SIMMER HALO 5.3M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Mainly lighter riders sailing in more genuine sideshore conditions.
Heavier riders will prefer added downhaul and a flatter foil to lessen the spring.
“The Halo represents the ultimate performance wave design available today. When conditions are at their finest, you need a sail that can not only perform, you need a sail that can survive. Halo’s construction has several benefits. The x-ply offers a softer feel that in combination with the stretch control system allows for more high end control in a wider wind range. With a compact four batten outline and a lower positioned clew, the Halo generates more drive into the board in the bottom turn and with combined horizontal and vertical shaping it’s extremely quick to de-power in the critical moment. The Halo gives you the confidence to go for it when it matters!“
Outline: 4-batten frame. Low, stepped clew and scalloped leech. Moderate aspect ratio. Medium level of luff curve.
Build Quality: Very well spec’d looking sail utilising a lot of different materials and attention to detail and quite a lot of ‘decorative’ seaming.
Things we noticed include: 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. Leather batten bumpers. All rod battens. 2 x anti-stretch radial seams from clew-to-luff. Lots of scrim and x-ply, intersecting in upper panels. X-ply in leech. Battens appear to be sandwiched 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. PVC soft window and Dacron luff panel in boom area. 5-layer Radial webbing and ring in clew. Boom cut-out measurements marked. Exposed foot seams near luff. X-ply in foot. Folding moulded EVA tack fairing with bungee and stash pocket.
The Halo puts out a fair bit of power with an element of softness and spring in the hands. Lighter riders instantly felt the Halo to be more direct, but the heavier testers noted that, despite it feeling quite forgiving – especially in gustier conditions – that they’d like a tiny bit less flex. That said, the spring did bring benefits when overpowered in onshore surf, with a forgiving reaction from the head and leech to help keep control off-the-lip. All builds of tester definitely preferred the Halo in a more sideshore setup and groundswell, with it being quite forward-pulling and keen to put you on the front foot in the bottom turn rather than offer backhand feedback. This 5.3 definitely excels in more drawn-out turns so unless you predominantly sail in sideshore, down-the-line conditions, you might prefer to look at their Blacktip, Icon or Iron ranges in this size.
A well-built, genuine performance tool for quality, down-the-line conditions and larger surf.
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