NEILPRYDE ATLAS 5.4 TEST REVIEW REPORT
The Atlas is NeilPryde’s freewave sail, designed for maximum power and stability. For 2013 the line has featured a few tweaks, with a longer luffs and shorter boom length to improve the handling and lower batten placement with a lighter feel in mind.
A compact 5-batten outline with what’s a fairly short luff for its size. The foot is low and there’s a powerful foil that sets with a lot of shape. The level of build quality lives up to what you’d expect from NeilPryde, with all-new ‘Forceline’ reinforcement in the tack and clew that replaces layers of Dacron with polyester yarns that ‘seamlessly absorb and disperse loads into the body of the sail’, 4-directional polyester yarn x-ply and a moulded tack fairing.
Primed with a 400 NeilPryde Matrix100 RDM, the new higher tension leech requires a fairly accurate downhaul setting to be at its most effective, so follow the rigging guides and you shouldn’t go far wrong. It does set with a fair amount of rotation in the batten just above the boom but once the downhaul is set, it can be tuned with the outhaul.
The instant acceleration is immediately noticeable, with lots of available power to-hand. The draft has been shifted slightly higher, which has lightened the handling, so it requires very little rider input and effort and is easy to control. Upwind performance is very good and it’s worth noting that this is a particularly fast sail, especially off the wind. The straight-line speed is obviously awesome for launching big jumps and, while airborne, it also generates a lot of lift for you to go big with confidence. On the wave there’s tonnes of drive for powering fast turns and the handling is very sharp, but it’s no hassle to ease off the pressure during manoeuvres if you need to.
The 2013 Atlas is a highly versatile wave sail that delivers awesome power combined with light handling. It’s a sail that could behave perfectly anywhere, but it’s in onshore or bump and jump conditions that it particularly excels. A very accessible option for all levels of rider.
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