Severne Gator 6.0m 2014 Test Review Report
With a reasonably compact outline, the Gator sits between Severne’s three-model wave range and the NCX and Convert rotational freeride/race sails. Famously used by jumping powerhouse Boujmaa Guilloul, the Gator is the only crossover sail regularly and genuinely used in wavesailing conditions in the windsurfing media. As an 100% x-ply beast, it’s tough as old boots with all the usual Severne attention to detail and longevity – all without sacrificing much in the way of weight. The Gator works with both RDM and SDM masts. We used a Severne SDM and also tried it with a Gaastra RDM and were not disappointed. (Severne’s often work well with the Gaastra bend curves – and vice versa – which is worth remembering if you own items from both brands.) In our experience the smaller sizes, up to around 6.5, work way better on RDMs.
‘The Gator is a single sail range that covers any windsurfing conditions, anywhere on the planet. From high-wind bump & 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. PROGRESSIVE GEOMETRY: -The smaller sizes feature a higher cut foot and geometry biased towards wave and high wind bump & jump. Larger sizes have a lower cut foot to generate more drive in lighter winds but still maintain the light, throw-about feel.’
Setting with a lot of draft and a pretty loose, progressive leech, the Gator’s armed to deal with whatever you throw at it. The depth – and to some extent the nice light weight – delivers plenty of early-planing power, feeling almost like a camber-induced sail it’s so grunty, while the leech works superbly to vent excess air when hammered by heavy gusts. The result is a super constant level of drive that lets you concentrate fully on where you’re heading and what you’re doing rather than controlling the power. Considering the level of draft, we preferred it set with most of the leech activated and a small amount of positive outhaul. In stronger wind we’d recommend instead using the lower/inner double eyelet for added control rather than adding extra tension. Perhaps surprisingly, that draft is no hindrance in depowering the foil as you approach moves either. Speed and acceleration-wise the Gator is strong and will reward you by reaching top gear early in time to reach those critical inside ramps swiftly. This size is a dream to throw about as, without a massive dropped clew to slow flicking the rig down, the transition from tack to tack, such as in gybes, is slick and unhindered. The foot is also low enough for ducking moves, but it’s that power delivery which makes it a winner for those that love to get airborne and achieve some rapid acceleration and speed into take-off.
A super grunty-yet-controllable engine with impeccable power control and handling, the Severne Gator 6.0 regulates the gusts and loves to be pushed hard in a true burn and turn environment. Jumping addicts will love the acceleration and speed on tap and those that live in shifty, inland locations will appreciate the glide and low-end power through the holes.
Other sails in this test: