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Neil Pryde V8 Flight review

Neil Pryde V8 flight sails

First Impressions

These are stunning looking sails and they are also light in weight. They rig with a lot of downhaul tension and the sails have a lot of skin tension. I need to say at this point that I used the sails on Maverx Elemento SDM masts. I have rigged many Neil Pryde sails over the years on these masts and the sails have always rigged well and worked well. 

There are rigging indicators on one of the upper panels and it advises you to down haul the sail until the looseness on the leech lies somewhere in between the two stickers. This area of the sail is dark blue and it is not that easy to judge whether you have enough downhaul or not. The leech does go soft but there is not a lot of twist in the leech and the head batten remains firm. I used the sails with varying downhaul settings and I used both the inboard and outboard clew eyelets. I probably used the inboard setting the most. 

On the water

I think the 8.0m may have got me flying in the lowest wind speeds I have ever taken off in. I am 95 kg and used the sails on a JP Hydrofoil Slalom with a AFS W105 foil with R1000 wings. I think (it is obviously a bit subjective) that I could get flying in around 6 kts of wind on flat water and once flying I could keep flying down to about 5 kts or even fractionaly less with a bit of help with pumping the sail at times.  Once up and flying the sails feel efficient and slippy through the air. The sails are not super deep and they do not pull like a tractor they therefore suit efficient high aspect foils best.  As the wind increases to the point where you want to exhaust some power the sails will do it but not in a relaxed fashion. I am not sure if this is due to the higher aspect ratio or the leech twist profile but probably a combination of the two. 

Gybing – the sails rotate easily enough with the battens going round in an undramatic fashion. The cams did stick a bit giving a slight S shape to the mast sleeve and requiring a second pump of the sail to correct. I won’t be over critical of this as maybe the NP mast is a mm narrower and that would be all it would take to maybe fix the problem. Of note is the fact that many other sail brands use cam systems where you can fine tune the cam pressure by using a series of cam spacers but with NP this is not an option.

Comparative sail size? NP claim the sail can be used about a meter smaller than their other sails. But is this a general term or aimed towards foiling as you could say that for any sail used on a foil rather than a fin. While the 8m did get me flying very early so yes maybe they will fly you at the same time as another cammed sails 0.5m bigger. In other words the 8.0 = a 8.5 from another range but I would not say the 7.0 = a 7.5 from other brands/ranges. 

Conclusion

I would sum up the V8 Flights as being very efficient within their wind range. While you can hang onto the sails in a strong blow they do become increasingly uncomfortable once outside their wind range. They would be a great sail on Maui or the Caribbean where the wind can be super consistent but I feel they don’t best suit a squally Scottish winter. 

2 thoughts on “Neil Pryde V8 Flight review

  1. Hello John,

    Nice review! This is the first review for the V8 fligt sail that I found on the net. I am using a 7,2 NP Speedster (20219) with my JP hydrofoil 135 ltr and a NP glide small-medium wing or large wing. The lift with the no cam Speedster with the large glide wind front wing is really good. In order to push the foil limits further down, I am thinking of getting the V8 flight 8m2.

    – What is the wind range for the 8m2 where it works best after your test runs?

    – How uncomfortable is the sail, when you are over the optimal windrange?

    – I have a 460 NP (90%) carbon mast. I try to avoid to by a 490 mast. Will the sail work with the 460 mast with the NP carbon 34 cm extender plus an extension or is the 460 mast too soft?

    Best regards, and greetings from Ebeltoft / Danmark, Olav

    1. Hi Olav

      Thanks, yes that is why I thought I would put a review online.

      When I was using the V8 flights I had my boom at the top of the cutout and I used short 28″ harness lines. I have now altered my stance a bit to get better top end out of my sails but I did not try that when I had the flights. I am 95kg and the 8.0 would get me flying at 6 to 7 kts and I was happy to about 13 kts.

      When it get too windy the pull in the sail remains in the same place but maybe because it pulls higher up the sail feels like it gets leverage over you. With a normal sail when you get hit by a gust the sail pulls a bit more but the leech will release some of the power for you. With the V8 Flights you can feel the gusts more.

      In some ways maybe a softer mast will help the sail breath a bit more. You would have to be careful that because you had put the mast higher it might be thicker at the cams and they might stick a bit and you have no adjustment at the cams. I used the 8.0 with a 490 and a 32cm extension.

      If you do get a chance to get a sail take it as Neil Pryde has very few sails right across Europe. I can see the stock in Germany and they have virtually no sails at the moment.

      Please ask any other questions.
      Cheers
      John

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