Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The 7m Sail Choice - Some Thoughts

Most windsurfers have a pretty good idea about what it is they want to do in, and what they expect from the sport.  Their equipment choices will reflect these expectations and aspirations.  If you are a general blaster you may have one or two big slalom boards and sails for lighter winds, and freeride kit covering the smaller sizes.  If you are purely a racer, then you typically own only pure slalom or formula stuff.  Wave and freestyle guys have their own specialist equipment.

In this post I want to make to make the case for a specific sail in the 7.0m size.  A few manufacturers are producing high spec freerace models with only 6 battens.  These are interesting sails because they are generally based on the top of the range race models.  What you get is a sail with the architecture of a pure race sail but with a far simpler, lighter structure and no camber inducers.  In short, a light, fun sail which can be used by any windsurfer, regardless of discipline, who owns a slalom or fast freeride board.


This is the Scream from Maui Sails.

Vandal's Stitch

Gaastra's Matrix
Each of these sails has an up-to-the-minute shape, each is light, simple and easy to rig and each is really easy to sail fast.  If you are a decent sailor on one of these sails and your mate is slightly less of a sailor but has purchased a pure race sail because Antoine Albeau uses one, I promise you will smoke your mate assuming similar boards, fins, weights etc.  These sails make speed so easy and so much fun.

It must be said that you are not going to win races against hot sailors on race kit, but if you want to put a big smile on your face - this is the machine.  I choose the 7m size because this is the size beyond which you need to consider incorporating cams.  A 7m sail has some quite serious grunt but somehow lacks that heavy, big feeling you get with anything larger.  These particular models in 7m can be sailed happily on slalom boards with widths covering 80cm all the way down to 62cm.  They are also really happy on fast freeride boards of 65cm (eg Rocket or Futura).  Every one of these boards will shine under any of the above sails in 7m.

Having said all of this I must say that this particular sail type only makes sense for me in the 7m size.  I advise B&J type sails for sizes between 7m and 5.5m (Cross, Hucker, Gator etc) and pure wave sails for 5.0 and smaller (I have to be able to sheet out to slow down and sheet in to accelerate in wild conditions and wave sails do this properly).

Please give the 6 batten speed machine some consideration when you next look at replacing your 7m sail.  If you are a wave guy or a freestyler with an old slalom board, think about one of these for those light wind days.    

1 comment:

  1. Hey Phil,

    One of our local sailors here just got a hold (well maybe months ago) of a Hot Sails Maui GPX 7.0 and I must say it's worth looking into. Tried it on my 60wide board with a 33 Vmax and boy did it fly! Usually I'm into using my KA Koncept but this thing felt incredibly light and fast in the gusts.