Patrik Foil+ sails (8.0 & 9.0)
First impressions – These sails are at the extreme end of competitive wind foiling. 8 battens and 5 cams create a solid wing like structure. The sails set in a taught crease free maner. The sails are surprisingly flat in profile, these sails are all about efficiency. The leech is moderately tight with most movement about half way down the leech, the head does not fall away like a slalom race sail. These sails are tall, the 8.0 fits on a 490 mast and needs a 46cm extension while the 9.0 needs the same extension but a 520 mast. Booms are quite short especially considering there is not a big clew cutaway.
The sails come with lots of cam spacers already fitted so be prepared to take your time getting the sails to rig and rotate as you want. The bottom cam comes with a whopping 5 spacers and all the battens above have 3 spacers each. I am currently using (starting at the bottom) 6,1,1,0,1 spacers on the cams and this gives me good stability and easy rotation.
The sails appear well built and with more scuff protection that other race style sails particularilily along the leech where you might catch it on the ground while carrying the rig.
On the water – In the past most of my foiling has been with light 2 or 3 cammed sails up to 8.6 so I have to admit I was a bit nervous of trying a 8 batten sail with 5 camber inducers that weighs about 2kg more than I am used to.
Uphauling – fairly standard compared to other sails of the same size. Water starting is a bit easier due to a combination of the high aspect nature of the sail providing plenty of lift combines with easy rotation to help flick the sail if required.
Getting going – these sails are very efficient, they cut through the air with ease feeling light in the hands. When a gust comes along the rig wants to accelerate and keep accelerating. In very light winds other sails with more draft/shape in the sail body will pump up onto the foil but if there is insufficient power to level off the flight you can soon find yourself dropping back off the foil. With the foil+ the sail will be eager to accelerate meaning you can quickly level off the flight and start to accelerate. This feature of the sails means they work best with efficient high aspect race style foils. A low aspect high lift foil would not be able to keep up.
Once in flight the sails will settle down and allow you to concentrate on cutting through the wind. In gusty overpowering conditions the sail’s slippery nature allows it to cut through the gusts without any drama. That same feature allows you to keep foiling into stronger winds and it is only with hindsight do you think “actually, I could have been using a much smaller sail.” It tends to be time to change down sail when you run out of courage as opposed to control. The sails have a very wide wind range which is something you can not say about all foil specific sails.
Trim – Because these rigs are not the lightest moving the mast foot around can have more effect than with smaller/lighter sails. I tend to use the 8.0 about 3cm forward of where I have the mast foot for the 9.0.
I am not a racing sailor so I can not comment much on the sails pointing ability but I am a sailmaker and from its profile I have little doubt that there will be few sails that can touch it upwind.
Gybing – The sails enter the carve with ease. You can vary the drive through the turn with opening or closing the sail. What I should point out at this stage is that these sails are damn fast in light winds. This can give you problems with apparent wind when you gybe. If you are going at 20 kts in a 10 kt breeze which is possible with these sails it can feel like the sail becomes a brick wall as it presses back at you. The solution is to push the sail away as you enter the carve creating room for the rig to rotate to the outside of the carve. In other words in light winds the sails can test your gybing but only because they are s Rotation – What can I say? These sails rotate better than many 2 batten sails! Yes they rotate that easily.
Overall – The Patrik Foil+ sails look purposeful as soon as you rig them. Take them on the water and the performance on offer matches the exceptional looks.
Who are they for? – Anyone racing or thinking of foil racing but also and probably more importantly anyone who enjoys that super efficient feeling of foiling in around 10 kts of wind. The 8.0 would suit most foil specific boards of 85cm or wider and the 9.0 is best on 90+ cm wide boards. Both sails work best with high aspect foils. Are the Patrik Foil + sails suitable for you? If you aren’t falling in often and don’t have to launch through a shore break these sail will certainly add something to your foiling experience.
And as regards my initial concerns about a 9.0m, 8 batten, 5 cam sail getting the better of me at the first sign of a white horse these sails are comfortable across a wide wind range even for a mature chap with no intentions of racing.
Videos featuring these sails can be seen here –