VANDAL ADDICT 6.5M 2016 TEST REVIEW
Outlined as the ‘bump-and-jump freeride’ sail of the Vandal range, the Addict 6.5m has a 5-batten layout, the two immediately above the boom being tubed battens, for increased stability. Reworked in 2015, with a visual update for this season, it is rigged on a GA Sails 430cm RDM for test here and sets relatively neutral at rest, with slight to moderate shape in the profile and progressive twist along the leech. There is a good amount of tuning range available on the downhaul, using the outhaul to fine-tune the power according to the conditions. It is a clean uncomplicated sail to rig and tune, with no particular ‘bells and whistles’ compared to some others in the group, but all the necessary qualities and reinforcements you’d expect on a price-pointed yet modern sail.
“We know how some freeriders out there like to get airborne and mix things up a bit on the water; for that reason we’ve focused on keeping the Addict as manoeuvrable as possible. The slightly concaved leech design eliminates any leech flutter whilst maintaining stability. The highly water resistant Dacron luff panel keeps the sail lightweight and comfortable whether you are blasting or waterstarting. It’s also vital to delivering a great wind range and profile when the winds increase.The 2016 Addict will get you planing straight off the beach and bumping and jumping in no time.”
Feeling smaller than its stated size in the hands, the Addict is light and neutral at rest, filling to a much deeper profile as the wind turns on. The power delivery is very measured and progressive thanks to the movement in the Dacron luff panel, whilst its centre of effort is placed at a medium height and well forward, making it comfortable for a variety of rider stances. Supremely balanced and almost playful in the hands, it can be used to pump effectively onto the plane, yet provides good useable bottom end power to be passive as well, simply holding it in place to let it take effect on the board as well. As the wind increases, we were impressed by the Addict’s stability, the structure provided by the tubed-battens in the sail’s mid-section seeming to reduce the amount of decay towards the rear. With its light and easy handling it naturally encourages the rider to try different manoeuvres during transition, yet we were quite surprised at just how good it was in a straight-line as well, particularly in light to moderate conditions. A classic uncomplicated freeride-freemove sail, it can be partnered with all sizes of freeride boards, and compliment their style and character. And whilst it may not have all the very latest refinements, its detailing is up to date for a 2016 sail, making it represent excellent value for money.
Offering plenty of performance and practicality, the Addict has a light forgiving nature and at just £359.00 represents fantastic value for a no-nonsense modern freeride contender.
Other sails in this test: