Pics: James Jagger
The 2019 S-Type 8.3m is the second sail from recently re-branded company Duotone. Billed as a super versatile product the S-Type is said to fit racing, freeride and foiling disciplines whilst remaining easy access for everyday riders.
Out the bag and the CO2 blue/white livery is actually our favourite. It therefore looks the bee’s knees with lots of features and attention to detail is top notch. Something often missed is Duotone (formerly North) are actually a very innovative windsurfing brand. This is proved once again when looking at the cam options for the S-Type. Being able to switch between x3 and x2 cams, to give different performance features, is pretty nifty. We tried in both forms but found that the twin cam option was best suited for the conditions we encountered.
Although the 8.3m is an early planing machine (we could actually plane no probs in just over 12 knots), it does like a bit of gas in the tank. When the wind ramps up the S-Type 8.3m really comes alive. You’ll need to tune the sail accordingly but with increased down and outhaul the sail gives an efficient experience and doesn’t bend riders out of shape even when stronger gusts hit. As such it’s smooth and stress free.
Round corners it’s easy to spill power should you need to but equally it’s straight forward to yank back on the throttle and zoom out of gybing exits. There’s certainly no issue with sailors using the S-Type for a spot of slalom racing as the S-Type 8.3m would hold its own, and being slightly less technical would arguably deliver better end results.
The S-Type’s easy going nature belies just how much performance you can squeeze out of this sail. For sure, use as an early planing piece of kit in lighter winds, but also don’t miss just how electric the 8.3m becomes with more wind. Locked and loaded it flies and will power even the most stubborn of boards to their optimum. Features such as the innovative Switch Cam system lend even more usability to an already high quality product.