NORTH HERO 4.7M 2014 TEST REVIEW
We wouldn’t pigeonhole this as a specifically onshore use sail, but the tight-axis turning and early planing ability make the Hero ideal for onshore situations on modern multifin boards.
If you can, try out a couple of different masts in one first and see what you prefer, bearing in mind the rest of your quiver. Works from minimal downhaul tension upwards. You can almost, for once, ignore the North VTS markings and go quite slack on the downhaul to start with, then use the outhaul until you’re being pulled too much up onto your toes and then add downhaul.
“… 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.”
Although squarer looking it’s actually pretty tall in comparison. 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.
It’s not often we’ve praised North for producing early-planing sails, but credit is due here with the 4.7 Hero packing plenty of poke for getting going fast – and not just for lighter riders either. There might not be all manner of fancy materials, but the clean, film construction gives a lovely, familiar, stable and solid impression. The Hero 4.7 is definitely a manoeuvrable sail that’s frothing to be thrown into action, especially on the wave. There’s a nice on-off power switch and a little bit of backhand pressure for tightening up the turns, but it’s not excessive, with the pull feeling nicely high and aft anyway, which will always lends itself to more dynamic, short-and-fast-turning riding regardless – perfect for multifin boards. We found the twist to be more progressive than in previous seasons and not quite so ‘spilly’ high up, which definitely helps in the acceleration department. We used a platinum mast, but further testing in the UK, randomly using Powerex and Powerex-factory-produced spars, brought an even more positive response and distributor Nik Baker has since suggested their Platinum Aero brings a similar, if not even better behaviour. Get to a demo centre and try one out …
An early-planing, light-in-the-hands, direct-sensation sail offering fast and dynamic turning behaviour. Unlike some of the more manoeuvre-oriented sails on the market, the Hero has a stable and ‘safe’ feeling with a super-wide wind range.