Jun 9, 2010
North Ice 5.3 and 4.7
On the water: As one of North’s high-end wavesails, it’s not surprising we liked these sails more and more as conditions intensified. On flat water the sails softness dampens its power, but the nice tradeoff is once you’re into chop or waves it provides better control while accelerating. The Ice’s softness allows efficient sailors to plane early by providing feedback from the wind that they can adjust and trim to. A slippery feel makes it faster than most wavesails, plus its impressive upper wind range will keep you on the water when conditions change. With full downhaul the draft is on the lower side compared to other test sails, which our smaller testers loved. With the downhaul backed-off the draft rises a little, but you will want to match the Ice up with a more manoeuvrable board with the footstraps centred. The Ice shines in transitions or on a wave. It’s here that the depower lets you position the rig however you need without affecting the trajectory you want to send the board.
Rigging: With various on-sail guides for every conceivable adjustment, the Ice is one of the easiest high-performance sails you’ll ever rig and tune. The only reason you might not hit the water before everyone else is because there’s so much info on the sail it will take you a moment to digest it all. North is also way ahead of the curve on the minimalist front with it being possible to rig the entire Ice line, from 3.4 to 5.7 m2, on a 400 centimetre RDM and the North 42 centimetre Pinlock.XT extension. The Ice HD (heavy duty) is North’s all-gird version that’s more durable both on the water and against the suns harmful UV rays.
Final word: The Ice is an easy-to-tune wavesail with all the manoeuvrabilty you could ask for to excel in both wave and bump-and-jump conditions.