RRD FOUR 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Lightning acceleration and good speed make The Four joyous for jumping. Super stable, powerful and excellent for short radius turns – especially in onshore setups – an easy sail to control in
a range of conditions.
Those looking to maximise speed and get out of strong current and sketchy wind inside to maximise ramps and make the most of frontside turns, particularly on tricky side-on days.
Keep it full – but well tensioned – with the downhaul and tune with the outhaul to suit.
‘The 4 battens and compact style of the sail make it incredibly responsive, whether it’s on the wave or in the air… a sail that can now dominate the conditions where ever you wish to sail’.
Outline: On first impressions a narrow-looking compact, although the boom is actually longer than some ‘squatter’ models in line-up. Dropped leech from batten #3. Double leech battens between battens # and #2. The ‘busy’ graphics are a little bit like liquorice – you either love or hate the look, but thankfully have little effect on performance if they’re not to your taste!
Build Quality: Maybe not the lightest on test, or ‘built’ or choosing to go down the scrim/technora/road like some, but there’s definitely a lot of attention and reinforcement in all the right areas.
Things we noticed included: No cosmetic seaming. Film only window section. Kevlar head protection. External luff protection seam. Battens (rod) all on same tack. Frame edges are all glued Dacron. Silicon protectors both tacks on leech/batten pockets. Slimline batten tensioners. 2-piece pockets on battens 2-4. Batten pockets are quite wide. Basic moulded clew patch. Foot bumper. Moulded luff sleever. Protected seams in foot. Padded fabric tack fairing with neoprene internally. 90-degree metal roller pulley.
The Four is another power-hungry compact sail that’s packing heaps of torque and low-end. In terms of muscle and speed the most noticeable aspect is the acceleration up to top-gear – so if jumping is your vice then this should get your ears pricked-up. Some grunty compact sails are quite twitchy and not exactly renowned for being fast, but designer John Skye has worked stability and pace and excellent upwind performance into this surprising package. More so than many 4-battens, The Four also puts you in a positive upright stance that’s dynamic, makes sailing easy and therefore lends confidence. The leech is reactive out wide and there’s still some spring and forgiveness despite the largely locked-in feeling. Bottom turning is amazing with excellent levels of pressure and feedback left for the back hand. The on/off power’s also easy to control off-the-top with the draft seeming mid height and back-to-middle of the foil. Once again the acceleration really helps in turns, driving through the deck to help finesse the board.
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READ THE OTHER REPORTS