SEVERNE GATOR 5.7M 2015 TEST REVIEW
The 5.7m is one of 14 sizes in the mahoosive Gator range, going from 3.7m, right up to 8.0m. Rigging it is a cinch, as the tack roller pulley is orientated in line with the mast-foot rollers. More importantly, the Gator doesn’t possess a great deal of luff curve, so the bend induced in the mast isn’t as significant as most. In fact, it was that easy, we found ourselves playing the downhaul tension without the use of a downhaul tool – a real plus if doing it away from your launch spot. A closer look over the sail and you begin to see the attention to detail – it is a well thought out product that exudes quality.
“The Gator is the perfect sail for plug and play rigging simplicity, combined with lifelong durability. The Gator is a single sail range that covers any windsurfing conditions, anywhere on the planet. From high-wind bump and jump, to 8.0 freeriding on a lake, the Gator has it covered. The core principles are durability, manoeuvrability and a consistent feel across all sizes.”
In marginal winds, the Gator can be set with minimal tension, the leech falling away in the top two panels, whilst the lower panels boast a good amount of shape. The power of the sail comes from high and far forwards and can be used effectively to drive the most stubborn board onto the plane. The centre of effort is really focused, making the sail super balanced in the hands. It’s not really a sail to grunt, pump and cajole a board onto the plane with; instead, hold it upright, adopt the right stance and let it do the work for you. Once going, that high and forward power never seems to pull the rider to his toes as you might expect, but instead promotes an upright, manoeuvre inducing sailing position. With little pressure in the backhand and a high cut foot, it is a great sail to throw into carving and ducking transitions. As the wind increases, the Gator exhibits excellent manners, even when poorly set, but apply more tension and the leech opens without pulling the shape out of the sail’s profile. The Gator 5.7m is a tall sail both in terms of dimensions and in the stature it adopts on the water, yet it has an impressive wind range and was a pleasure to use. All who tried it came off the water in a good mood. Now that can’t be a bad thing!
A distinctive sail in both quality and feel, the Gator has a blend of light handling and balanced power that endeared it to many. Recommended.
Other sails in this test: