The Simmer Icon fits between the Iron (power wave) and Mission (side shore wave) sails. It is marketed as a powerful all-round sail that is designed to perform in a wide range of conditions and was one of our favourite sails from this years 4.7m test.
"An international best seller, Icon can handle anything; sideshore, onshore, gusty, overpowered, choppy, you name it! With Icon´s powerful profile and full x-ply body, the capacity to adapt to any conditions means you are going to be ready for anything when you hit the water. Even when nearest repair shop is several time zones away" – Simmer website
off water description
The Icon is a classy looking sail. Graphically it stands out (particularly in the blue that we had on test) and it's clear that Simmer have not cut corners when it comes to build quality and detailing. Luff length is one of the shorter in the group at 429cm, whilst boom length is second shortest (to the Severne) at 172cm.
The foot features a nice integrated pulley block that takes the strain out of downhauling and the fixed head (without locating prong) makes sleeving the mast a fuss free affair. Other notable details include a height scale on the boom cut-out and a PVC badge to keep the luff sleeve open whilst threading the mast through the cut-out. Simmer don’t offer a visual trim system on the Icon.
As we found with the 4.7m, when it comes to tuning the Simmer has a lot of versatility. Rivaled only by the Alpha and Goya in this test. It sets (and works!) with a tighter leach (less downhaul) and more outhaul for a gruntier power delivery or with a looser leach (more downhaul) and slightly less outhaul for smoother performance and a lighter feel in the hands.
on water description
In the 4.7 sail test, the Icon felt to be one of the stiffer sails in the group. Within this group however it sits pretty much in the middle. Regardless of how it sits however, the most important thing is that it works! Again, it was favourable with many of our clones who liked the way the sail held its shape through the lulls but also maintained its shape and stability in stronger gusts.
The great thing about the Icon is that although the foil is relatively stiff, the rotation is not clunky – a negative trait that we fond on many of the other stiffer and fuller profiled sails.
In the hands, the Icon has a powerful, grunty feel. It’s not quite as light in the hands as sails like the Duke or Alpha and this is more noticeable on the 5.3m size than it was with the 4.7m but it does have a more reassuring pull than these sails when underpowered. Overpowered the sail copes well and despite feeling powerful, the power delivery is stable and well positioned ensuring that the Icon remains comfortable. It's one of only 3 sails in this test not to get backhanded when over powered.
Like the 4.7m, where the 5.3m Icon really excels is in its un-tuned wind range. In UK conditions you often find the wind gusting and lulling throughout your session and a sail that can work effectively through the gusts and lulls without needing to be re-tuned is a big advantage. The Icon stood out as the best in the group for this (jointly with the Alpha).
As we found with the 4.7m, the only slight negative is that the full X-Ply construction does limit visibility through the sail, particularly when wave riding in bright conditions.
Like the 4.7m that our Clones enjoyed so much earlier in the year, the 5.3m has all the same great qualities. In this size, it's not quite as light in the hands as a couple of the other sails in this test but makes up for this with a great blend of bottom end power and top end stability.
"The original mantra of Icon is “world wide wavesail” , and it seems from the test experience that it remains true to that theme. For the prevailing more varied UK conditions it is the most versatile wave sail, of course Simmer also present Mission and Mission X for that even lighter in the hands feel. However, for most riders Icon is the weapon of choice.
Tomas Persson (chief designer) "