Mar 17, 2013
The Combat is now the longest-standing model of the NeilPryde wave line, yet for 2013, it sees a relatively major update. In sizes below 5.0, the removal of a batten is obvious, but in the larger five-batten sizes, there have been refinements to the stiffness of the sail that are more noticed on the water. Some of the older versions had a softness that could take away from the efficiency and top-end control. These complaints are no more, as the Combat has to be considered one of the most stable and slippery-feeling five-batten sails in the test. The people at NeilPryde have done this without taking away any of the Combat’s well-loved balance, de-power and smooth acceleration.
The Combat sets up as a flat profile sail that will take a bit of wind to expand and start generating power, but it expands quickly and gets you planing with incredible efficiency. Once at speed, the sail feels nice and light and rarely calls attention to itself. It makes for a bump-and-jump sail with impeccable control no matter how chaotic the water gets. In more sedate conditions, it then soars off chop and remains well-mannered through sail-handling tricks or aerial freestyle. In the waves, the Combat is a sail that never feels like it gets in the way. On bottom turns, it drives the rail hard but can always be de-powered by the time you hit the lip, and never throws you off balance no matter how hard the redirection.
NeilPryde has always taken pride in using the most intricate engineering and attention to detail. On the Combat, it’s hard to not be impressed by the forceline kevlar tack and clew reinforcements and ArmourWeb Dyneema, which are both attractive and incredibly functional.