SIMMER 2XC 7.8M 2019 TEST REVIEW
The 2019 2XC features vertical shaping into the luff sleeve. The main benefit of this is that the shape is distributed into a larger area of the sail when more downhaul is added, which helps to lock the centre of effort in the lower sail body. Vertical shaping also increases durability by reducing stretch in this critical area of the sail. The 2XC comes as standard with one extra camber, the TEKCAM Reduced, which allows you to rig your 2XC on an RDM as well as a SDM mast.
Rigged for test on a SX10 SDM mast, the 2XC is easy to downhaul and set, the two Tekcams popping onto the mast easily without any need for outhaul. Dressed in its yellow-blue colourway and bold Simmer logo, it is certainly bright and distinctive, with monofilm used in the main body panels, and x-ply incorporated in the luff, foot and clew panels for added integrity and durability. The battens are integrated into the sail’s structure and clear x-ply is then used in the upper batten pockets to promote symmetry in the sail’s profile between tacks. There is also a single strand of the brand’s established Stretch Control tendon in place forging a path across the sail from the clew to the front of batten three. Setting cleanly and with plenty of tuneable range available, the sail’s moderate to deep profile is pushed forward in the draft, the leech falling away progressively down to the tip of batten four.
Whilst the 2XC is marketed by Simmer squarely as a ‘high performance freerace sail’, its capacity to be used for windfoiling is immediately apparent on the water. Taking it out in marginal winds, it feels comparatively light and balanced in nature, the seam shaping of the sail distributing the skin tension more evenly. It means that the 2XC uses less luff curve and is blessed with genuine softness, which combined with its long boom length, makes it a very easy sail to pump for a positive response. It also makes it less tiring to use for long sessions on the water, the sail breathing and moving around the rider to help trim itself intuitively and requiring little rider input. With its low-aspect outline, the centre of effort is placed low and around the rider – giving a very easy and sympathetic nature, even in gusty challenging conditions. But don’t let its easy, passive freeride manner fool you – once the wind builds, the 2XC begins to settle into a much more purposeful stance, accelerating positively through every gust. Partnered with a slalom board it may not cut the loosest slipperiest path through the air, yet its balance and control make it a pleasure to use through an impressive wind range. In transition, the low drive and relative softness helps the rider enter the turn fully in control – a real plus for the less experienced rider. Its long boom length is noticeable, the sail taking longer to glide through rotation, yet the cams pop intuitively as soon as the wind fills on the new side. Combining real ease and user-friendliness with the stability and range of cams, the 2XC is extremely versatile, lending itself to a variety of roles and riding styles.
Other sails in this test: