SEVERNE GATOR 6.0M 2016 TEST REVIEW
Set on an RDM mast, the Gator displayed a moderate amount of luff curve, and plenty of tuning range to play with. At its minimum setting, the bottom two battens push around the mast to rest towards the leading edge of the mast, with plenty of shape locked-in below the boom. There is lots of softness and breathability in the foil, helped by the addition of the small triangular Dacron luff panel. The most interesting aspect of the Gator though, is that when you apply more tension, the draft seems to shift forwards and down in the sail, the bottom batten increasing in profile and retaining good rotation round the mast, whilst the leech opens up all the way down to the clew.
“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 & jump, to 8.0m freeriding on a lake, the Gator has it covered. The core principles are durability, manoeuvrability and a consistent feel across all sizes. Every size is I00% X-Ply, and utilizes Double Seams throughout. Every size is designed to echo the demand of the aggressive freeride rider no matter what the wind conditions: PROGRESSIVE GEOMETRY.”
We tested the 6.0m Gator on both an RDM and SDM mast, and it works superbly on both. We’d suggest using it with an SDM if you are likely to use it more regularly for straight-line blasting work as it seemed to have slightly more shape and drive and possibly more natural range. Opt for the RDM for a softer feel and more on-off power. On either though, the Gator is a fantastic sail, providing dependable forward-pulling power combined with super light and balanced handling. There really is very little pressure or exertion through the backhand, even in a violent gust – the sail just seems to translate the extra energy into more acceleration. It is a tall sail, the tallest in the group, and the centre of effort is relatively high in the draft. It is also locked super far forwards, showing little sign of any decay. As such, the rider can adopt the sailing position of their choice, the Gator happily cruising in an upright position over the board, or partnered with an efficient hull and locked into a more committed stance. With its unwavering stability and supreme handling, the sail can be used in any environment and would be an excellent tutor for the progressing sailor. With its form, the Gator 6.0 lends itself towards straight-line blasting / bump and jump, rather than a light wind wave sailing / manoeuvre specialist role. If you are looking for that performance, the 5.7 Gator or Blade may well be the ones to opt for.
With feather-light handling and instinctive efficient power across a wide wind range, the Gator is a wonder sail that will suit a broad cross section of the market, from the aspiring intermediate freerider, to the coastal blaster looking for effortless performance. Recommended.
Other sails in this test: