Chameleon wave – Avanti Sails 4.8m Fenix wave sail review

Just as with Avanti’s 5.2m reviewed in issue three of Windsurfing UK the brand’s 4.8ft Fenix features unique membrane technology construction. You can find out more about the layup process by hitting Avanti’s website – www.avantisails.com/technology/. Where the 4.8ft differs from the 5.2ft, at least in the looks dept., is the number of battens. Contrasting to its bigger sibling’s five Avanti’s 4.8ft features four and a more compact outline.

Lime green and yellow livery are still intact, however, making for an eye catching piece of windsurfing kit that stands out on the water and on the beach. Rigging is pretty straight forward, the Fenix sheathing efficiently to the brand’s Spine 380 mast, which is a flex top type rather than constant curve.

Weight is awesome – feather light pretty much describes the 4.8m, even when you add in to the equation a less than ideal boom. (If you can plump for a full carbon type, however, then we’d recommend this). And with all that reinforcement the Fenix is robust and ready for battle with any kind of unruly wave or shore dump. Great news for ALL sailors who ride at the coast, not just wave heads.

For many this size of sail with signal the arrival of proper blow. Usually sailors will be booting round on sub 100L boards and looking for all manner of ramps to boost from or lips to bash. Not quite nuclear – although not far off – 4.8m weather is when things get slightly more serious and equipment takes more of a battering. Fortunately Avanti’s 4.8ft is up for the task in hand and will stand the test of time.

On the water

As mentioned the 4.8ft is super light. So much so that it feels like you’re carrying a smaller size rig. Lighter, less burley windsurfers will therefore love it for this reason alone. Setting with less down and outhaul than you’d initially think the 4.8m’s flat profile breathes naturally as soon as gusts hit and in a flash sailors will be up and planing, ready for that first hit.

Blasting from the beach there’s a decent amount of grunt low down in the Fenix’s belly. Yet it still remains a composed ‘engine’ and doesn’t yank riders around too much. For this reason gusty volatile conditions are no match for the Avanti. With squally winds in the mix it provides a smooth ride across the bumps and delivers windsurfers where they need to be with minimal fuss.

Even if winds continue to build the 4.8m absorbs these puffs and transfers the energy to forward momentum allowing sailors to concentrate on moves and bashing lips. Overpowering takes a while which is great if you’re searching for a quiver containing the least amount of sails. It’s also a great little rig for anyone looking at taking first steps into windsurfing – that light weight and durable construction making it ideal in this situation.

Moves

At first we weren’t convinced there was enough rider feedback but the 4.8m’s unique ‘ghost’ like feel is quickly gotten used to. For jumps and loops there’s a surprising amount of boost coming from the sail. And enough whip for snappy forwards (and similar) – either on the flat or in swell.

High altitude manoeuvres, such as backies, are infinitely controllable, the 4.8ft depowering just when you need it, before switching the vroom back on at critical points. You just need the skills!

It’s the same when pure wave riding. There’s enough ‘get out of jail free’ power to avoid sections/pitching lips or hit the green for an added dose of NOS as your board collides with peeling lips. And don’t despair if you’re a bump and jump sailor. The Fenix 4.8m is truly versatile and works well for ‘real world sailing’ also. Plus you can still just go for a blast without hassle on the Fenix 4.8ft.

Conclusion

Stunning and compact Avanti Sails’ Fenix 4.8m is a chameleon that provides pure surf style sailors and manoeuvre orientated riders the necessary tool for making the most of onshore and/or down the line wave environments. If waves aren’t your thing then full power sailing when winds ramp up is more than doable with the 4.8m. And its feather light nature make it great for chucking around on the water and applicable to smaller less burley riders.

Price:

Fenix 4.8m – 879 Euro

Spine 370 – 599 Euro

Info:

www.avantisails.com

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