TUSHINGHAM BOLT 5.25M 2015 TEST REVIEW REPORT
The Bolt is Tushingham’s all-encompassing new line covering 9.5 down to 4.0 that transmutates from twin cams to no-cams for the widest range of use throughout the sizes. This 5.25 is the largest of the 4-batten section of the range – replacing previous favourites such as the Storm – and is intended to deliver all-round wave and freeride performance with the familiar Tushingham feel and characteristics their loyal followers demand. We were pleased to see a pulley block instead of the usual cringle this time, however the block is fully exposed below the tack fairing. Also of note was just a single clew cringle instead of the two the Rock wave sails feature and we also found the mast cut-out fabric a little fiddly when fitting the boom.
‘An awesome sail for the high wind freerider, bump and jump, intermediate wave rider or budding freestyle sailor. It really does allow you to do anything you can dream of!’ (Sic.)
Our first impression was that the BOLT feels manoevrable and compact, with quite an efficient, balanced power transfer without feeling either gutless or powerful. At the low end we also noticed it came up ‘sucking’ on the apparent wind very well and helped pull through some holes and lighter patches when getting going, noticeably more than some of the more obvious powerhouses in the group. Physically it’s nice and light, mostly pulling high and middle-to-aft – although as you get planing you do feel the roach that helps throw you forward nicely to help get over the hump – and it’s also pretty rapid around the park too, settling down nicely once you’re up-and-running. There’s a marked manoevrable, lively feel and, although a few testers felt it was happier in a straight line, as many also reckoned it was eager to be thrown about too. Sometimes we find Tushinghams a little biased towards smaller, lighter riders and often notice those that get the best out of them have shorter lines – and so manage to remain in contact with the fin/s well as a result. The Bolt however pleased the larger testers and ironically it was mostly the smaller riders that felt it less manoevrable. Tuning-wise the news is good, this 5.25 being, bar the fiddly mast cut-out, easy to rig and tune in the familiar Tushingham manner and also forgiving to harness line placement to some extent too. We noticed the battens need some early attention, S-bending on the first tensioning, but once wet and left overnight they settled down and left good skin tension from that point on.
An efficient, fast, light, manoevrable new offering from Tush that will surprise you with it’s early-planing ability and lively nature in the waves. Representing good value for money, the Bolt is an appealing option for all sizes of rider. As a high-wind freeride option too it will delight die-hard Tushingham fans and new admirers alike.
Other boards in this test: