Oct 10, 2009
For most... windsurfing is about going fast, and this is a category Naish Sails has excelled at over the years. The Grand Prix replaces a sail that has done very well in past Windsport tests: the Redline. Now built with lighter weight and more durable materials (X-166 scrim), can this recreational 3-cam speedster keep up with its predecessor? Let’s find out.
With the Grand Prix, Naish matches the technology of their pure-race Stealth sail with an "easier handling and rigging" midwidth luff sleeve… “Maximum speed with minimal hassle.”
The Redline has been redesigned as the Grand Prix, and this is a sail made to suit any speed seeking freerider. It feels a little racier (more solid or stiffer) than the Redline. Placement of the draft’s height in the sail (i.e. where you feel the sail pull from) can be adjusted from high to relatively low with more downhaul. This adjustability of draft height allows the Grand Prix to work well on both wide and narrow tailed dual-rear footstrap boards (keep draft high for wide board and lower for narrow slalom shapes).
The Grand Prix feels slippery and efficient. It takes an absolutely huge gust to rattle the sail and give the rider an idea of how much wind they are really holding down.
It feels very light for a cam sail, particularly on take-off and has the power to get even the most sluggish freeride board up and moving.
Handling and Rotation:
Use of lightweight X-166 material in the sail’s top and a reduced clew gives the Grand Prix better handling than most cam-sails out there. The cams rotate well but are still noticeable on transitions. The luff sleeve is small enough making waterstarting and uphauling much easier than most sails that match it’s speed.
When things don’t feel right make use of the Grand Prix’s excellent range in both outhaul and downhaul tuning. This 3-cam sail can be rigged for decent power or cranked-on for surviving substantial gusts. Naish’s new downhaul pulley is awesome with the option for a loop-and-go 4:1 setup or the traditional 6:1. The pulley is turned 90-degrees to lineup more easily with most extensions and makes 6:1 downhauling easier than ever.
The Grand Prix is fast. Here’s a sail that will push any freeride board to it’s limits, and do so with greater ease than a full blown race sail.
Related Links (e-mail email@example.com to get a link added here):
- official Naish Sails web page for the Grand Prix
Video from Naish Photoshoot by Wyatt Miller: