After a year of Severne S-1 Pro use what do I think. Here’s a article I wrote for the Severne UK’ Oracle blogspot:
I’m Neil Greentree and I run Team QSW, a UK based team of riders devoted to promoting all things windsurfing and especially Severne Sails as the shop we advise for is a large Severne retailer. I have used Severne Sails since 2006 starting with Blades and then in 2014 I was convinced by by fellow team rider Andy Holland to switch to S-1’s and then in 2015 the all NEW S-1 Pro’s. Coming from a Slalom background I was reluctant to switch from 5 battens as the locked in feel and wind range allowed for my preferred sailing style of overpowered. So after a year of using 4 batten S-1 Pros how have they faired and do I like them?
The first thing you cannot fail in noticing when you first get the S-1 Pro in your hands is just how light they are. There was talk that the original S-1 was the lightest windsurf sail on the market but with nearly 25% shaved off the weight the S-1 Pro must be the lightest sail in the world today. So light that when using say a S-1 Pro 5.2 it feel more like a 4.5!. This makes transitions much easier…….. so much so that you can slow down the point in which you ‘duck’ the sail in a Duck Gybe as the sail will transition so smoothly.
Rigging the S-1 Pro is much like the previous S-1 but I found for 2015 I downhaul the sail 0.5cm more than the recommended amount to loosen the sail a little but beware – too much and the sail looses its power and flat profile when de-powered.
Power wise the S-1 Pro delivers in buckets and feels so stable in the hands you can concentrate on the next move rather than with some sails I’ve used which need constant trimming and re-trimming as they just feel so nervous even when fully plaining. Even the larger S-1 Pros still feel ‘small’ and manoeuvrable which is testament to the R&D put into the design.
Its interesting how many times I am asked why go for 4 batten sails over the tried and tested 5 batten designs. Not being a hardcore (or even softcore!) wave sailor I found with using multi fin boards the 4 batten sails allow the board not to be pinned to the water so much allowing the board to plain earlier and feel ‘free’er’ when out in the open sea. The 5 batten Blade 6.2 I use delivers more mastfoot pressure which does stiffen the feel of my Tri-Fin 96Ltr board I use it with. Also with the 4 batten design you need to stand up more when initialising getting plaining – just sheeting in like you would with a 5 batten almost stalls the boards ability to rise to plain. You’re much better sheeting out and standing up letting the sail feather in the apparent wind and allow the board to rise and plain super early.
So how have they faired durability wise – Well, very very well!. Its a endorsement to the design and quality when after 120 plus days of sailing since getting them September 2014 they look almost as good as new. Don’t let people tell you that the ‘High tech’ materials are not durable….. coz they are. With the high price tag of the S-1 Pro you may be led to believe they will drop their value like a stone but out of the 2 team riders who use Severne S-1 Pros, Andy has already found buyers for all his sails. I am sure I will have little problem when I come to sell my 2015’s in a month or so.
So there you go…..are their any ‘Cons’ with slashing out on Ben Severne’s flagship model sail. Well no actually – every sail repays the extra investment in buckets and they continue to impress when lent out on demo. Although I think Severne have pulled a master stroke bringing back the standard S-1 back into the range I for 1 will continue to be Pro the Pro……….