North Volt 5.9m 2014 Test Review Report
The Volt – termed as a ‘wave-freestyle’ sail sits next to the Curve ‘crossover’ sail and four wave sails in the North range. Available in either regular monofilm construction or in the full HD, x-ply. The Volts are designed to work best on RDMs but are compatible with SDMs too.
‘The second generation of the 5 battens bestseller convinces with extremely high draft stability and a very wide wind range, especially in overpowered conditions. The ideal partner for classic single fin boards! Maximum energy and electrifying handling: The smaller sizes of the 2014 VOLT are again oriented towards the requirements of the wave riders, the larger sizes towards freestylers. The result is a sail line that can confidently be called the ultimate all-in-one freestyle wave range.’ (Sic.)
After their first few runs, all the testers on this trip immediately remarked that the Volt felt like a much smaller sail in terms of it’s handling and light feel in the hands. The power delivery is super smooth and a lot softer than many earlier Norths that traditionally have a solid and quite stiff profile thank to the hardy battens. The tough epoxy battens (unbreakable they claim!) are still there, but are more forgiving and the Volt does fill earlier at the bottom end, which has definitely widened the range at the top end and is good news for heavier sailors who might usually pick a size up. At the other end of the scale the added softness hasn’t reduced the upper limit and this 5.9 was settled and well-behaved in over 30 knots. The drive is low and forward and helps pin the board down well in gusts and rougher patches of water and really helps engage the rails well approaching and throughout carving moves. North include the Volt in their wave collection, but to all intents and purposes we think it’s a highly capable high-wind freeride sail as well, with the speed being highly competitive for those looking for a change-down sail for inland or flatter water use. Manoeuvrability-wise the Volt is somewhat of a misnomer. It feels like and allows you to throw it about like a much smaller sail, but in the big scheme of things it’s actually one of the tallest and higher aspect outlines in this group. In those turns the Volt goes nice and neutral and with some good depower that the tricksters liked before popping the board. A genuine Swiss Army Knife windsurfing sail.
In a sea of versatile crossover sails the Volt is definitely a standout in manoeuvres and multipurpose handling. Feeling like much smaller rig, this 5.9 has epic wind range, positive speed and could work on any type of water or board.
Other sails in this test: