SIMMER APEX 5.7M TEST REVIEW
This is the first chance we’ve had to try the Apex, classed by Simmer as their wave sail with the most range, leading to its strapline: “more power, more control”. It comes in three colour ways for 2018, the design focus being to reduce overall weight, whilst increasing the profile and shifting it a little lower in the draft, thereby fulfilling its brief. With various grades and thicknesses of x-ply framing a large monofilm window and the brand’s signature Kevlar stretch control system radiating from the clew eyelet, the signs of detailing are all there to give confidence that the Apex can withstand a beating. Interestingly, the cut of the foot panel is relatively high, producing a step in the sail’s trailing edge by the bottom batten. Combined with the cut-out just under the main batten, it makes the sail’s outline look quite angular and eye-catching around the clew, but how will it translate on the water? Rigged on a RDM10 mast (albeit the performance recommendation being an RDM11), it sets with plenty of luff curve in its leading edge, producing a high degree of skin tension through its luff panels. Both lower battens retain plenty of rotation around the mast, whilst the leech twists off progressively along its length.
“ The 2018 Apex has the widest wind range and the most power of all our wave sails. Apex generates and handles robust power levels making it a favourite with all our team riders for quickly getting planing straight away in less than ideal environments. The Apex thrives in its ability to power through a big shorebreak, even in onshore wind directions, and gives the jumping aspect a healthy boost in all situations.”
On the water, the low and forward profile in the draft becomes even more significant by the movement in the large Dacron luff panel and luff sleeve, translating to positive constant feedback through both hands. The power delivery is soft and manageable, feeling super balanced and powering progressively so that it doesn’t ever get away from the rider or pull their stance out of shape. It does mean that in prolonged lulls the profile reduces and the extent of the power reduces, but the tuning range available in the Apex helps to annul this for the most part. And that leads us onto the most standout attribute of the Simmer – its vast range. In marginal winds you can really loosen off the tension, tightening up the leech whilst allowing the mast to pull in more depth to the draft. Generating useable feedback and drive through the hands, it can be partnered with anything from a high performance freeride to a highly rockered wave hull, capable of making the most of a less than ideal day, such as a float and ride session. Smooth and dependable in nature rather than sharp or instantaneous, it is a safe bet for all rider abilities. As the wind increases or becomes more variable, the Apex can be re-tuned with more tension to ensure its stability and manners. It thrives in gusts and comes to life in the hands, accelerating evenly and pinning the board to the surface of the water. So secure and balanced, it enables the rider to adopt the stance of their choice – more upright and poised or locked in and driving. With the power so low and forward, it can feel safe and dependable for the more timid … or at the other end of the scale be used to great effect by a more assertive rider. The low placed power can help to drive the board’s full rail into the water during carving transitions, gouging out a tight bottom turn or cranking forcefully around a gybe.
Compact and reliable throughout a massive tuneable range, the Apex can be used for anything from wavesailing to coastal blasting, feeling safe and progressive for all rider abilities.
Other sails in this test: