The North Duke is a power wave and freestyle crossover sail, the smaller sizes in the range (5.0m and below) are aimed at waves, while the larger sizes (5.4m and above) are more freestyle focused. For 2012 the range has had a few tweaks, making the sails more compact and lighter weight, while still retaining the North 5 year warranty.
At a glance
The 2012 Duke has got a shorter luff and boom length to save weight and improve the handling. As you would expect from North, the build quality is the highest standard and it also features all of the usual North innovations, including a new padded mast tack protector. This sail really looks the business, with three different colour options, we had the Code Insane option which really stands out on the water.
It can be set on either an RDM or SDM but we tested the sail with a North Platinum RDM for best performance. Rigging and tuning the North is made very easy with the visual trim aids printed on the sail so you simply can’t go wrong! It has a wide tuning range but does perform at its best with plenty of down-haul and then tuned with out-haul.
The Duke is extremely well balanced with a neutral feel and a solid forward pull. The bottom end is good and when powered up it feels a lot smaller than a 5.9m, which makes it great for throwing around in freestyle moves, its freestyle background means that the power can be switched on or off instantly. It has a decent wind range but tuning is required to get the most out of it.
If freestyle and waves are your focus, then this sail is for you. In addition, if you want to standout on the water, this model will certainly get you noticed. The North is extremely well made and suitable for any level or style of rider.