PLANCHEMAG SPECIAL TESTS 2017 / VECTOR 7.8 2017
THE QUEST FOR RAPID ACCELERATION
Strongly imbued with the spirit of a racing model, with a 3D profiled mast sleeve, the Vector is very deep at the front with a very pronounced twist: making it even more sporty ! Well constructed, it is heavier on the scales.
ON THE WATER: Heavier than its rivals, notably when not planing or when leaving the water (the sleeve is rather wide), the Vector is the closest to a Neil Pryde racing sail that you can get. Acceleration when starting planing is better, but also more physically demanding than with the other sails, but it maintains a good balance. You will be seduced by its gliding properties and stability. It zooms forward, while stabilising the board in the water and doesn't produce too much pressure on the back hand thanks to a very nice leech opening. It is straightforward, it glides naturally without too much effort and performs brilliantly in average crosswind or upwind conditions. It always wants to accelerate. Its main advantage is that you can keep it sheeted in on the deck and can open it up at the back as soon as the wind picks up, improving the gliding performance, with less effort. It will be more vulnerable sailing close to the wind when the wind is light and when overpowered if it gets a little gusty because it sits up a bit straighter than the best sails when the wind is strong, especially for light riders. Heavier and less manageable in manoeuvres than a Freeride with cams, and a bit awkward to handle, it has very good cam rotation, with an immediate burst of juice from the sail as soon as you start gybing.
SUMMARY: The new Vector is one of the most sporty Freerace boards (more technically advanced and heavier than the average in this group), on the verge of being a pure race design, lighter and easier to raise out of the water. It caters to the very good surfer who seldom falls and is looking for maximum performance.
+: Wind range, acceleration, stability, peak performance, price.
- : Heavier, jostles around in strong wind.