NEILPRYDE COMBAT 4.7M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Any type of modern waveboard, especially multifin models.
A good wide tuning band but, unlike many in this group, it’s advisable to 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 able 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, (4.7 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 slick moulded, padded tack fairing with a stainless steel 3-block pulley.
We published our report on the Combat 4.2 in the September issue and the findings between that and this 4.7 were mostly similar to all sizes of testers. The overall feeling is one of hugely refined power delivery, something that’s present across all the Pryde wave sail ranges. Early planing and, notably, acceleration, are ever-present – all with a nice level of spring to dampen any bumps the extra speed and drive creates. All the Pryde wave sails are pretty ‘compact’ anyway and this new 4-batten 4.7 Combat is no exception with a light and nimble feel that urges you to hurl it into turns and manoeuvres. On the wave the smooth, drivy sensation is enhanced with a useful level of backhand control to vary the radius of turns to suit and the sweet, neutral and measured action off-the-top helps a lot in those unforgiving super-onshore top turns. All-in-all the wind range is good and the Combat would make an ideal companion for any level of wave sailor across the full gambit of surf conditions.
Sophisticated power delivery and awesome dynamic handling that’s ideal for all types of conditions, body type and abilities of wave sailor. Excellent control and backhand feedback in the surf.