REVIEW: HOTSAILS KS3 3-BATTEN
It must be my feminin side but I love the colors and looks of this sail on the water and yes, I want to show off to my friends so this review is probably as subjective as it possibly can be. However, I’ll try to be realistic, haha! Hotsails is one of the most innovating brands looking at the Firelight but not really a brand that I would sail. Small window, fancy colours and graphics…I just didn’t like the looks that much. But that was just until the KS3 showed up; simple, light, minimalistic, compact and great colors. I LIKE!!!!
After sailing North for years and Neil Pryde Atlas for the last two years I was looking for a new kit. I tested the P7 Salt and Ezzy Elite and compared it to the feeling of my NP Atlas and the North Ice I sailed for so many years. I loved the power of the Atlas but after 150 sessions my most used sails 4,7 and 5,4 are just completely worn out with torn windows and panels, just not strong enough. So now, I would prefer Ezzy for durability and Severne or 5-Oceans for light weight, would it be possible to combine both? 5-Oceans probably would, but they’re highly priced and as a company not easy to get to some kind of sponsorship. However, a light, responsive yet strong sail is just what I am looking for and isn’t that what all wavesailors would love? I chose the Atlas for its power and because Philip Koster was riding them ;), so no excuses haha but the power of the NP Atlas was just too much when waveriding. Depowering was not easy for me and on full power I got blown out of the turns too often. So, instead of power and early planing I started looking for a sail that would improve my level of waveriding without too much effort. And here it is…..
On the land
Rig it on a flextop mast, best mast would be the Hotrod Ultra. I sailed it on my Unifiber 400 80% flextop and that worked fine. I will however get me the Hotrod Ultra and sell the Unifibers, just to get the best out of the sail. Adjusting downhaul is easy and compared to any other sail. The first secret of the sail is the big wrinkle close to the mast. Wind is needed to shape the sail and create a deep profile which has enormous stability. Even when you pull the outhaul in overpowered conditions, the wrinkle will stay there so the profile is secured and the sail won’t feel nervous. The second secret is the power-triangle created by the white lining which divides the window in two. The power stays at the same spot and will provide the pull you need just until you de-power the sail. The last secret comes when you pick up the rig, it’ll make you smile because it’s f*cking light! Check the vid below and watch the sail perform. You can see the sail de-power and see how the power-triangle stays in shape when overpowered. Too bad you need more masts than you would like. On 4,0 a 340, on 4,6 a 370 and a 400 on a 5,2. Check the Hotsails website for the specs http://www.hotsailsmaui.com/sail.php?uid=26
On the water
The sail is light! It sails like any other sail when powered up so nothing special although that is quiet special considering the 3-battens. It is very stable due to the deep profile. I expected it to be overpowered in the conditions in the vid, especially on the outside but the sail never felt like that, only a little trembling in strong gusts in the lowest part of the power-triangle. The secret reveals itself while carving into the bottom-turn, you can see the sail flattening out completely losing all of its power. That will make it possible to draw the tightest turns possible, surfboard-style or choose to be powered up and ride the rail going down the line . When I look back at the vid I am definitely going to improve that and go more vertical.
Goodlooking, superlight, stable and depowers brilliantly and it will for sure help me to improve my waveriding. I ordered myself a set at Zuidwest6, toys for boys!!