SIMMER STYLE V-MAX 7.2M 2016 TEST REVIEW
The V-Max has had a visual update for 2016, yet retains exactly the same increments as last year’s model. Having tested the V-Max in this size for 2015 and concluded that it was a very versatile and user-friendly contender, it would be interesting to see how it matches up against the competition this year. Remaining only one of two sails on test here that is recommended for use on a 430cm mast, it was rigged on an SC10 SDM and sets with lots of profile locked low and forward in the draft, retaining plenty of rotation in all three bottom battens. There is even some shape in the front section of batten three before twisting smoothly and progressively along the leech. Build quality is high, as you would expect from the Simmer loft, with noticeable attention to detail such as abrasion tabs along the length of the longest batten’s pocket, a rope pocket in the tack fairing and use of quality materials throughout.
“I’ve been designing cam-free freeride sails for 27 years now, and all this experience channels directly into the new V-Max. The new V-Max combines a user-friendly appeal, with smooth and efficient power delivery with exceptional top-end speed and control. This is the flat-water equivalent of the Icon, a sail that suits most riders.” Tomas Persson, Head Sail Designer.
Short and wide, the V-Max has a low aspect ratio, which makes it feel both small yet grunty in the hands, generating a very useful amount of bottom end power. The shorter softer mast, combined with movement in the luff tube allows the sail to breath into a deep gutsy profile and makes the power delivery incredibly smooth and soft, coming from very low and forward in the draft. Accelerating progressively, the V-Max pins the board down, and can adopt the stance of the rider’s choice, feeling as similarly versatile as we remember last year’s version. Happy cruising over great distances for long periods, it retains its compact, light handling, feeling smaller than its quoted size even when planing. Yes, as with last year, we did feel the V-Max lose its punch slightly in prolonged lulls as its profile retracts under relaxed pressure, but this sensation is marginally noticeable at best when compared to a select few sails on test. Load it in stronger winds and the V-Max begins to thrive as if in its element. Its soft nature absorbs the impact whilst riding over violent sea states, the constant low down drive and low cut foot helping to lock everything in, whilst the leech twists beautifully. Fast and efficient off the wind, it inspires confidence to keep pushing, and we were similarly impressed with its ability to generate the torque to point high, close to the wind. Focused, dependable and reassuring, the V-Max simply works for you and requires little rider input or energy to trim correctly, allowing you to charge about effortlessly for hours. It can’t help but bring a smile to your face.
The V-Max remains a star performer, providing soft useable power and light balanced handling across a wide wind range, with the added practicality of rigging on a 430cm mast.
Other sails in this test: