NORTH HERO 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Good wind range and a notably early-planer with a relaxed and secure-feeling that requires little effort to achieve a tighter-turning style of sailing.
We know this sail has down-the-line pedigree too, but it’s a strong option for those who sail on multifin boards and/or at onshore-wind locations a lot of the time.
Although we managed to find a different range of behaviours using other brands’ masts on the 4.7 (also tested in this issue) the performance on the recommended platinum 370 suits this 4.2 best. Again though, experiment outside of the North VTS markings and start with less than the recommended minimum downhaul as a baseline setting.
“… the favorite sail of superhero Victor Fernandez fits perfectly with the current multi-fin boards and independent of the sailor’s weight always guarantees maximum performance.”
Outline: Although initially a boxier looking shape it’s actually the longest luffed in the entire 4.2 selection we took on test. Slight dropped foot. Some roach. Square head.
Build Quality: A clean overall look with standard x-ply and film construction.
Things we noticed include: Double seams all over. Durable plastic mast cup. Small silicon anti-rub standing proud on leech. Flush batten adjusters with load-spreaders. Flat plastic leech battens. Mark cloth trim on head and leech. Extra internal film in head. 4-part sleeve with internal seam protection tape. Battens above boom on port, below boom on starboard. Individual sail serial number in logo. X-ply in head, film in window and x-ply foot. Moulded luff sleever. Standard cringle with multi-layer protection. Silicon foot bumper and silicon seam protection on foot seams. Tall, silver EVA-moulded tack fairing with handle, uphaul hole, stash pocket, metal 90-deg pulley with ‘guard’ to prevent slippage. Visual trim and boom height markings.
The Hero has a softer profile this year that fills earlier and lends it self superbly to early planing, which is a plus in locations with strong rips and/or onshore wind. We liked the ‘traditional’ x-ply construction – despite the general-market heading towards more use of scrims and Dacron – for the stable and settled feeling it delivers. With what’s quite a high aspect, ’tall’ profile in comparison to the rest of this group, the Hero manages to feel and act like a much more compact rig, but with the benefit of good control off-the-top in bang onshore wind angles. This leech control and profile is handy in mushy setups, but a strong sign the Hero will be comfortable in side and side-off surf conditions too. The backhand pressure is adequate for driving through shorter turns, but it’s the high and middle-to-back pull that helps most in the tighter-radius department. All-in-all this 4.2 feels vey similar to it’s larger counterpart, especially in relation to the light and stable feel, positive acceleration and fingertip control for jumps and riding.
READ THE OTHER REPORTS