As a Windsurfing UK first we weren’t sure what to expect with XO Sails’ EOL 7m. The windsurfing sail arm of French watersports brand Exocet, their EOL range are billed as tools for flat water and freeride. It was therefore with high anticipation we unfurled the 7m version.
Firstly, we have to say the EOL’s ‘in the flesh’ looks are impressive. For some reason we’d perceived XO to be a more budget friendly brand. And whilst they’re certainly not as expensive as some there’s no lacking in quality, production and attention to detail. In fact, in the early spring sunlight, the EOL 7m looks the biz.
One thing we appreciate wholeheartedly at WSUK HQ is ‘simple’. The least amount of faffing the better. Getting to the beach and getting on the water is what it’s all about after all. With that in mind it’s welcome to have a sail that’s not super critical to rigging. We won’t go as far as saying you can rig the EOL any old way, but equally, you don’t need to be scientific either. And actually we found the EOL 7m to work pretty well with minimal downhaul.
Setting with a tight leach the EOL’s belly displays dependable fullness. On the water this translates to low end power which is obviously great for early planing. But it’s not a mannerless sail either. At full chat there’s plenty of composure – the 7m doesn’t bend riders out of shape. And for those with advanced technique all that power can easily be transferred to forwards momentum and speed.
Round corners the EOL is efficient with a welcome driving pull. Gybing newbies may need time to dial in their technique, but then that’s gybing in general. Experienced traditionalists, however, will be able to turn that drive into planing exits without too much bother.
XO’s EOL 7m is a nice looking sail that’s quick to rig and delivers regardless of shoddy settings. Obviously with a bit more concentration riders will be able to get more out of it. But as far as a simplistic product goes, that’ll put a smile on ya chops, you can’t really knock it. A powerful bottom end transfers directly to early planing and speed whilst the handling round corners is dependable and drivey. We should also note the XO Sails ELO 7m makes a good choice of windfoil sail as well.