UNIFIBER MAVERICK 6.5M 2019 TEST REVIEW
The Maverick is Unifiber’s entry-level freeride sail, available as a complete package with the brand’s popular components, or as a standalone sail. Targeted towards school use as well as the wider consumer market, the four smaller Maverick sizes are also available in Dacron, using four colours so that sizes can easily be distinguished. The monofilm version tested here is built to be as lightweight as possible, to make it practical for light wind use and progression, as well as high-end blasting. It has a very clean, minimalist appearance, with monofilm used in all bar the foot and luff panels, where wide-spaced x-ply is in place. Detailing is also cut to a minimum to reduce weight and increase affordability, with features such as the tack fairing paired back to a purely functional form. And yet, there are some very modern features included, to ensure performance and longevity, such as integrated battens and abrasion beading included along the length of the two lower battens. Just a word to the wise, with its largely monofilm structure, it is quite easy to over-tension the battens, particularly in the head of the sail. Just tension enough to take the wrinkles out and you’re good to go.
“A high performance sail developed for newcomers to windsurfing. The smaller sizes are designed towards bump and jump conditions, the larger sizes 6.5 and 7.3 are designed for performance freeride level blasting.”
The Maverick was tested on a standard diameter 40% constant curve Unifiber mast, which is quite easily the heaviest in the group, yet no doubt one of the most durable and cost effective. Downhauling the sail was relatively straightforward, the tack roller oriented optimally to mitigate unnecessary friction, whilst the two lower battens keep connection with the mast. At rest there’s some shape to the Maverick’s profile below the boom, yet it remains relatively flat above. Taking it onto the water, the mast’s relative weight is noticeable during light wind manoeuvring, but as pressure builds and the sail accelerates onto the plane, it was surprising just how little the extra weight of the mast remained noticeable. Because once the Maverick is planing it settles into a very comfortable locked in stance. The centre of effort is low and focussed around the rider, accelerating in the gusts and rarely invoking any additional backhand pressure. It was a pleasure to use, the quality of the design and shaping disguising any handling or response drawback regarding the use of the heavier mast. With natural range on one setting, the leech twists off smoothly, keeping the sail’s pull locked forward and helping to pin the board down as it rides over turbulent seas. In transition and at lower speeds, the mast’s influence does become more noticeable again, but keep the pressure on and the sail’s performance potential will continue to override, leaving a lasting impression.
Whilst it may have a simple, straightforward appearance, the Maverick’s performance is anything but! The quality and artistry of its design disguises the extra weight of the price-pointed mast, leaving the rider to explore the sail’s impressive range, control and capabilities. At €409.00 (roughly £375 at time of writing), it is exceptional value.
Other sails in this test: