“With the new crew taking centre stage in the wavesailing arena, it’s time to release what superstars like Thomas Traversa crave. This low aspect ratio machine drives hard through the bottom turn, snaps effortlessly off the lip, and makes even the most difficult moves accessible. A lightweight, four-battened art-piece, the IQ gets you up and going faster than any other. Soft in the hands and powerful in light breeze, you can rig the IQ a size smaller than most other sails making your rig lighter than ever.”– gaastra.com
on the beach
The IQ is exactly as Gaastra describe it – a compact, low aspect wave sail. It has the shortest luff in test (417cm) combined with the longest boom (178cm). Sail weight is 3.87kg, which puts it around the middle of the group for weight (although on the water it certainly felt one of the lightest in the hands).
The IQ has quite a high cut foot (the highest in test), and the bottom batten is consequently a lot shorter than the clew length. This makes it a bit harder to get shape into the foot of the sail, as releasing too much outhaul makes the sail quite baggy around the clew. The IQ therefore sets a bit flatter than most of the other test sails, but does have a reasonable amount of rotation / fullness at the front of the sail where the battens meet the mast.
We actually found that the IQ wasn’t a massively tuneable sail, but instead had a fantastic ‘untuned range’. Basically, get it set right and then leave it alone, allowing the sail to do the job of delivering performance right through the wind range. If necessary you can squeeze a tiny bit more bottom end out of the sail by releasing a touch of downhaul, but most sailors will be best sticking to one set.
on the water
On the water, the IQ instantly feels like a performance product. This is no scaled down freeride sail pretending to be a wave sail – this is a real hardcore wave sail, built for purpose.
It’s very light, manoeuvrable and neutral in the hands. The high cut foot and short luff make the sail feel very agile on the wave and arguably the most manoeuvre orientated sail of the test. The power point is perfect for driving the board through the turns, and the IQ felt well suited to the new style multi-fin boards.
The top end is fantastic, jointly the best in test. The slightly forward pulling power point, flatter profile and compact shape give the sail great stability. Most importantly for a wave sail it keeps feeling manoeuvrable even when you should be on a smaller sail.
The bottom end power is the weakest point of this sail. Arguably, in a power wave sail test it’s up against some stiff competition. While it is by no means gutless, it wasn’t quite a match for the rest of the ‘power wave sails’ when it came to raw bottom end power. Nevertheless, the power delivery is relatively sharp, giving it a responsive feel in the hands, and the pull position was the most forward of this group, keeping it light and neutral in the hands and very easy to depower on the wave.
While by no means a powerless sail, the IQ is not quite a match for the rest of these sails in terms of ‘raw power’. If absolute raw power is your thing, then check out the Poison. But when it comes to wave performance the IQ is extremely impressive, offering lightness, manoeuvrability and agility that you wouldn’t normally associate with a sail of this size. These assets, combined with a fantastic top end, make it a great choice for all types of wavesailor other than the heaviest or most power hungry.