SEVERNE CONVERT 6.7M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Convert is Severne’s freeride sail targeted at the progressing rider, designed with the overriding focus of its brief to make the sail as “easy to use” as possible. It has a reduced skin tension and luff curve, making it both easier to rig and softer in feel. Its physical weight has been kept to a minimum, as has its boom length (by dropping the clew-eyelet’s position), for improved handling and control. Possessing x-ply throughout its panels, the Convert also features the use of Dacron in its “Flex Zones” intended to provide a smoother power delivery during gusts, and impact absorption whilst sailing in heavy seas. A clean and minimal appearance, the Convert benefits from the brand’s advances in technology, with features such as ‘seamless head and foot construction’, improving the sail’s structural strength and longevity.
“The Convert is packed with features including dropped clew for shorter, more manageable boom lengths. The shaping and geometry are set up for a balanced, stable feel and a forward pulling drive for a relaxed, easy stance.”
Tested here on a Severne 430cm RDM mast, the Convert is incredibly easy to rig, requiring very little downhaul tension to set correctly. With both lower battens retaining rotation around the mast, the leech falls away easily, the sail remaining relatively flat in profile at rest. On the water this translates to a very light and forgiving sail in the hands. It is certainly the tallest sail in the group here, the Dacron luff panel stretching and enabling it to adopt a much deeper draft as the pressure builds. It has a distinctly progressive style, powering smoothly and providing an abundance of time to allow the rider to position themselves correctly and channel the power into the board. The Convert feels large yet useful in the hands, its handling light and power forgiving. There’s a sort of springy flexing nature to the foil, which can be used to great effect in marginal winds, capable of pumping and cajoling the more stubborn board to release from the water. The centre of effort is placed well forward in the draft, and whilst the power delivery encourages a more relaxed riding style, the low clew eyelet naturally puts the rider in a more committed position. It is a great tutor in this respect, providing the fluid power to make the most of marginal winds and teaching good habits by naturally supporting a more refined stance. The Convert was also a pleasure to use in transition, the draft returning to its flat neutral state as the sail is rotated and repositioned, before powering up smoothly once again on the new tack. As the wind increased we tried to re-tune the Convert with more tension to help lock its stability in place, but feel it did little to improve its range, reducing its bottom end drive significantly. Instead, for more powered to overpowered performance, we recommend you look to the Convert’s excellent stable mate – the Gator (5.7m tested last month).
The Convert is a superb power source for the improving rider, looking for a sail that has the manners and easy accessible nature to progress seamlessly into planing conditions.
Other sails in this test: