Words: Tez Plavenieks
Pics: Oli Lane-Peirce, Mike Pringuer, Nick Masson.
Hyde Sails may be vaguely familiar. The Southampton based yacht sail company were also, back in the day, purveyors of highly regarded windsurf sails. We’ve heard from many who owned and used their sails. Fast forward to present times and Hyde have a successful kitesurf kite manufacturing business. With the rise of wing foiling it’s therefore no surprise the brand have added the Blast wings to their rosta.
I’ve been fortunate to have extended experience using the Hyde Sails 5m Blast wing. It’s been my go to wing surfing wing for a while now. As soon as the breeze hits a solid 12-15knts it’s game on.
I’m 90kg dry but the Blast 5m has superb low end grunt to get me up and foiling at the lower end of the wind spectrum. And the Blast’s poise, control and easy handling does fine right up to gusts of 30knts!
Hyde’s manufacturing is tip top. The 5m Blast is extremely robust and durable. One of the most durable I’ve tested. The leading edge, strut and tips will take knocks and scuffs, brushing them aside without issue. The Blast’s canopy is also pretty durable. I’ve had a few crashes into the wing and I’m happy to say it’s survived unscathed.
You may notice the test wing I’m using has windows. Made from X-Ply the Blast’s windows don’t warp and crack like some PVC types. I’m not that fussed about using windows personally but appreciate some do want this feature. Hyde’s are well suited to the wing and retain visual integrity even after prolonged use. No misty filming over here. Hyde Blast wings all come in windowless design as well.
A super nice feature are the Blast’s handles. They’re rigid but forgiving with plenty of room for even big or wetsuit gloved hands. Positioned correctly each handle is comfortable, grippy and provides a balanced feel.
That low end grunt of the Hyde unsticks the most stubborn of boards. Flutter free the 5m Blast locks in and can achieve a respectably high upwind riding angle. The Blast has a slightly longer middle strut meaning there’s morning canopy material at the back to sheet in against. This almost gives it a windsurf sail feel which sailors crossing over to winging will appreciate.
Drifting effortlessly Hyde’s Blast wing sits on the breeze efficiently as you wave ride, never over balancing the rider. Whilst in freestyle mode it boosts with the best of ’em and easily spins to win. For general freeriding it’s also lovely to cruise with, being easy on the arms to just fly around.
I found it partnered well with newer high aspect foil designs for a ‘slippery though the air’ type ride. Less drag from the foil, plus power in the wing = super efficiency.
You mightn’t have heard of Hyde Blast wings (yet). No less they’re a bona fide choice for all manner of wing foilers. From beginners right through to advanced riders Hyde Blast wings suit all types of winging, are bombproof, performance orientated and we’ll priced. If you’re in the market for a new wing then look them up.