NEILPRYDE COMBAT 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Refined power and decent handling for riding and rotational manoeuvres. A strong choice for all types of conditions with a nice level of backhand feedback for riding.
Any type of wave or freestyle wave board, especially multifin models.
There is some tuning range but keep some tension to unlock the best performance at either end of the scale.
‘With versatility and performance as its main design objectives, the Combat shines in all conditions. A totally new design including a 4-batten layout in small sizes has resulted in an even lighter and more responsive Combat. You’ll give up long before it does’.
Due to some logistical delays, the NeilPryde sails arrived too late to make our full assess-and-compare sessions and as such were straight out of the box and onto the water to maximise time. Without being to go over them with a fine toothcomb side-by-side with the competition, these are our basic observations on the build quality.
Outline: All of the Pryde wave sails are ‘compact’ but the Combat is slightly higher aspect than most of this group, with a narrow head and a stepped leech above the boom.
Build Quality: The Combats all boast laminated clew and tack panels containing woven kevlar and polyester yarn that disperse the high loads from these sections and prevent stretch. All these panels are stitch free, which bodes well for long-term durability. Elsewhere Pryde are generous with the dyneema x-ply and all the graphics are printed prior to lamination so should stay pin-sharp for some time to come. There’s a moulded PU and rubber head protector piece, (4.2 is fixed head), key-less batten tensioners and batten tip protection on each tack, nice flat sewn-in mini battens, and loads of double-stitched seams as well. There’s also all the usual foot protection piping and a nice moulded, padded tack fairing with a stainless 3-block pulley.
As you’d expect from a Pryde the power delivery is nice and smooth, the combat having good acceleration and a slight amount of spring. The 4.2 is super-manoeuvrable in the hands and loves to be turned and ducked and generally thrown about. The bottom turn is nice with a lot of feedback as you sheet in to keep you in touch constantly with the power and it remains composed and controlled off-the-top. Our heavier testers did find some top-end wind limit with a slightly scattier behaviour so the scope of use and levels of drive are better at the lower and medium end of the scale, but it’s by no means a sail for light riders only as traditionally the combat’s been much-loved by testers of all shapes and sizes.
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READ THE OTHER REPORTS