The Wave Panther was introduced in Sep 2008 to replace the very successful Wave SE. With the current trend in windsurfing of producing massive product ranges and continually re-launching year on year, it's refreshing to see Ezzy opting for a minimalist line of sails and a program of continual evolution and refinement. You can tell that every detail of the sail has been thought through over and over and over again. And let's face it, what other sail manufacturer is meticulous enough to rig every single sail before it leaves the factory?
off water description
Rigging the Ezzy is slightly different to most other sails on the market because of the amount of outhaul the sail requires. With downhaul only, the sail sets extremely full at the front and the outhaul is then applied to lock this fullness into place.
Tuning the sail is idiot proof, thanks to the great trim guide. Check out the video here for more info:http://www.ezzy.com/sails/panther09.php
When rigged on the beach, it looks quite different to most wave sails, mainly because of the amount of fullness in the battens.
Within this group, the Panther sports the shortest boom length and one of the shorter luff lengths, pipped only by this years very compact Pryde sails.
on water description
On the water, the Ezzy has in our opinion, three main distinguishing factors:
- It's light in the hands
- It has a smooth, progressive power delivery
- Generally, it has quite a tensioned, springy feel to it
To elaborate on the later point, some wave sails can feel quite ‘baggy’ and low on skin tension, whereas the Ezzy feels nicely tight and springy in comparison. This is a real bonus when it's windy, providing a very stable, balanced feel. In lighter winds it's a matter of personal preference whether the slight lack of feedback that this configuration gives is a concern to you or not.
There is a really decent amount of power to the Panther which is delivered in a progressive, forgiving manor. It's not a razor sharp on/off style of power, instead the power is delivered in a much softer, smoother way. This gives really nice, balanced handling characteristics in pretty much all conditions.
Ezzy have a very solid reputation (literally!) for build quality and the Panther certainly looks to be in keeping with this theme. The Technora film gives the sail the ‘tinted’ appearance and offers excellent strength to weight properties, particularly compared to X-Ply. It's worth noting however, that visibility through the material isn’t great and if you ride a lot in bigger cross on conditions (where you tend to look a bit more through the back edge of the sail at the wave), it will take a little bit of getting used to. However, for all other sailing conditions (where you are looking through the middle of the sail), visibility is very good through the main window.
Rotation is slightly more noticeable than most wave sails due to the extra batten shape, but manages to avoid being clunky thanks to the lack of contact between the battens and the mast.
It's hard to find fault with the performance of the Wave Panther which gives very good bottom end power combined with top end stability. The power is delivered in a very progressive and smooth manner which may leave a select few wishing for a little more of a direct feel, but will be very welcome to the majority of wave sailors who put comfort, control and good handling at the top of their priority list.