NORTH VOLT 5.3 2013 TEST REVIEW
The North Volt is an all-new sail range for 2013. Replacing the Ice and Duke, the Volt is designed to combine the performance characteristics of both sails into one range. Sizes below 5.0 are more focused on waves, similar to the old Ice, while 5.3 and up are more like the old Duke and aimed towards freestyle/wave usage.
A medium to high aspect-ratio 5-batten shape, with a narrow head and high-cut, straight foot. We tested the standard model that has plenty of quality x-ply reinforcements and the usual North seam quality. There’s a full HD construction version also available for added toughness. North are so confident of their build quality that they offer a standard 2-yr warranty, upgradeable to a full 5-yr guarantee if you simply register the product online
The Volt is compatible with either SDM or RDM masts, although a skinny is strongly recommended, especially for wave use. We tested it with a North 430 Platinum RDM and found it easy to rig and the VTS (Visual Trim System) useful to find the sweet-spot settings. The 5.3 set best with plenty of downhaul, fine-tuned further with the outhaul to suit the conditions using the Twin Trim Clew, which gives you a good range to play with.
The Volt 5.3 is neutral and well-balanced with a fairly soft feel. It has a forward draft that’s easy to manage and gives the sail decent drive. The bottom-end power feeds in very smoothly and progressively, especially in high wind situations, where its superb top-end control comes into effect. The neutral handling is great for manoeuvres either in the waves or on flat water.
Like its predecessor, the Duke, this sail crosses over well between wave and freestyle use. The Volt delivers a decent combination of power with control, particularly in windy conditions. This will suit any rider looking for a classy, versatile sail to partner a single fin wave or freestyle wave board.
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