SEVERNE NCX 7.0M 2015 TEST REVIEW
Constructed largely from monofilm, the NCX is a very different creature to its stable mate, the Gator. Whereas the Gator had a moderate to low luff curve (particularly in the 5.7m version tested in the April issue), the NCX here has a lot of luff curve, providing a good deal of skin tension to the sail. There is also a plenty of shape to the NCX’s profile, which is pushed really far forwards, more than any other sail on test here, the bottom three battens retaining plenty of rotation around the mast. Tuning range is also excellent, the draft’s shape remaining in place throughout whilst the leech falls away nigh on right down to the clew on maximum setting.
“Built on the SEVERNE race sail platform with reduced aspect ratios, a more connected leech and higher skin tension, the NCX delivers accessible race sail performance without cams. The design emphasis is on an extremely balanced sail, with built in shock-absorbing properties, allowing the rider to maintain a comfortable stance through gusts and chop, and provide a huge wind range.”
Despite the low and inset clew eyelet (giving the NCX the shortest boom length in the group by some margin), the sail remains very responsive to pumping, lifting the board underneath it onto the surface of the water. It accelerates quickly and feels light and precise in the hands, pushing the board forwards, seemingly eager to reach its top speed as soon as possible. There is a deft efficiency to the NCX, allowing it to slip through lulls and charge through gusts without affecting the stance of the rider. The short boom also makes the sail feel smaller in the hands than it is, encouraging the rider to throw it into transitions with reckless abandon, to see how much they can push their limits. As the conditions become more severe, the Severne has the stability on its medium set to cope admirably, yet can be retuned to open the leech further without disturbing the locked in draft. Partnered with a fast freerace hull, the NCX didn’t quite have the extra gear of some others here, but makes up for it with uncompromised handling, which becomes a very welcome asset when the sea state kicks up. It is easy to keep the NCX sheeted in, allowing the sail to drive from its forward centre-of-effort and keep the board’s nose low to the water and trimmed correctly. Easy applicable performance across a wide wind range, the NCX can be partnered with new thin-style freeride boards, right through to slalom boards, with the handling manners and performance to adapt perfectly.
Super light, crisp and supremely balanced, the NCX is one of the best handling sails in the group, enabling the rider to concentrate entirely on their own performance and the trim of the board.
Other sails in this test: