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North Duke 5.4 2012

North Duke 5.4

Stats Size (m2) 5.4 Luff (cm) 434 Boom (cm) 179 Battens 5 Ideal Mast 430/21 IMCS Extension Req (cm) 4 Price £499

The Duke is North’s power wave/freestyle sail, with the larger sizes (5.4 and above) being more freestyle orientated and the smaller sizes have a more wave bias. The Duke is now in its fifth generation, designed for all conditions, from waves to flat water and all types of rider.

At a glance
The Duke has evolved from last years model, it has lost some weight, making it lighter and it also has a slightly reduced luff length, to improve handling. The build quality and materials look top notch and this is also backed up with a 5 year manufactures warranty. It features all of the usual North innovations, such as TwinTrim clew, VTS (Visual Trim System) and a new lightweight padded tack fairing.

It has been designed to work best on an RDM but is also compatible with SDM’s. Recommended mast is either a 400 or 430 RDM, we tested this sail with a 430 North Platinum RDM. When rigging the Duke it is crucial that you apply plenty of down haul, we found it is best down-hauled to the maximum on the VTS and then tuned with the out-haul to suit the conditions. Once the Down-haul is set, it has a wide tuning range that can be adjusted for a range of conditions and styles.

On the water
The Duke feels light and extremely well balanced in the hands. It has a direct, forward pull and even set with maximum downhaul it has good bottom end grunt. There is always plenty of power on tap and it is very easy to control, it is quite throw-about, which is perfect for crossing over between wave and freestyle sailing. The top-end control is extremely good, set with a loose leech, it reacts perfectly to every gust.

Summing up
The Duke crosses over perfectly between waves and freestyle, it is a highly efficient foil that will satisfy a wide range of riders, from freestylers to wave riders who are seeking a reliable power wave sail.


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