SEVERNE S1 4.8M 2016 TEST REVIEW
With the emergence of the S1-Pro, the ‘standard’ S-1 has been re-introduced for 2016, becoming a higher-level product than the SWAT, yet remaining in the same target price category. It is Severne’s manoeuvre-oriented 4-batten wave sail and benefits from quality materials synonymous with the brand, such as eM3, Spider Fibre and aero batten pockets incorporated into the sail. It also has a distinctive diamond-shaped Dacron luff panel, said to ensure smooth power delivery. Set on a 400cm mast, the S1 has a good tuning range, with only slight to moderate looseness in the leech and easy rotation in the battens. There is a significant amount of shape to the draft below the boom, but unlike others in the group, there is also a smooth camber to the profile of the batten above the boom, locking shape high and forward in the draft.
“The S-1 is our 4 batten wave sail in premium panelled construction. Benefiting from the development of the Hyperspider S-1 Pro, this year’s S-1 offers impressive wind range and lightweight reactivity, making it the most accessible S-1 yet..”
With a softer, more progressive power delivery than previous incarnations of the S1, the high and forward placement of the centre of effort nevertheless translates to a positive, useable amount of bottom end power. Pulling from a high position, gives the sail an alert manoeuvre-oriented nature, encouraging the rider to stand more upright and over the board; whilst the stretch in the luff panel provides a smooth, easy on-off feel, going light and neutral in the hands as it is sheeted out. This new breathability to the S1 makes its feedback more forgiving and more akin to the SWAT of old, absorbing any impact as you sail over hard chop, whilst twisting smoothly to vent excess power, so that the rider’s stance remains unaffected. In severe conditions, the S1 can be retuned with increased tension, locking the centre of effort forward so that it doesn’t lose its composure, the leech opening up further to encourage more twist. It offers fantastic control and stability over a wide wind range, and is best partnered with a manoeuvre-oriented board to make best use of its main asset. On the wave the S1 is truly in its element, feeling supremely light and easy in the hands to reposition, with the power on tap to drive smoothly through the turn, or affect a powerful redirection at the apex.
The 2016 S1 has had its power delivery softened and price adjusted to become more accessible than ever before. Manoeuvre-bias in nature, it provides superb handling and a source of constant inspiration to try that next manoeuvre or stunt.
Other sails in this test: