RRD FIRE MKIII 6.8M 2015 TEST REVIEW
The smallest sail on paper in this test, the Fire incorporates tube-rod technology through its seven-batten form to help lock in the sail’s stability. Rigged on a 460cm SDM mast, it assumes a moderate profile depth at rest, the three bottom battens retaining good rotation around the mast. With a similar luff curve to most here, an inset clew eyelet and progressive taper in the panels to the head, the Fire adopts a low aspect outline and, in our opinion, looks the business.
“Speed, control and easy handling; these are the key ingredients in the RRD no cambered free race sail. Whether it’s 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.”
Despite being the smallest here, the Fire still has a reasonable boom length and provides good useable feedback to pump onto the plane. Its power delivery is halfway between soft and sharp, the extra material in the luff tube allowing the sail to breathe and move as the wind hits and fills its panels. Swelling to a deeper profile, the elasticity in the luff tube runs out, leaving the taut monofilm in the rest of the sail’s panels to take over and impart more precise feedback. The centre of effort in the Fire is low and forwards, pushing any extra power from a gust smoothly into the board. It was a real gem of a sail to use when the wind picked up, its natural range on one setting proving to be a match for all but the most extreme conditions. And it is this ease and practicality that makes us believe the Fire opens up the world of freerace and even slalom boards to a much wider audience. It helps to control the nervous board and mask over its bad manners. You begin to feel yourself hunting for the next gust to see if the Fire can push the board more, such is the confidence its composure instills. Even in lulls, the Fire maintains its drive well, the moderate pre-shape in the panels giving enough juice to slip through all but the most prolonged dead patch, whilst the sail’s efficiency does the rest. In transition the low aspect of the RRD makes it easy to move and relocate, whilst the low centre of effort helps to pin and drive the board through the corner, even in the choppiest seas. A comfortable and easy sail to use with a lot of performance to boot, the Fire is undoubtedly one of the best RRD sails we’ve used to date.
A fast dependable foil that has unwavering stability, the Fire offers an ideal blend of ease and performance that makes freerace and slalom boards more accessible and enjoyable for even the nervous pilot.
Other sails in this test: