RRD FIRE 7.4M 2013 TEST REVIEW
Heavier sailors will appreciate the muscle more although it’d be a satisfying pick as marginal wind sail for featherweights. Particularly good match for short and wide boards.
Try the 7.5 on a fast FSW or big wave board for some wave-slalom blasting!
The Fire sits in-between the Evolution MKV freeride and the Firewing race sails in the RRD sail line. The Italian brand claim the Fire delivers “Efficiency and performance” with the objective of supplying power, lift and stability in a lightweight package.
Outline: Although quite compact, the Fire is relatively narrow in the head with a pretty radical boom cut-out, a step in the lower leech and moderately cut foot shape.
Build Quality: Like all of the RRD sails, there’s a good mix of lightweight skin materials with harder-wearing, heavy-duty fabrics on the periphery. The edges of the frame have good x-ply tension and reinforcement and the centre has reliable monofilm stability.
Rigging and Tuning: All rider weights found the Fire more reactive away from the lower levels of downhaul setting (medium and higher tension is better to free up the leech) and it took some adjustment on the outhaul to get the sweet spot in lighter wind, especially for daintier testers who found it a little stiff and powerful.
Low End & Acceleration: Once the leech is active all sizes in the team enjoyed the rapid pull up-to-speed.
Top End: The stable profile is reliable, locked-in and solid which translates into excellent top speed, but more importantly, control at the higher end of the range. All of the sails in this group were up against one or two contenders that were exceptionally rapid and the Fire was very nearly on a par, but it’s worth noting that the Fire’s added control really helped give confidence to push the boundaries.
Gybing & Manoeuvres: Very smooth in transitions, no batten pop or encouragement to rotate required. The rig flip is pleasantly flicky considering the large boom cut-out and tacking and off-the-plane manoeuvres are nice and simple.
Handling: The pull comes from relatively high and middle, with a feeling of being much smaller than the actual profile – almost like a scaled up wave or small freeride sail. Most of all the handling is balanced and stable.
Feeling like a scaled-up wave sail on steroids, the Fire’s a fantastic blend of the modern, compact-and-powerful style and easy-to-manoeuvre school of freeracers.
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