SIMMER BLACK TIP 4.2M 2014 TEST REVIEW
A good all-round wave sail that’s slightly softer in feel, but has plenty of power to drive multifin boards.
Lighter and medium-weight riders will appreciate the slightly springier behaviour and get more from the low-end drive.
Keep it pretty full with only a marginally twisted upper section and slightly positive outhaul and tune with both down and outhaul to reduce the shape in higher wind.
‘The Blacktip is an ultra-light four batten wave sail, designed for ideal performance with multi-fin boards. The compact outline allows for easy handling, which together with the two Kevlar stretch control tendons and a improved batten layout secures the profile stability’.
Outline: Initially small-looking and compact although not a wide head. Leech scalloping on each batten above the boom.
Build Quality: Really built looking sail utilising a lot of different materials and attention and initially actually quite light feeling on unrolling.
Things we noticed included: Fixed head, Kevlar and ridged plastic head protector. Minimal head stitching to prevent wear. Webbing on outside seams in head/leech area. Multiple luff sleeve panels and that the luff sleeve is noticeably wide. Silicon batten bumpers. All rod battens. 2 x anti-stretch radial seams from clew-to-luff. Lots of scrim and x-ply, all intersecting in upper panels. X-ply in leech. Battens appear to be sandwiched in upper panels as opposed to one tack or other. Kevlar luff protection on luff side of batten ends. Stitching all the way inside luff leading edge. Small flat leech battens stitched through to keep in place. Film window. Battens appear to be pre-tensioned. 5-layer radial webbing and ring in clew. Boom cut-out measurements marked. Some exposed foot seams near luff. X-ply in foot. Folding moulded EVA tack fairing with bungee and stash pocket.
On first impressions you’d think there’s nothing remarkable about the Blacktip. It doesn’t hinder you or feel especially powerful or twitchy, and then you slowly start to realise that this is a sail that’s actually ticking a lot of boxes – especially when driving more sluggish multifin hulls – by working away at several levels. Firstly the Blacktip is very manoeuvrable and flicky in the hands. There’s no obvious grunt or pull – what there is is fairly forward feeling and some backhand pressure is present, but not bucket loads of it, which suggests a wide range of use, but most importantly it does have a nice on-off action in the turn. It also looks like a really beefily built sail but is actually pretty light. The low-end is pretty good but heavier testers felt that the springiness sapped some of the power away but were happy enough at the upper end of the wind range in terms of stability.
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