NORTH SUPER SESSION 5.6M TEST REVIEW
The Super Session jumps into the limelight as North’s replacement for the Volt and is marketed squarely at the freewave and small freeride market segment. There are just seven sizes in the range, from 4.0m to 6.4m, each ideally rigged on an RDM mast although still compatible with an SDM. The focus with the Super Session, according to Product Manager Raoul Joa, was to create a “crisper, more direct feeling sail than the Super Hero,” which was largely achieved by moving the sail’s draft position higher and more forward. It is a fresh uncomplicated looking sail, relatively high aspect in nature with plenty of area in the head of the sail and a long top batten. The Hollow Lower Leech concept, seen in the Super Hero, is present here as well, said to help stabilise the profile above the boom and mitigate any flutter. Build quality is clean and lightweight, the Super Session also adopting the new iRocket2.0 batten ends, where batten tension is pre-set in the North factory and requires no intervention from the user – just rig it and go. Rigged for test on a Platinum RDM mast, it has one of the more upright luff curves in the group, with both lower battens protruding significantly beyond the leading edge. The leech of the Super Session falls away progressively along its length, whilst there’s relatively little profile to the sail at rest, particularly above the boom. It comes available in two colour ways, with the extra option of an HD version if you plump for it in red/blue.
“Freewave boards are currently the most popular and successful boards on the market. At last comes the first perfectly matching sail! The brand new SUPER SESSION combines ease of handling with a sensationally crisp direct riding feel. Creating absolute control in all situations and the confidence to push forward. The SUPER SESSION lets you control wind and waves confidently even under the harshest conditions.”
The Super Session is a very different sail and proposition to its predecessor, the Volt. With its high and forward centre of effort, it feels very tall in stature and pulls the rider into a manoeuvre-oriented, upright stance. There’s a real spring to the feedback given – its reduced luff curve enabling the response and ‘flick’ in the mast to be felt whilst pumping. What is more though is that the Super Session feels incredibly athletic and purposeful in the hands, inspiring the rider to try new manoeuvres or hit the next ramp at speed. It’s a pleasure to use around a break, just as much as it is on flat water – balanced and easy, it can be used to power anything from a large wave board through to a crossover and onto large recreational freeride hulls. It generates a good amount of bottom end grunt for a 5.6m, expanding to a fuller profile thanks to the play in the luff sleeve, its Dacron luff panel providing enough time and progression in the delivery so as to not pull the unaware (or unprepared) rider onto their toes. And as the wind increases, the Super Session’s natural range on one setting is impressive, the leech twisting away smoothly whilst the skin tension in the sail’s upper luff panel restricts the draft creeping rearwards. In volatile winds, when the only way to sail is to lock in and survive, the Super Session begins to show its limitations, yet it has more than fulfilled its role and makes the decision to change down an easy one. In this size it would make a great addition to a wave sailor’s quiver as their largest sail for making the most of those marginal, fickle days.
Providing a performance as clean and refined as its appearance, the Super Session is a great newcomer to the North range, providing a distinctly different riding sensation to the Super Hero.
Other sails in this test: