Having used Witchcraft’s range of Karma five batten power wave sails extensively it was intriguing laying hands on the Fuerteventura based company’s four batten offering. With a design brief, among other things, of being able to withstand the harshest of environments one thing’s for sure: it’s a wave sail that’s built to last and take a beating!
Rigging is standard fair with the Slayer 4.5m setting pretty flat – easy to sheath and set from the get go. If you’re a splash ‘n’ dash sailor then this will be welcome news as it’s quick a syou like getting set up and ready to ride.
One of the things four batten sails have been criticised for in the past is topping out quickly, giving less range. Witchcraft address this with a morphing seam shape which allows the sail to handle more wind, and riders being able to rig smaller quicker. For instance we found time and again that if it was 4.7m/5m weather we could jump on the Slayer 4.5m and not lose too much in terms of early planing or power. Being on a smaller sail then (obviously) gives more manoeuvrable scope when looking to stomp moves – in the air and on the wave.
Launching from the beach there’s plenty of grunt that’ll unstick the most stubborn of boards. Even if underpowered a few pumps yield good results. The Slayer has been slightly criticised in the past for being a tad heavy. While certainly not ultra-light it isn’t overly weighty either and should actually be compared to the equivalent wind range rather than same sail size. There’s certainly no issue with manoeuvres, each aerial rotation being smooth and efficient with the added comfort of it being bombproof should things go awry.
On a wave, either onshore or side shore, WC’s Slayer 4.5m has a positive pull without the rider getting bent out of shape. For sure, if pure surf style riding is your thing then you may need to tune the Slayer accordingly. For most sailors, however, the sail’s drive will be welcome, delivering riders to pitching lips quick smart. Off the tops are open for interpretation. Aerials though are a particular forte of the Slayer, giving enough boost and projection to clear even the thickest lip and white water.
Witchcraft’s Slayer 4.5m has a large tunable range (we used it in some pretty hectic conditions and it behaved admirably considering it’s a four batten sail) and great for tackling gnarly conditions, from onshore to side off. Loving a boost, either into the air or from a wave, it’ll see riders soaring high in efficient manner. As a general high wind sail it works well, so freewave sailors will find favour, whilst on a wave it has all the necessary attributes to make surf riding fulfilling. Super solid construction also give it a longevity that most sails don’t possess.
Price: 702 Euro