SEVERNE BLADE 5.3M 2014 TEST REVIEW
More solid, sideshore conditions and those who like to engage a lot of rail when turning.
Find the downhaul sweet spot then mainly tune with outhaul to suit the conditions.
“The 014 blade is the wave sail to choose for all-round high performance … maximum stability and wind range is built into this sail by using 5 battens, control-oriented profiles and a medium head tension to allow twist. This year, the smaller sizes have been softened for even more high-end control.”
Outline: Tall 5-batten with dropped clew that’s noticeably low. Slightly rounded foot. Relatively straight luff curve.
Build Quality: Exceptional specification with an ‘engineered’ product that’s also exceptionally light. Things we noticed include: Fixed head, Rubber moulded head protection. Double seams everywhere. Dacron luff panel. Mainly scrim in in head with heavy duty twisted dyneema x-ply in foot. ‘Spiderfibre’ glass filament load dispersal radial vector seams from clew. Large ‘optic’ twisted fibre x-ply window panel. Minimalist but ‘built’ clew design using webbing/spiderfibre and webbing and Dacron. Rod-to-flat batten profiles. Except in head (rod only) No cosmetic seams. Kevlar and mini silicon rubber minimalist protective batten end protection. Luff sleever moulding holds sleeve well open. Silicon foot protection and no exposed seams in foot. Moulded tack fairing with neoprene stretch, no handle or uphaul hole. Stash pocket. Basic velcro closure. 90-deg metal and plastic pulley.
Our first sessions on the Blade were in marginal wind and we found it frothing to get up-and-running – not in a low-down, torquey, grunty way – but it was lively and lifty and we all agreed the power is delivered in a ‘higher revs’ feel rather than the raw muscle some lower-end sails provide. When the wind level is higher, the Blade’s nature definitely changes, settling down and becoming more stable, driving from a forward position and pushing down on the board more in a nice ready-for-action position. It’s also worth noting the impressive light feel. This is probably the biggest advantage across this brand’s wave ranges in that there’s peace-of-mind with durability, but without the sacrifice of a heavy feeling rig. On the wave we found it easier to turn off the back foot in lighter wind than we did in higher wind, when we thought it offered you your front foot more for longer, powerful carves. It’s clear this is a lovely, no-compromise riding sail that wants to transmit drive through the hull, although off-the-top in the kind of onshore slop we mostly had, the power control is subtle and forgiving and seems to store up energy and put enough of it through the deck, but exhaust any excess that might slow the turn. If you’re weighing-up a Blade vs. an S-1 we’d say the difference is that the S-1 is perhaps more nimble, engaging and involved to sail – and the Blade a lot more stable and settled.
A classic, hard-core sail for connoisseurs of quality wave riding with an incredible blend of durable construction and light weight.
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