NORTH E-TYPE 7.3M 2015 TEST REVIEW
Classed as North’s performance no-cam, the E_TYPE is easy to set thanks to the brand’s tried and tested visual trimming system (VTS) on the sail. In reality we found that the sail responded best by keeping the downhaul set on maximum and fine-tuning the power with the outhaul. As such, the sail adopts lots of looseness and twist in the leech, whilst the battens sit very shallow to the mast, displaying little shape or profile at rest. The E_TYPE has quite a boxy outline, being one of the largest in the group for dimensions, and exhibiting a lot of sail area above the boom and in the leech.
“E is for exciting! The E_TYPE is exactly the type of sail to help windsurfing to regain its real fascination. Rigs without a sweat, takes off and gets going without pumping. This sail boasts the perfect power and acceleration capabilities of our WARP combined with the handling of a no-cam sail. Windsurfing has never been so relaxed and exciting at the same time!”
There is no hiding the E_TYPE’s size compared to others here, but it remains very easy and balanced at rest, the shallow draft making it feel surprisingly neutral for a 7.3m. As the wind fills, the E_TYPE switches on, its panels expanding to adopt a beautiful forward driving profile. It’s not the best for pumping as the leech is so loose and the draft travels a long way, making the handling soft and smooth rather than instantaneous and sharp. Instead, the best option is to drop into the right stance and let the sail do the work for you. Accelerating progressively, it gathers pace well and channels power effortlessly to the board, moving around the sailor and absorbing any impact as you travel over chop. In prolonged lulls the E_TYPE’s profile does retract, losing some drive and impetus. We tried retuning with less downhaul, yet this really only served to reduce the sail’s stability as the wind picked up, the large area in the mid-leech hooking slightly. Best option is to leave the downhaul and take any outhaul off to the minimum, so that the sail can breathe as freely as possible. We also found the E_TYPE loved to be partnered with a lively, loose freerace platform, where its easy practical nature tempers any behavioural issue the board may have. You can simply hook in, keep the sail locked with the power on, and let the board skip over the water underneath you, the sail’s smooth delivery pinning the board down and pushing it to new levels as a gust hits.
With incredible ease and softness to its delivery, the E_TYPE really comes alive as the conditions become hairy, providing super accessible performance and impeccable balance. And all this from a major brand at a mega price!
Other sails in this test: