Windsurf UK 11-2018 / HORIZON 5.0 2019
OVERVIEW: The Horzion is new to the Gunsails line-up for 2019, said to combine charac-teristics of two of its predecessors — the Transwave and Peak. Classed as their `power wave' option, it possesses five battens through its nine-size range (3.7- 6.1m) and exclusively uses x-ply throughout its panels, bar the Dacron luff panel to cushion the power delivery. Rigged for test on a 100% Select RDM (although said to also be compatible with SDMs), it sets with a little more luff curve than most here, the lower two battens retaining good rotation around the mast. Tuning is made simple by referring to FRED (standing for Fast Rigging Easy Doing) — Gunsails's visual trimming guide located in the upper panel. Downhaul until the looseness reaches FRED, before Eine-tuning using the two clew eyelets — the top one for power or the bottom for control. What could be simpler? In doing so, the leech falls away down to the batten above the boom, whilst the profile displays a moderate amount of shape forward in the draft. Detailing on the Horizon is functional, with many of the features you'd expect of a modern sail, such as a mesh pocket integrated into the tack fairing, a strap to hold the rolled sail together, and a multitude of guards and abrasion pads to reduce wear. Some of the very latest developments in sail design aren't present in the Horizon. For example, the batten pockets alternate from side to side rather than being integrated into the sail's panels. But then with retail price significantly under any of its rivals, you can't have it all your own way! The Gunsails pro rider team boasts some notable names amongst their ranks, so we were intrigued to use a sail from the Gunsails loft for the first time.
PERFORMANCE: Using the upper clew eyelet, the Horizon feels larger than its quoted area in marginal winds and creates a good deal of bottom end grunt, the centre of ef-fort low and forwards in the draft. There's a lot of movement in the luff sleeve, which coupled with the Dacron luff panel enables the sail's profile to grow into a much more purposeful shape as the wind increases. With its five bat-ten outline and geometry, the Horizon does feel more of a high-wind freeride / freemove contender, rather than a loose and neutral manoeuvre specialist, when compared to others in the group. It encourages a more locked in stance and would be a great companion for coastal bump and jump, or making the most of less than ideal wave arenas. With balanced handling and a dependable delivery, it copes superbly with violent gusts, the lower clew eyelet always avail-able should the conditions continue to become more severe. Speed and upwind drive are real assets of the Horizon, both well received when stuck on the inside of a cross-onshore spot. On the wave it does try to go neutral as it is eased out, the battens pushing back round the mast as the draft depth reduces. Ultimate-ly, it feels a little heavier and stiffer than some, which is to be expected, but given its cost, the performance on tap is certainly impressive.
THE VERDICT: Representing excellent value for money, the Horizon provides assured, dependable power and real practicality for everyday coastal use, from high wind blasting to tackling tough cross-onshore wave spots.
WINDSURFING JAHRBUCH 2019 / HORIZON 5.0 2019
ON THE BEACH: Peak and Transwave are a thing of the past. GunSails follows the trend of other brands and transfers both sail lines into the Horizon. From 5.3 square meters and larger the program is called Power Wave. The sails with five square meters and smaller still have plenty of power, but the profile is much flatter for better off above the boom. All sizes use only five battens. The equipment of the Horizon is full of X-Ply for the toughest use. Therefore the sail is quite heavy with 3.69 kilograms and takes the last place in our group. New this year, as with the Seal, is the seam guide from the clew and leech to the mast top for improved twist behaviour. We tested the sail on a Gun Expert with 70 percent carbon. For the sail and the regular use by hobby windsurfers a very good compromise between performance and durability! Typical for Gun are slightly higher trim forces and a noticeable Loose Leech.
ON THE WATER: The horizon is perfectly aligned right from the start. This sail wants to glide, especially straight ahead. The pressure point is rather low and doesn't pull the rider over the front immediately at the first small gust. Much more gusts are automatically converted into propulsion in a good interplay of twist in the leech and a soft sail course in the luff. This is great for climbers and all those who are not permanently busy plucking the sail to generate a little performance here and there. The Horizon does a lot by itself and accelerates, although it is not one of the ultimate planing engines. The ride stability of the Horizon is absolutely first class. Also the acceleration of the powerful Gun is very uniform and gets everything out of fast boards without ever getting uncontrolled, this feature pays off on shallow water and there the Horizon will always prove itself. Those who only want to ride waves and jump with a wave sail will be less happy. The Gun does not react as directly to steering impulses as the five-batten competition from Severne or Naish. Also the low clew reminds a little of the times of the Transwave. Only wave beginners can take advantage of the constant drive, experts miss neutrality.
CONCLUSION: The Horizon has its roots in this size much closer to the Transwave than to the old peak. Was this decision a good one? That's for you to decide! The Horizon is a classic powerwave sail with excellent gliding characteristics.
PLANCHEMAG 11-12 2018 / HORIZON 5.3 2019
This great new 5-batten Power Wave 2019 is an evolution of the Transwave and Peak 2018, it has a distinctive profile in the luff area in 5.3 sqm (editor's note: less pronounced and more compact in the smaller sizes) and a nice Loose Leech. The construction consists of different types of X-Ply (except the Dacron mast panel), with a lighter Square-Ply (90° angulation) at the top/leech.
ON THE WATER: Fans of powerful sails will be thrilled, the new Horizon 5.3 m2 is one of the best in this area. It is more powerful than the 4-batten Seal, with superior profile stability and more pull to get from the spot. Light surfers will quickly feel overwhelmed by this permanent basic pull in the sail. It appeals more to a powerful wave riding style, e.g. in weak wave conditions or more on shore conditions; so when you need support to move large volume boards, move heavy riders, overcome shore break and above all continue planing. It is a bit more bulky in the wave than a 4-batten sail and at the same time has a much better handling than a freewave sail. The Horizon is also suitable for Bump & Jump, to jump and have fun in small waves. Also tested in 4.0 m2, the Horizon is significantly less profiled and more in line with the standards of competitors. It is very strong to ride from A to B and in speed, with impressive stability in the upper wind range. The performance is easier to channel, less awkward, with a very wide range of use, including bump&jump and strong winds.
CONCLUSION: The Horizon offers an adaptive range that becomes more profiled from 5.3 m2 to allow more power wave riding and has a flatter profile in the smaller sizes for a more sensitive wave riding, easier to hold while offering high qualities in terms of range, stability and performance.
A super versatile and very efficient wave sail.