SEVERNE S-1 4.8M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Dedicated wave riders and manoeuvre freaks in genuine, sideshore wave-riding conditions.
Always use a minimal level of outhaul to activate the leech and then mainly tune with the outhaul – you can go from really full and loose to quite well tensioned to cover the conditions.
“The 20I4 S-I is the latest refinement of the manoeuvre-oriented wave sail. The higher tension head and leech combined with flatter, faster profiles give a very active ride. Add to this the higher clew geometry and you have a sail that is essentially a loaded spring, ready to drive vertically into the lip or accelerate instantly to launch velocity.”
Outline: Although quite narrow in head the S-1 actually has a pretty low-to-moderate aspect ratio.
Build Quality: Exceptionally, instantly, noticeably light when unpacked. Fixed head with kevlar head protection, alternating batten pockets with Kevlar and silicon protection on leech end of each batten. 2-piece Dacron luff sleeve with internal front seam. Tight/narrow batten pockets and leech battens. Dyneema foot panels. Film and X-ply window. Dacron luff panel. Spiderfibre glass radial seams radiating from clew, which is a single cringle and webbing affair onto minimalist-but-strong spec. Silicon anti-rub foot and Kevlar between batten #4 and clew. Silicon foot protection and no exposed seams in foot. Moulded tack fairing with neoprene stretch, no handle or uphaul hole. Stash pocket. Basic velcro closure. 90-deg metal and plastic pulley.
Just as you’ll notice the featherweight feeling unbagging the sail, it’s instantly clear how nimble the S-1 is on the water with a real ‘in your fingertips’ sensation. There’s also some springiness in the hands with the slightly elastic feel. That power delivery is efficient though, despite the flex, which, ironically, settles down as the wind increases. Reducing the outhaul also lessened any ‘bucking’ motion from swinging the rig forward and down as you get up-to-speed. It must be said this is a sail that likes to be either riding a wave or be mid-manoeuvre or winding up for a move rather than blasting around out to sea. Similarly it’s not really massively fast in a straight line, but what is remarkable is acceleration that’s not unlike a freestyle sail. To be honest we spent most of our time in wind strengths that challenged the two extremes of the 4.7 wind-range and noticed that this 4.8 actually has quite a wide band of use. On the face it’s not overly back-handy or back-foot-turning oriented, but actually quite neutral, carrying force well off-the-top without being overly powerful in the tricky, bang-onshore conditions. We can’t say what it’s like in down-the-line setups, but did feel that a lower clew would help for tighter turns in really onshore locations, but that’s probably missing the point considering what this sail’s billed to do. This is definitely a lively sail for experts to push it on, so be sure to try the Blade as well that’s more settled and pushes more power down through the hull and see which you prefer!
Amazingly light and manoeuvrable sail for hard-core wavesailing use. An agile foil for energetic sailing styles. Impressive tuning range.