Wave Sails

Neil Pryde Fly (2009)

The Fly is Neil Pryde’s all new Kauli Seadi signature range. With only four battens in sizes below 5.0m and a relatively low aspect planshape it is designed for light weight and manoeuvrability. It is geared to a combination of wavesailing and freestyle, and designed to provide constant drive in the waves rather than the light and neutral handling of the Zone. It is said to be very appropriate for the new twin-fin waveboards.

Fly Set: There is much less pre-set shape in the bottom of the sail than on the Alpha, and not placed as far forward. The most noticeable aspect of rigging the sail was how easily the downhaul can be applied – we could over-downhaul the sail (making the leech too loose) just by pulling the rope with our hands! Even when heavily downhauled it retains considerable rotation, so a considerable amount of outhaul is needed – up to 7 or 8cm. Although this made the sail look rather flat on the beach it seemed to work best like this – the skin tension still remains relatively low due to the low downhaul pressure. We set the 4.8m on the Combat X 370, a mast that we haven’t measured for stiffness and bend curve but which will probably be a standard Pryde flex top.

Summary: It distorted easily in the solid and heavy gusts of the El Médano arena, and seems built more for manoeuvrability and constant winds that will allow you to use a relatively small size for the conditions, and will be particularly suited to lighter sailors who will use a given size in less winds and really appreciate its light and compact nature. Matthew: “It was very hard to find a set on the 5.4m as it takes hardly any downhaul before it goes very flat and floppy. When rigged with a firmer leech (less downhaul) and substantial positive outhaul the sail is better – but still has very low skin tension and overpowers quite easily. The 4.7 ismuchmore useable. I think it wouldmake a reasonable riding sail where its relatively higher drive could be used to good effect to drive the lee rail in a bottom turn and then come upright fast and tight for a cutback. It felt quite manoeuvrable in a positive sense.” Emile: “I spent a long time trying to find the right set for the sail and I was never really happy with the set I got. If I rigged the sail flat it would be quite twitchy but with more shape it would get backhanded in the gusts. In the lulls, I found that I dropped off the plane quite easily.” Ed: “The purple looks good on the water. Do experiment with the rigging and use loads of outhaul. Tiring on the arms due to the lack of stability.” Ian: “The Fly is clearly not a sail designed for your everyman wavesailor, but it should come into its own for skilled lighter sailors in constant winds and good cross-shore riding conditions. For the rest of us one of the other Pryde wave sails will prove a much better bet.”


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