POINT-7 AC-X 6.5M TEST REVIEW
The Point-7 brand has a proud racing pedigree that delivered them a world champion in 2016, and the AC-X benefits from all the knowledge and development that is imparted from their race programme as a result. With its seven batten structure and tapered upper panel outline, it very much looks the racing-thoroughbred, with its low cut foot providing plenty of area below the boom. Rigged here on a C80 SDM mast, it sets with a relatively shallow profile, being nigh on flat above the boom at rest and only a hint of depth quite far back below. Only the second lowest batten sees any rotation around the mast, whilst the leech is incredibly loose, particularly in the head. The location of the visual tuning dot in the upper panel, and its closeness to the sail’s leading edge gives you a good idea of just how much looseness is required. With x-ply used in its foot panels, luff panels and alternating batten pockets, the AC-X is every bit the modern sail, adopting the latest construction features, but would its performance stand up to the “race performance without cams” hyperbole written about it?
“This is a masterpiece sail model from Point-7. After using the cam sails the whole year round, jumping on the AC-X feels like opening the soft top on your car and going full speed through an empty road with beautiful scenery around you.”
At idle the AC-X feels light and balanced, with little feedback through the hands. Nevertheless, when a gust hits there’s a useable amount of bottom end drive through both hands, the rearward position of the centre of effort helping to make the power more obvious. Accelerating positively, it rocks back into a comfortable blasting stance, the drive positioned low and around the rider. The power delivery is very interesting, best described as a halfway house between the two extremes of ultra soft and bone-shatteringly sharp. It is certainly crisp and precise, yet comes in from such a low rider-focussed form, which makes it manageable … inspiring even. Partnered with an efficient board that can keep up with it, you find yourself hunting for the next gust, that next pulse of power to push on to greater speeds. Because there is no doubting that this AC-X is a blisteringly fast sail – certainly one of the most rapid in the group here. Take it out in fully powered conditions and it is in its element. Off the wind there seems no end to its speed, twisting off beautifully without a hint of leech flutter. As a gust hits, the AC-X continues to accelerate, becoming more alive and even lighter in the hands. We had the same sensation with the AC-X last year and have to say it is truly addictive. In lulls it tends to use its speed to glide through rather than really drive or power through … and in transition the AC-X is probably more critical of technique than others here, best achieved by keeping speed rather than relying on any real punch through the exit. Riders that are looking for an easy cruising companion should look elsewhere (to the AC-F in the Point-7 range), but if you like to sail in powered to overpowered conditions and want to tap into hassle-free blasting bliss, the AC-X will not let you down.
The AC-X is all about top end stability and speed … and boy, does it deliver! When the conditions were firing this sail steps up.
Other sails in this test:
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