The expectation of a great power wave sail is to be able to handle rough conditions, be awesome for freeriding, powerful planing, and overall versatility. That being said, we didn’t just aim to find the best sails that excel the most at one certain attribute for a particular rider type, but rather the best all around power wave sails, and the combination of attributes that help achieve this versatility.
Additionally, there are some great international brands out there, but the availability is limited in the U.S. with certain ones, therefore we only considered brands and models that are readily available both online and in-store. The attributes we primarily looked at were the following:
The Overall Construction
Is it a seamless design? Not overly complicated where it doesn’t need to be? Are the quality of the materials and technology used the best for the price point?
We looked for lower swing weight without the sacrifice of strength.
Well you don’t want the sail holding back speed if it doesn’t need to right??
We were looking at sizes 5-5.8, so around 415-450 for luff, 165-185 for boom, depending on the size.
The optimal balance possible between the stiffness and flexibility.
Could someone under the absolute expert rider level control it easy enough without any problems?
Materials, build, laminate, etc.
Does the sail maximize the value for the price?
Other Cool Features
What else does it have?
After considering all these factors, doing our research, and narrowing down the options, we came up with three sails that we felt excelled among the rest:
Our Pick: The Severne Gator
The Severne Gator combines all condition riding with durability, maneuverability, construction and value. The Gator is made of an X-ply material, double seamed, that gives it an awesome durability bump. The Gator is also one of the most seamless designs out there, making it not only look good, but giving it solid durability while both riding and transporting it. Although the Gator isn’t does have one focus where it is number one for a particular feature, it brings a quality that makes it a contender for almost all aspects whether it be planing acceleration, jumping or maneuverability. If you’re a rider that likes to do it all, this is the board for you at a price more affordable than other sails for this quality.
Runner Up: The North Sails Duke
The Duke is another awesome all condition board that combines maneuverability with planing with stability. The swing weight in the latest model has been significantly reduced giving it a nice light and controllable feel, while not sacrificing stability when going through choppy or large wave conditions. It has a nice balanced sail stiffness that any rider could appreciate, and is compatible with both RDM and SDM masts.
Another Runner Up: The Neilpryde Atlas
The Atlas is slightly more powerful than the above two sails, although it still gives a great all around and all condition, controllable feel. The higher up draft gives it great planing potential and power, while the profile gives it a solid lift when jumping. Overall there is a little more focus on power in this sail than the other two which may be considered more well rounded, so if you are looking for a sail that is well rounded with a slight focus on speed, this is it.