle sail that makes all moves feel easy, particularly the ones that involve ducking the sail. It is a comfortable sail to use in all conditions and fun to blast on in-between moves as well. It will suit all levels of freestyle riders, who are looking for a versatile and user-friendly sail for flat water or small waves.


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