RRD FIRE 7.6M MKIII 2014 TEST REVIEW
Outline In essence the framework is compact although quite narrow in the almost radial head with a large dropped clew and a round-cut foot shape.
Build Quality Film body with printed graphics at head. Custom-printed X-ply reinforced leech and foot. Film all the way to luff tube with Dacron overlay behind sleeve.
Rigging and Tuning Good downhaul tension is required and you probably won’t touch it again
during a session. However you need a small amount of positive outhaul at the very least for the low-end. Just a natch more for higher wind. 460 RRD SDM Evolution C100 v2 prototype mast supplied. Extension set 22cm. Downhauled to 481cm. Outhaul to 212cm. Sets best with leech loose down to boom with progressive twist.
‘Speed, control and easy handling; These are the key ingredients in the RRD no cambered free race sail. Whether its on a free race board or a full power slalom board, the Fire will give you an easy ride to the fastest speeds of your life. 7 battens act perfectly to make the sail incredibly stable and controllable, especially in the top end, whilst a full profile maintain good acceleration at the bottom end. A relatively short luff length together with an aggressive clew cut away keep the sail feeling very compact in your hands, aiding control and making fast power gybes with ease.’ (Sic.)
The 2014 incarnation of the Fire feels less powerful and more refined in how the power is delivered than the 2013 model. What hasn’t changed though is that this model is still settled and smooth with a ‘filmy’, stable sensation and consistent drive. Once again the acceleration is impressive and the pointing is also noticeably good – a common trait in a lot of the latest RRD sails we’ve been getting to try out in the last year or so. Due to the solid profile, this 7.6 doesn’t feel the most reactive sail, but that’s no problem because, especially the larger riders, felt hardly any sponge or softness or lack of drive, yet the rig remains nice and forgiving in the hands still – the leech doing its job in spilling excess air well. The top-end was very impressive with very little distortion or bad behaviour at the extreme end of the range. The Fire seemed to fit all the boards’ behaviours, from wide and sucky outlines to the thinner and liftier shapes we tried it on. The MKIII is also easy to boss around the corners, with smooth rotation and good downforce into the deck and rails. Overall the Fire is very ‘unnoticeable’ in the hands and lets you concentrate and stay confident and alert on a drag race and on the line you want to take around the bends. Although there are broadly two character types in this test group, the Fire sits right on the line between the racier segment and the more freeridey-feeling sails.
An ‘invisible’ feeling sail that bridges the gap between the racier and more manoevrable end of the freerace market. Calm and controlled, the Fire will let you focus on gunning-down competitors without having to wield any excess power – or want for speed.
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