REVIEW POINT-7 SALT 4.8 (2013)
After weeks of offshore winds we finally got some good forecasts. Best winds and waves predicted in Bretagne but as that is a 11 hour drive we headed up for a one-day-trip to Wissant, a three hour drive. For three weeks a a brand new P7 Salt 4.8/5.6 and a 3-batten Swag were waiting in the back of my van and this was the day they had to take the beating!
NP Atlas 2012 P7 Salt 2013
With some of my friends riding Point-7 sails I was eager to try out the new Salt, the opticly best looking sail in the P7 range. I cruised around for a couple of reaches with the set of a friend of mine, a powerwave Sado 5.8 in combination with a Goya 104 Quad and I got surprised by the quite light feel as I expected it to feel more heavy and grunty. I was really anxious to ride the Salt, P7-ens 4-batten wavesail and compare it to my NP Atlas (2012). I got in touch with P7-Benelux and they lent me a Salt 4.8 and 5.6, a 4.7 Swag (3-batten!) and a 100% 400 P7 mast, just for testing, great!
Salt 2012 (Wissant april 2013) Salt 2013 (Wissant april 2013)
On the land;
I didn’t like the looks of the former editions that much but this sail looks great in my opinion and much better as the 2012 version. I love the contrast of the blue and black and fantasizing, maybe with a blank x-ply-window, probably even more! Unboxing it, the black clothing is glistering and looking like silk, smooth…Putting the mast in the 4,8, it just needs a little guidance as in my NP Atlas, and as I pulled the downhaul to the medium settings you can see the shape appearing in the sail with the pressure point more in the midde and between the hands. The NP Atlas and the P7 Sado have a more forward pull with a somewhat deeper profile closer to the mast. I increased the tension on the battens somewhat more and, with the boom attached and normal outhaul they rest over the mast. I used the 4,8 with the 400 mast which works fine but probably makes the profile a little deeper compared to a 370 mast, which is the recommended mast for this sail. In my NP Atlas I’m using the base of the 400 and top of the 370 to create a deeper and lower profile in minimal conditions just to increase early planing. Some other thing, the sail is definetly suited for taller riders as you can get the boom up quite high and about 10 cm higher compared to my NP Atlas.
On the water;
Light! The sail really feels light in the hands and that is what triggered me most in the first reaches. Looking up when planing I only saw a wrinkle between the top batten and below. I do have the same in my NP Atlas. Maybe with some extra trimming I could get that even better but I guess you won’t feel anything about that. I’m not so much of a tuner, I usually stick to one setting and only adjust that when the conditions really change. The lattens rotate without a problem or without a ‘bang’ of the sail. My Atlas is better in lowend and planes faster, but that is a powerwave sail and also feels more grunty in subplaning conditions. The Salt floats better and feels lighter in the hands, I can get used to that in low-wind-but-good-swell conditions! I tested the sail at Wimereux and Wissant yesterday in quite gusty conditions and with both my Quatro thrusters (102/82). The Salt handled big gusts great both in minimal as medium outhaul settings, breathing well and feeling easy and controlled and, well, quite effortless compared to my NP Atlas which needs more work and bodystrength to handle the power. During the afternoon-session yesterday at Wissant the conditions were hardcore, being overpowered and with choppy and 2m waves in the first hour it wasn’t easy for me to do smooth rides or loops but the sail handled it nice. The light feel is great in the bottomturns as the sail depoweres better as my Atlas. The last hour at midtide and falling, Wissant was magical, with waves cleaning and building up to 3m+ we had an insane last hour, laying down my bottomturns and hard carves in the topturn and that’s where the sail really works brilliant. I crashed a couple of them bigtime but the x-ply window handled that fine, it got bruised a little with some dimples in it but that’s what happens when surfing waves in these conditions. The monofilm of my NP Atlas is much more fulnerabe as I had to replace the window and tore some other panels also.
P7 is cheaper compared to the ‘big brands’ and that makes it interesting. The Salt is a light, goodlooking 4-batten wave-sail with better highend capacities and better handling compared to my NP Atlas. The fact that I was able to test this sail and the quiver I was able to try (5.6/4.8 Salt with a 100% 400 mast and a 3-batten Swag) is a great gesture of P7 Benelux, thnx fot that!