NORTH VOLT 4.7 2013 TEST REVIEW
The Volt is all-new line in the 2013 North range. The Ice and Duke have both been retired from service and in their place the Volt aims to combine wave and freestyle performance. The smaller sizes (5.0 and down) are more focused on waves, like the former Ice, while the larger sizes are angled more towards freestyle/wave use, as per the Duke. North say the Volt works best on single fin boards.
A classic five batten out-line with a medium to high aspect shape. The build quality is very high as you would expect from North, and this is backed-up by their 5-yr warranty. (Standard 2-yr guarantee with 3 additional years if you register product online.) The sail features plenty of X-ply re-enforcement and the Volt is available in either standard or HD constructions for added durability.
All of the Volt sizes below 5.9 are designed to fit on 400 masts and, although RDMs are recommended, are also compatible with either SD or RD spars. We tested the sail with a North 400 Platinum RDM. Rigging and tuning are made easier thanks to the VTS (Visual Trim System) markings on the sails as well as the Twin Trim Clew, which gives you a good range to tweak the outhaul. It sets best with plenty of downhaul with further adjustments by outhaul to suit the conditions.
The Volt is well balanced in the hands with a forward draft that gives it a light-handling feel that’s easy to handle. It’s a fairly soft sail that powers-up quite smoothly, although it’s not the most powerful of sails at the lighter end of this size’s testing range. However, when the wind picked-up, and in stronger gusty conditions, it worked a treat with a very loose and reactive leech working to spill any excess power allowing for total control.
It’s a shame to lose the Ice and Duke but the Volt combines both of these discontinued lines well. When rigged accordingly, it’s best suited to windier/gustier conditions, making it perfect for riders looking for mid-range and top-end performance, rather than all-out, bottom-end grunt.
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