Words: Tez Plavenieks.
Pics: Tez Plavenieks, Oli Lane-Peirce.
I tested Nautix Windsurfing’s 5.2m windsurfing sail a while back. Since then it’s proved exactly as stated in the write up and more! A staple piece of gear for all types of windsurfing pretty much summing things up. The brand’s 4.5m came hot on its heels and I was intrigued to see how it compared.
For most windsurfers, a 4.5m sail will be used when it’s blowing some. It may be the smallest he/she owns. In all instances, it needs to be bombproof and up to the task. With UK winds being notoriously gusty a small sail like a 4.5m should also be stable and comfortable to use.
It’s nice to be able to report that Nautix’s 4.5m is certainly all of these things. Designed by Teiva Sails in France the four batten design rigs with minimal effort. And it isn’t too rigging critical. There’s no issue setting and going. Not having to faff about will be welcome news to all riders as often windows of windy opportunity can be few and far between. Simply getting set and getting gone is always going to be a plus point.
Construction of the 4.5m is top drawer and personally, I like the aesthetics. You’ll definitely stand out with such a brightly coloured sail. But even more so with it being a not so common brand. Who wants to be a sheep though?
As with the 5.2m there’s just enough bottom end grunt to make the 4.5m usable in slightly light and/or flukey breeze. It still has plenty of get up and go. But more importantly, it’s reactive to sailor input and pumping. It’s therefore easy to change down relatively quickly and still get planing. Once riding the 4.5m then slips through the air efficiently with light handling. The biggest takeaway here is for a sail with such light handling traits it doesn’t fall off the plane. Keeping going through lulls, with positive pressure in the sailor’s hands, riding the 4.5m sometimes feels like cheating!
As well as windsurf mode I’ve also used the 4.5m extensively in windfoil mode. All the aforementioned traits make it a great sail choice for flying above water. Being pumpable ensures early take offs whilst that feathery handling gives the confidence to try new things. Advanced flyers will then find stomping moves joyous and pretty simple.
I love the Nautix Windsurfing range of sails. Being one line, with smaller more wave orientated, mid-sizes freestyle/freestyle wave focused and the larger ones fit for light wind freeride and slalom, it keeps things easy t0 understand.
Performance wise there’s lots to love. It has plenty of get up and go with rider input (pumping) and once at speed is just lovely to use. The sail’s light handling plays into all sorts of tricks and transitions. The Nautix also works great for performance freeride windfoiling. So if you subscribe to the flying above water way of sailing definitely get yourself one of these babies for mile wide smile fulfillment.
Check out the following articles below –