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VANDAL RIOT 4.4m

Stats Size (m2) 4.4 Luff (cm) 383 Boom (cm) 160 Battens 4 Ideal Mast 370/17 IMCS RDM Extension Req (cm) 13 Price £295

BACKGROUND
Introduced a couple of seasons ago, the Vandal Riot was one of the first of the latest batch of new-skool 4-batten wave sails to hit the market and further spark the trend. It’s no secret that Vandal are developed in conjunction with Gaastra (who have a new designer since this model was launched), yet the original Dan Kaseler (now of Avanti Sails) design is unchanged for 2013.

AT A GLANCE
The Riot keeps its compact outline, rounded wide head and high, straight-cut foot. The range comes in three different colour options, with edgy graffiti graphics that set these sails out from the crowd. Although the design hasn’t changed for a couple of years they still look good. The build quality is very high, Vandals are produced by Gaastra so you can expect the quality to be top notch and they have plenty of X-ply re-enforcements where needed so they should withstand some punishment.

RIGGING
It rigs on a 370 mast and we tested it with a Gaastra 100 RDM. It sets with a fairly tight leech and is best-tuned with the outhaul, although you can crank on a little more downhaul if the wind picks up to improve its top-end control.

PERFORMANCE
It feels light in the hands and perfectly balanced with a low centre of effort. There is lots of low down power and bottom end grunt, which gets you going extremely early. Being a 4.4 makes it one of the smaller sails in this test but in terms of power, you wouldn’t think it. The power is in your back hand and low down in the sail which makes it easy to control and gives you lots of drive through your turns. When you need to, the power is switched on/off easily and it loves to be thrown around in manoeuvres, both on the wave and in the air. It has a great low-end capability in the lighter winds.

THE VERDICT
The Vandal Riot is a fantastic lightweight four-batten wave sail. The shape is un-changed but it works superbly, so doesn’t need to. The graphical styling isn’t to everyone’s taste and is over two years old now but don’t be put off by that, it’s still one of the best compact four batten sails around.

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