RRD FIRE MKIV 6.8M 2016 TEST REVIEW
Remaining in the RRD range as their no cam freerace contender, the Fire steps into its fourth season with a tune up for improved bottom end power and top end control. Available in two colourways, it was supplied for test with a 100% Evolution mast from RRD and sets with plenty of luff curve, the leech incredibly loose all the way down to the RRD logo above batten five. Retaining rotation around the mast in both battens either side of the boom, the Fire has a moderate to good amount of shape low down in the sail at rest and offers two clew eyelets to refine the power delivery as required.
“Plug and play performance to push your limits. Learning from our Firewing development program, our goal was to further increase the already wide range of the Fire. By increasing the lower leech tension we could improve both the low end power and also the stability of the sail. By modifying the outline and increasing the negative leech curve we increased the top end control. The result was both improvements in the low end and in the top end, giving a significant overall increase in range.”
Light and compact in the hands at rest, the Fire breathes into a more powerful profile as the wind fills, the centre of effort low and forward in the draft. Rocking naturally into a gunny locked-in stance, it accelerates smoothly and feels wonderfully efficient and willing in gusts, pulling positively in both hands. There is something super easy and endearing about its power delivery, striking the perfect balance between softness and smooth response. An ideal partner for the less experienced rider looking to venture confidently into stronger winds, it would also flatter the advanced rider searching for that no-hassle powerhouse for top end coastal blasting. In severe seas, the Fire’s manners begin to mask over any behavioural issues experienced with the board. Its low and forward centre of effort helps to pin the board down whilst the movement in the leading edge absorbs any impact and leaves the rider’s stance unaffected. In transition, the Fire’s profile reduces as the sail returns to neutral, making it lighter and easier to reposition before the power returns progressively on the new tack when pulled back in. A great companion for hours of blasting whatever the conditions, it turns gusts into extra speed and glides effortlessly through lulls, making the ride both easy and rewarding.
Stable, smooth and easy, the Fire’s manners belie its fantastic blasting potential and racy stance, providing smooth accessible power over an impressive wind range.
Other sails in this test: