POINT-7 AC-K 7.8M 2017 TEST REVIEW
This is the first chance we’ve had to try the AC-K, which sits next to the AC-1 in the Point-7 range – their championship-winning PWA slalom engine. The literature on the Point-7 site states that the gap between the two has become even narrower, (meaning the AC-K has a lot to live up to, performance wise!), whilst retaining a more user-friendly demeanour. Rigged on a C80 SDM mast, it possesses a moderate amount of luff curve and sets relatively flat compared to its peers. That combined with the excessive looseness that radiates down the leech, and the AC-K looks every bit the high-end specialist, with little love for generating grunt in light to marginal airs. But can looks be deceiving? We will find out… Attention to detail of the AC-K is clean and functional, with neat little features such as the ‘quick extension tuning’ graphic along the bottom batten, and integrated x-ply batten pockets in the head of the sail for reduced weight. Distinctive in its trademark black monofilm livery, it certainly drew attention on the water. But whether you’re a fan or not, appearance pales into insignificance in this category when it’s a simple first-past-the-post scenario.
“Take all the goodies from a full on competition slalom sail, put them into a manageable package and you’ve got the AC-K. Featuring a medium-sized luff pocket, a sweet, smooth rotating 3-cam set-up combined with a lot of low end power to get planing nice and early.”
We have to admit that once the AC-K was rigged, our initial impression pushed it right to the back of the queue when testing in marginal conditions. How wrong we were! Sure, it is not the most positive or forceful in the hands, but there is certainly usable feedback there, and with a good pumping technique it can push and release a board onto the plane as quickly as most here. The reduced luff curve allows the mast to flex and sail to breathe, making the whole foil feel more alive and responsive. Accelerating quickly, it has a similar feel to its no-cam comrade – the AC-X (tested April ’17), becoming lighter and lighter in the hands the faster it goes. And it is certainly a fast sail, accelerating actively in gusts and thriving on more power. As comfortable on a reach as it is pointing high or heading off the wind, it has a truly slippery feeling, which combined with the light handling makes the performance come easy. The profile is moved back in the foil for a faster, more refined entry, enabling the sail to cut cleanly through the air. It’s certainly an impressive sail to use and had our full attention after using it! In transition the AC-K feels manageable and easy – it doesn’t pull forcefully or demand constant input from the rider, yet as soon as any speed is scrubbed off, its weight seems to amplify, thereby encouraging you to enter at speed and keep the sail feeling as light as possible. We did find the cams stuck a little in the light airs, requiring some intervention, but as the pressure increased in stronger winds, the cams rotated fully on their own.
Whilst you may be forgiven for thinking the black monofilm is the most eye-catching feature at a glance, the AC-K’s performance is unquestionably attention grabbing, going a long way to exhibiting Point-7’s stunning race program heritage.
Other sails in this test: