What I love about Severne Sails is that they are not afraid to go beyond the ‘normal’ conventions and try something a little different even if its not what us the windsurfing public are expecting it. And to that end I introduce to you………. the NEW 2016 Severne UNIT.
Why is it different – well its a five batten sail which is made to light in the hand and fits either RDM or SDM masts but has a single cam on the bottom batten……errrr WHAT??? ” A single cam on the bottom batten?” I hear you say. Well, to be honest thats exactly what I said. Now, I’m from a Slalom background used to fully cammed race sails and know all too well they are fast but not particularly manoeuvrable. So how can you make a sail which is easy to manoeuvre, light in the hands and yet has a cam popping the sail and slowing down the rotation of the sail? – you can’t I was sure which is why I dismissed this sail as a marketing tool to get those extra elusive cover pages in the worlds windsurf mags. After being sent the first UNIT 6.0 to land in the UK it wasn’t long before I had the chance to review this Hybrid sail. It was a light day on my Fanatic Geko 98Ltd and this day was to blow apart my pre-conceptions of what sails should be like.
It rigs super easily on my 430RDM mast – so much so you don’t even know its got a cam as you can thread the mast straight through the cam and up the luff of the mast. It rigs pretty much like most other no-cam Severne sails with the top two panels in the leach loose filling out in the third. To pick up you immediately feel how light this sail is achieved by way of using monofilm rather than cross-ply. Some would say that compromises strength but I think the sails sewn in panel configuration all but eliminates this unless your super unlucky.
On The Water:
Right….forget what you expect this sail to feel like – coz its not!. It feel just like a no cam five batten sail feeling stable and steady as it powers up to plane but the cam gives it extra bottom end grunt getting you planing MUCH quicker than everyone else. The stability of the sail defies logic as you are encouraged to lock in at whatever level you feel capable of and settles down to blast. Hit the messy stuff and the manoeuvrability of the sails steps in allowing you to slither through confused water and jump it like a wave sail. Get to the corners and this sail excels to another level. I can only compare it to the time I reviewed the RRD Firemove 100 4 years ago with its wider design and going for a gybe and finding its width just kept it planing around the corner longer allowing you time to perfect the gybe. The UNIT is the equivalent to that new design in sail terms extending the carve time mid transition allowing you oodles of time to trim everything to exit planing thus looking like Bjorn Dunkerbeck!.
In light winds you can expect to use a UNIT 6.0 when other are rigging 7.0mtr sails. When I tested it I was on the 6.0 and was planing before guys on 7.5mtr NCX’s. Several local men and women sailors tried the sail that day reporting unparalleled power and stability whatever the level of sailor.
I took the sail out yesterday in conditions where others were on 5.2 sails and found it managed very well communicating to the sailor when things were getting frisky by backwinding mildly. Add a little more downhaul and I can see no reason why it could extend its wind range even further.
Who’s It Best Used By:
The UNIT is the ideal sail to fit into your quiver between your wave sails and your Freeride sails. It comes from 5.5-7.5 which is exactly what I would have expected as its perfect for those Bump & Jump days on bigger boards or for Intermediate sailors to get blasting quickly but not having to commit to the sail like a cammed sail. Inland sailors will also benefit from the UNIT’s design as it will keep planing through the lulls of inland sailing. The only sailors who probably won’t benefit from the UNIT are super lights under 60kgs as you are best just sticking to a five batten wave sail.
Well – The Severne UNIT re-wrote my thoughts on cammed sails. I cannot stress enough that all sailors can benefit from this sail from low intermediate right through to expert. Its really a case of opening your mind to a new concept in windsurf sails. If you can do that the gains are massive – if you can’t you’ll never know what your missing. As a famous Mr Remington said ” I loved it so much I bought the company”. I might not have bought the company but my quiver now includes a Severne UNIT 6.0 and 6.5……………
Very Very Highly Recommended!!