VANDAL ENEMY 5.3M 2015 TEST REVIEW REPORT
Vandal (from the people behind GA/Gaastra) sensibly make solid wave and freeride designs in more economical constructions to appeal to those watching the wallet a little more but not wanting to compromise on performance. The Enemy is a bit like the older Gaastra Poisons and is both RDM and SDM compatible.
‘The Enemy comes once again with two versions with a 100% xply material throughout the Enemy HD and a mono film window introduced for the standard Enemy. The Enemy is our hardcore wave sail designed to cope with everything there is to be thrown at it. For 2015 we have adapted the concave panel layout to create a better profile for better stability and overall performance. There is the lightweight 2 ply material in to the upper body of the sail to ensure a low swing weight and lightweight feel in the hand.’ (Sic.)
Our early test sessions were in super marginal wind and this is where the Enemy instantly stood out with the most grunt, plenty of drive – none of it energy-sapping to handle or access – with a nice backhandy, throttly feeling and overall good stability and balance. The raw power delivery is continuous and really does smooth gusts out well when the breeze picks up. There is a sensation of this size feeling a tad heavy – but this is most likely downwards drive rather than sheer physical weight and we did lessen it with increased downhaul. It’s also true to say this size at least was not the most manoeuvrable or throwabout of the bunch despite the nice low clew position, but the stability and positive acceleration make it interesting for your common or garden marginal onshore day. The riding position is nice and locked and we noticed the profile likes to be raked back a little too, which complements the draft-forward, freeridey feel. In small waves the Enemy’s probably not the compact, radical beast you may desire (that could be their Riot wave sail), but in real world setups, where solid torque, stability, upwind ability and acceleration are critical for getting out through white-water and picking off waves among strong current is vital, then a lot of boxes are ticked. The Enemy is also a strong value-for-money option with quite a strong-yet-rudimentary build to this standard version that’s also available in a full x-ply HD option.
Superb value-for-money if you’re looking for a stable, well-built powerhouse to cope with testing, onshore wave situations.
Other boards in this test: