SIMMER V-MAX 7.2M 2015 TEST REVIEW
One of three six-battened sails in this test, the V-Max is the only sail in the group that is recommended for use with a 430cm mast. It is rigged here on a SC10 – Simmer’s 100% mast for the performance upgrade over their recommended SC8 mast. Easy to sheath and downhaul, the V-Max sets with lots of twist in the leech on its recommended measurements, being loose all the way through the mid-leech. It also has a good deal of shape to its profile, the deep draft locked low and forward in the sail.
“I’ve been designing cam-free freeride sails for 25 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
Feeling small and compact in the hands at idle, the V-Max nevertheless generates plenty of bottom end power to pump and push the board onto the plane. The sail feels super balanced and easy in the hands, generating smooth progressive power rather than pulling the rider to their toes. The centre of effort is low, the deep profile channelling the power effortlessly into the board, whilst the stability and poise of the V-Max allows the rider to adopt the stance of their choice. It really is very user-friendly and easy to use, still feeling smaller than its quoted area when on the plane. It’s a quality that is also evident and very welcome in transition, pinning the board’s nose down easily and driving smoothly through a gybe whilst feeling manageable in the hands, its soft nature providing time for the rider to get comfy before gathering speed on the new tack. Compared to others in the group, the V-Max doesn’t have the instantaneous power of some and as a result it does seem to suffer a little in lulls, the drive reducing as the sail’s draft contracts under the reduced pressure. (If constant low-end grunt is what you’re after Simmer would direct you to others in their wide sail range, such as the Enduro.) But take the sail into harsh seas or overpowered conditions and its soft dependable character inspires confidence in the
rider to put the pedal to the metal and see how much they can push the board. You can really sense the V-Max coming into its own, providing more power and acceleration with every gust and reaching an impressive top speed particularly off the wind.
The V-Max offers real versatility and ease of use, with a low and stable centre of effort that is focussed around the rider. Whatever style of riding you want to do, the V-Max will willingly follow, and is a lot of fun off the wind when the wind really turns on.
Other sails in this test: