Mar 17, 2013
When North decided they needed a sail to fill the growing freestyle market, all they had to do was ask five-time PWA freestyle champion Gollito Estredo what he wanted in a sail. What sets the Idol apart from the rest is its light four-batten build that’s a little stiffer than most of the wave-oriented four-batten sails. While this certainly makes for an amazing freestyle sail, the reality is it also makes the Idol an easy-handling rig for any type of sailor. The stiffness is most noticeable in the head of the sail, so when you sheet-in you feel the sail quickly generate power. Being so light, your board immediately reacts, and while we would not say the Idol is overly powerful, it’s efficiency makes it one of the earliest-planing sails in the test. At speed, the sail is well-balanced and more stable than some of its five-batten competitors. There is a small trade-off that once overpowered it loses control rather quickly, but the wind range is large enough you’ll only be re-rigging when conditions have drastically changed.
As good as the Idol feels in a straight line, it only gets better when you want to turn around. For jibes, the sail de-powers progressively, taking the power into the turn just far enough to keep up your speed without being a nuisance when it comes time to move the feet or flip the sail. In anything from a simple tack on up to a complex kabikuchi, the lightweight and progressive de-power makes the Idol one of the most manageable sails we’ve ever used. So, what’s the downside? a lack of reinforcements means you need to look after your Idol; however, there is no lack of attention to detail in the build—just a super light feel.