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NeilPryde Fly 4.5m

Stats Size (m2) 4.5 Luff (cm) 386 Boom (cm) 159 Battens 4 Ideal Mast 370/17 IMCS RDM Extension Req (cm) 16 Price £515

BACKGROUND
The Fly is NeilPryde’s lightweight 4-batten down-the-line wave sail line, used and developed by team riders Jason Polakow and Kauli Seadi it’s billed as a ‘light and neutral feel’ sail. For 2013 it has had a few tweaks, including a new lower-down batten layout with improved stability in mind. The Fly is available in either HD (Heavy Duty) or clear window constructions.

AT A GLANCE
It comes in two different colour options and this one is in Kauli’s bright green and yellow Brazilian colours and really stands out on the water, the graphics are also printed between the laminates so they won’t get scratched-off and look shabby. It has a compact shape with a high-cut foot, a slightly stepped leech and a large padded tack fairing.

RIGGING
It rigs on a 370 mast and we tested the sail with a NeilPryde Matrix 100 RDM. It’s a soft sail, so beware not to over-downhaul it, when rigging. It has a decent tuning range that can be adjusted mainly through the outhaul to suit the conditions and your personal style.

PERFORMANCE
It’s very light in the hands, with a soft and balanced feel. It powers-up well in lighter breeze but can quickly get overpowered at the top-end if pushed too hard in windy, onshore conditions. It has a soft and reactive leech twist which results in the foil creasing across the middle but as long as you don’t sail too overpowered, this is not an issue. The power is very on-or-off and when you want to you can switch this sail to completely neutral, which is awesome while on the wave – the better the waves, the better this sail feels.

THE VERDICT
Most-suited to lighter riders who like to sail smaller sizes for the conditions, it’s super light and well-balanced in the hands. Heavier and more powerful riders may find it a little too soft though. It’s designed for sideshore down-the-line wave conditions and in this environment would perform superbly but unfortunately it wasn’t particularly well-suited to the powered-up, howling onshore conditions we experienced throughout most of the testing.

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