RRD VOGUE HD MKVII 4.7M 2016 TEST REVIEW
Hot off the production line, this is the latest incarnation of RRD’s Vogue, designed for pure wave performance. Whilst still recommended for use with a 400cm mast, it has a reduced luff and boom length, making it one of the more compact in the group. This is somewhat disguised visually though, as the sail tapers to a very short head batten, giving the impression of a high aspect outline. Available in standard ‘Pro’ construction or HD as tested here (with scrim throughout its panels), there is only a moderate amount of shape to the sail’s profile below the boom at rest, and plenty of skin tension radiating from the sail’s x-ply luff panel. The bottom two battens sit next to or beyond the leading edge of the mast at idle, yet rotate easily in transition as the wind fills and the luff sleeve stretches.
“After over 2 years of testing, the Vogue Mk7 is now with 4 battens throughout the entire range. Thanks to changes in the outline and shaping of the larger sizes we were able to offer the same control and stability of the previous 5 batten model, but with the lighter and more responsive feel of the 4 batten design. At the request of the team we also increased the power slightly, therefore increasing its range of use and improving its global usage.”
This is the first time we have tried the Vogue from RRD – the brand’s control specific wave sail with its distinctive visual graphics. Short in the boom and with only a moderate shape at rest, the sail feels light and balanced in hands, yet provides instant feedback the moment the gust hits, thanks to the tight drum-like skin tension in its luff panel. With stretch in its luff sleeve it fills to generate a useful amount of bottom end power, feeling precise, lively and crisp in the hands rather than solid, grunty and locked in. The centre of effort is locked forward in the draft, delivering power efficiently to the board and pulling the rider’s stance more upright, reducing any chance of it becoming backhanded in gusts or manoeuvres. The overriding sensation the Vogue imparts to the rider is one of light, dependable handling, never decaying or presenting control issues. With both a good natural range on one setting and a useful amount of tuning available, the Vogue has excellent manners, instilling confidence in the user and enabling it to be used in any coastal environment. It can also comfortably fulfil a variety of roles from high wind coastal blasting to venturing into large powerful wave breaks.
The Vogue offers supremely light, clean and dependable handling over an impressive wind range, giving it the capacity to fulfill many roles. Conventional to set correctly and easy to get on with, it was liked by all who used it. Recommended.
Other sails in this test: