POINT-7 SALT PRO 5.0M 2019 TEST REVIEW
The Salt is Point-7s “Pure Wave” sail – the result of years of development with one of the most innovative and exciting sailors to watch on the World Tour – Ricardo Campello. Designed to provide the catalyst and fuel to be “the most radical out there in any situation and condition”, the Salt’s battens have been reconfigured considerably for 2019. Firstly, batten three (the main batten above the boom), sees more profile in its leading edge making it straighter towards the trailing edge. The idea is to improve comfort whilst tightening the leech around batten two, for more power and stability. Batten four (the bottom batten) has then been lowered to allow more freedom in the clew and ease the delivery when simply cruising. Rigged on a C80 RDM, there is plenty of luff curve in the Salt, requiring a good deal of downhaul tension to achieve the set recommended by the trimming guide in the upper panel. The leech is then relatively loose between battens one and three, whilst there is a good amount of shape forced forward in the draft, the two lower battens retaining rotation around the mast. Yet the most notable feature of the 2019 Salt is its luff panel configuration, using x-ply in the pre-shaped lower panel, intersected by the late start of a Dacron luff panel, whose broadest point is above the main batten. Build quality is up to Point-7’s standards, with x-ply used in all but the smallest monofilm window panel, XXX laminate for lightness in the upper panels, alternating battens (including x-ply pockets), two clew eyelets for extra tuning potential and all the usual double stitch and beading for vulnerable areas. Just one point to add – Point-7 use a male head-cap to locate the top of the mast. Just make sure it is firmly located in place before fully tensioning the downhaul…
“The Salt is the Point-7 all-out performance orientated four batten wave sail. Fast riding on the waves, quick to respond in new school wave sailing moves, and ultra-light in your hands.”
Set for more marginal conditions, using less tension and the upper clew eyelet, we have to say we were mightily impressed with how much power this 5.0m produced. The pre-shape in the draft is complimented with a good deal of extra punch once a gust hits and the Dacron panel expands, providing high-up pull and useable feedback through the hands. With such a high centre of effort, the leverage pulls the rider into an upright stance, whilst the twist in the sail’s upper panels entrusts it with a naturally fast cruising speed. The faster it goes, the lighter the Salt feels in the hands, providing the motivation and energy to hit ramps with conviction on the way out and throw yourself into airborne stunts. In transition it has a wonderful on-off nature, the Dacron panel constricting and bringing a neutral balance to the sail’s character, allowing it to be repositioned effortlessly. Combining bottom end grunt with speed and light responsive handling, the Salt can be the ace up a sailor’s sleeve, for maximising performance both going out through the break and on the way back in. As the wind increases, extra tension can be applied and the lower eyelet used to settle stability and make it less tiring to use. We found that really pulling on the outhaul to flatten the profile helped, reducing the impact of the Dacron luff panel breathing. As such the Salt is manageable, albeit its high pull position becomes noticeable in shifting gusty conditions. Employing a quiver of Salts, our suggestion would be to change down sooner than most, utilising the bottom end power and on-off magic of the smaller sail.
A manoeuvre machine with masses of useable power and a fun active nature, the Salt delivers on-off dynamism, allowing the enterprising sailor to get away with the smallest sail possible. And at £500.00, its price is as competitive as its character.
Other sails in this test: