WINDSURF UK 03-2019 / TORRO FR 5.7 2019
OVERVIEW The Torro is Gunsails crossover sail range, available in either standard construction with x-ply used in the window panel, or in FR mode as tested here, with a higher monofilm content. The use of monofilm is said to make the sail feel a little lighter in the hands, with "ideal all-round capabilities for freeride and freestyle". Other than the window, there is a quoted 50% x-ply content, through the panels in the head and foot of the sail, with both Dacron and x-ply used in the luff panels. 'Whilst tested here on a 100% Select RDM, there is plenty of play in the luff sleeve, allowing the use of an SDM if desired. Rigging is made straightforward with the inclusion of the brand's F.R.E.D (Fast Rigging Easy Doing), in-dicator mark in the top panel. Simply downhaul the sail so that the top panel is loose to the mark, before fine-tuning through the sail's single clew eyelet. At rest, the sail has a moderate to high luff curve configuration, forcing a good amount of skin tension into the leading edge of the sail, the bottom two battens protruding beyond the mast's leading edge, whilst the leech falls away progressively. With all the detailing you'd expect of a modern sail, including a seamless foot panel, double stitch seams, alternating battens and abrasion beading or pads along vulnerable areas, the Torro is a steal at its advertised price ... so how would its performance hold up against its rivals on the water?
PERFORMANCE Although the graphic on the sail states that the sail on test is the Torro, with its monofilm win-dow panel, we understand this is the FR version. Neutral and balanced at rest, its draft breathes into a much deeper profile as a gust hits the sail, the movement in the luff sleeve combining with the inherent stretch in the Dacron luff panel. Power delivery is soft and steady, the sail's centre of effort positioned relatively low and forwards, smoothly transferring energy to the board and accelerating in the hands. It feels larger than its quoted area despite its dimensions, going some way to describing the amount of shape the Torro exhibits when powered. It certainly has a more locked in freeride / blasting character rather than upright and impulsive, the response in the sail more progressive than instantaneous. Partnered with a fast freeride board, it can be used to cover distance in comfort, the movement in the draft helping the sail to move around the sailor and absorb impact as they travel over harsh chop. And whilst the draft movement means the Torro isn't quite as potent at driving through pro-longed lulls (its profile becoming shallower as the pressure decreases), it does mean the Torro becomes neutral as it is eased out in transition, before powering up serenely once more on the new tack. With an excellent natural range on one setting, the Gunsails may not provide the prestige sought by some in other brands, yet this sail has all the detailing in the right place and provides real value when you consider its eye-catching retail price.
THE VERDICT Admirable locked-in freeride performer in a no fuss package, the Torro delivers easy progressive power over an excellent natural range. User-friendly fun at a price that deserves to turn heads!