Jun 9, 2010
Hot Liquid 7.5
On the water: The Liquid line is looking to make a windsurfer’s life easier than ever before. Without compromising performance, it spans a large range of sizes with each model tailored to best suit the conditions it will likely see. The 7.5 m2 has a moderate boom length and finds a good balance between a powerful and a slippery efficient feel. The draft is high enough to work on wider boards, yet it feels very light in the hands, at least until becoming overpowered. There is a bit of a wavesail-like softness here that works with the light feel to make it one of the most enjoyable big sails to jibe. This lightness and soft-feel also give it a playful manner letting you throw the rig around while waterstarting or trying carving tricks. There aren’t many sails this big that make these things as easy.
Rigging: When we unpacked the box from Hot Sails Maui we were a little confused to find a 430 centimetre RDM as the longest mast accompanying a 7.5 m2 sail with a recommended luff length of 475 centimetres. That is until we found the 45 centimetre Hotrod extension and were assured that it was OK to extend it all the way for this sail. Despite some initial hesitation, after being rigged-up and sailed for a few weeks, we forgot our worries and treated this setup like any other sail. We would have liked to try a little more downhaul at times, but the maxed-out extension length is appropriate for all but the windiest days.
Final word: The Liquid 7.5 can rigs on a 430 centimetre RDM and feels lighter than the competition.
Hot Liquid 6.0 and 5.0
On the water: In the 6.0 m2 and 5.0 m2 sizes the Liquid’s draft gets lowered slightly, but they still will work well on boards that have two rear straps. Downhauling the sails to their extreme lowers the draft enough to be ridden on single rear strap boards as well, but they might not be the best choice in the Hot Sails Maui range for smaller riders. A wavesail-like softness is present allowing feedback from changes in the wind to be transferred to the rider. This adds comfort for anyone riding in choppy conditions and can also help more advanced riders get more performance from the sail. Having six battens in a 5.0 m2 is noticeable compared to other sails its size, but it doesn’t noticeably harm its weight, and it actually helps maintain a consistent feel through the entire quiver. From 5.0 m2 up to 7.5 m2, you’ll be dialed in every time.
Rigging: Hot Sails Maui once again confused us a bit by only sending the top half of a 400 centimetre RDM to go with a complete 430 centimetre RDM for rigging the quiver. We have used mis-matched length masts ourselves to help minimize our gear, but it is rarely given as a recommended setup. The result was a 415 centimetre mast to be used on the 5.0 m2. It worked brilliantly and this smaller sail ended up being everything that the 6.0 m2 was on the 430 centimetre mast. And if you are really looking to save money this entire quiver can be rigged on the 430 centimetre RDM.
Final word: The Liquid hits the mark as a go to model for all gear minimalists who want to maximize their fun with lightweight easy-to-rig sails.
Feel: This quiver from Hot maintains the most similar feel from 7.5 to 5.0 of all the brands in the test. The similar elasticity, depower and even the draft height gives riders a familiar pull to balance against. This is something any level of rider will appreciate.
Rigging: The Liquids are incredibly easy to rig with the recommended settings being the true mid-point of the tuning range. All three responded to tension in the same manner and the effort needed to pull was relatively light.
Sail sizing: The jumps in the quiver provided are as big as you can go and still be covered for all winds. Any larger and you’d find one sail too big and another too small for certain winds. To get the sails to make these jumps you also need to do some fine-tuning for the conditions, which can be confusing for less-technical riders.
Rig parts: We were a little hesitant about using the 7.5 m2 with the 430 centimetre mast and extremely long extension, but it worked without an issue. The 5.0 m2 is designed to work on a 430 centimetre mast, if necessary, making this the biggest sail range to fit on one mast.