TUSHINGHAM BOLT 6.0M 2016 TEST REVIEW
Introduced into the Tushingham line-up in 2014, the Bolt replaced a total of four old lines to cater for everything from wave sailing to high wind coastal freeride, freestyle and even twin cam blasting. It is the UK brand’s answer to the demands of the consumer market – as the wind strength changes, so does the type of sailing pursued by the recreational sailor. The 6.0m sits in the ‘bump and jump all-round freeride’ category, with its preference of being used with an SDM mast. Set with minimum tension, there is a reasonable amount of shape to the draft of the sail, complimented with plenty of movement in its Dacron luff panel and leading edge. As tension is applied, the leech falls away progressively, whilst the draft of the sail becomes significantly shallower, the main batten above the boom sitting flat at rest, maintaining rotation around the mast.
“The classic bump and jump all-round freeride sail that can still be used in waves on those lighter wind days. Smooth power delivery and maintaining the lightweight manoeuvrable feel.”
On the water, the Bolt provided a solid dependable amount of power that can be used to good effect with modern wide-style boards. On its minimum setting it feels balanced and poised in the hands at rest, quickly breathing into a deeper profile as the wind fills and the Dacron luff panel stretches. Providing constant positive feedback in the hands, the energy can be delivered in a progressive easy manner into the board thanks to the movement in the luff panel, pushing it clear from the water. The centre of effort is relatively high and back in the Bolt, providing that obvious useable drive to the rider. It is a reassuring feeling in light to moderate winds – a steady immutable power source in the hands with which to lean back against. Ideally suited for freeride cruising, this trusty nature makes the Bolt a good companion for those looking for hassle free sailing on flat water or coastal seas, the movement in the luff panel helping to temper the impact of harsh chop. The Bolt’s constant drive (which we’ve recognized as a plus for comfortably powered freeride sailing) does limit its potential for wave and freestyle use, its constant feedback making it hard to reposition instantly during transition. Using an RDM may perhaps improve performance in these areas, but overall we feel it’s certainly more suited to a classic freeride role in light to moderate wind strengths, where its power delivery style is a bonus and its tough, durable makeup ensure years of service.
The Bolt is best suited for a purest freeride role, delivering constant dependable power to energize the most stubborn modern wide-style board and offering years of service to boot.
Other sails in this test: