Jun 9, 2010
Severne Gator 7.5
On the water: The no-cam Gator line is one of the best you can find to help simplify windsurfing. Sizes range from 3.7 to 8.0 and the design changes from having five to six to seven battens as they get bigger to best suit the water conditions for their particular wind range. In the larger sizes, like this 7.5 m2, there are two battens that extend below the boom giving it more area in the foot, which helps the stability by locking shape into the lower-half of the sail. With minimalist head construction and drive from down low, the Gator felt light for a 7.5 m2. It was one of the few big sails we felt comfortable trying carving freestyle tricks with, and testers commented that it almost had the depower of a wavesail. Through tuning this sail can be run on wide boards, but with so much depower you’ll need to be a more efficient sailor if you’re looking for torque off a race’s starting-line. We loved the sails efficiency and drag-free feel, something testers often call “feeling slippery.”
Rigging: At 7.5 m2 the Gator is not a wavesail, but the wave-like comparisons extend to how it rigs and looks as well. There are no tricks needed to put it together, and with its flattish profile it doesn’t even need a wide race style boom to perform properly. The head and leech may not be as beefy as a wavesail, but the all grid construction provides plenty of durability to make for a long-lasting freeride sail.
Final word: The Gator 7.5 is an efficient performer that does everything well.
Gator 7.5 Gallery:
Severne Gator 6.0 and 5.3
On the water: We have grouped these two sails together here despite the 6.0 being a six-batten freemove design and the 5.3 a five-batten wavesail with a higher cut foot. On the water these changes don’t really make for much difference in a straightline. Both sizes twist off at the head in a similar manner through gusts, while a supple elasticity in the body gives a perfect balance between stability and rider feedback. The draft is slightly higher on the 6.0 m2 but it still balances well on the same single back strap boards that the 5.3 m2 prefers. With a good balance between depower and stability these smaller Gators have a slippery, drag-free feel, providing the rider with just enough feedback to improve their efficiency. In transitions the quick depower lets you feel how light the rig really is, giving you the confidence to be aggressive in any type of transition.
Rigging: We sailed both of these with the same 430 centimetre RDM, plus the 6.0 m2 was also rigged on the 460 centimetre SDM from the Gator 7.5. As is usually the case, the RDM gave it a little softer feel that felt better in transitions, while the longer SDM provided a little more stability when fully powered-up. Severne has done a great job of making this simplified sail line easy to rig as well. Changes in tension in all sizes are easy to both see on land and feel on the water.
Final word: The smaller Gators are true do-everything sails that will feel great in the hands of any level rider.
Gator 6.0 Gallery:
Gator 5.3 Gallery:
Feel: As you’d expect of from having all sails of the same model, there is ample familiarity to be found here. They power-up and depower in a similar manner even though the extra batten and slight alteration in each size does change the performance of the sail to better suit its intended conditions.
Rigging: There is also similarity in how the sails rig. The fact that these are about as easy to rig as you will find just makes this quiver of Gators that much more attractive.
Sail sizing: Along with a similarity of feel and rigging, this quiver covers a huge range of wind and water conditions. We had no problem making the jump between each size, plus we love that each sail is specifically designed for the conditions you will encounter when using it.
Rig parts: Whether by design or not, a number of the Gator’s have luff lengths close to the standard lengths masts come in. This makes it easier to build a quiver with a minimal expense on masts as you can usually pick from one of two length masts to rig each sail.