NeilPryde need no introduction. A stalwart brand on the windsurfing scene for years, with many a world champion (Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Antoine Albeau anyone?) having used the brand’s gear to devastating effect, NeilPryde continue to deliver premium quality sails and rig components.
WSUK got its grubbies on the C3 version of NP’s Ryde 7.5m, billed as the perfect partner for modern wide and thin freeride boards. Rigged on the superb NeilPryde TPX 100 SDM mast setting the Ryde is easy enough to do. The last few cm’s of downhaul need a bit of gritted teeth to yank on but you can’t deny what a beautifully looking rigged sail the Ryde actually is. Rounding off the Ryde 7.5m was paired with a carbon boom for maximum performance.
There’s no denying NP’s race pedigree has filtered down into the Ryde range. Get up and go early planing is efficient. At the merest hint of puff the sail billows and transfers every ounce of available energy into forward thrust. A few occasions we found wind speeds right at the bottom of what we considered enough but the Ryde would have us flying. We appreciate that foils are all the rage currently, for lower wind speeds, yet sailors looking for conventional windsurfing tools discount an efficient engine such as this.
Pulling solidly NP’s Ryde 7.5m allows sailors to really lock down the sail, at which point it becomes effortless to cruise and burn up the miles. Round corners the Ryde 7.5m displays positive drive. If technique isn’t quite dialled in there’s a chance of being unbalanced. With a commanding technique, however, the Ryde will slingshot sailors through each turn with plenty of speed on tap for planing exits.
Although many riders won’t be looking to complete any radical kind of transition with this size of sail we couldn’t resist chucking in a few duck gybes, downwind 360s and even the odd jump. As with standard gybes as long as riders commit fully there’s no reason why completed manoeuvres won’t be the order of the day.
NeilPryde’s Ryde 7.5m C3 freeride sail offers everyday blasters the chance to tap into race like performance whilst still retaining the characteristics needed for general freeride sailing. A grunty bottom end will have windsurfers up and running swiftly, with plenty of reason to use a sail like the Ryde for light air blasting. Round corners and through moves it’s a rewarding foil with pedal to the mettle. Tune for a more forgiving feel, or if wind strengths increase, and then go give your mates on their slalom gear a run for their money! NeilPryde’s TPX 100 SDM mast is absolutely fantastic and helps make the Ryde 7.5m the polished high end product it is. Eye catching, distinct graphics finish off what’s a very desirable burn and turn engine that’ll suit drag racers down to the ground.