Equipment Testing

North Natural

 

2010

North Natural

1

Power delivery

Responsiveness

Sail Pull

manufacturer's claims

“The most versatile sail of our program has been developed to deliver a high performing and easy to handle allrounder to anyone who doesn’t want to deal with technical gimmicks and trim.” – north-windsurf.com

on the beach

North always pay a lot of attention to the detailing and construction of their sails, and it seems that no corners have been cut with the Natural. This is substantiated by North’s five-year warranty on the sail, proving their confidence in the construction.

The Natural has a moderate length luff (477cm) and the longest boom length of the group (209cm). It has a relatively high-cut foot but chooses not to adopt the cutaway clew seen on some of North’s other ranges.

Rigging the North is simple. The trim guide is excellent and by far the best in the business – the recommended settings are spot on for both strong and light wind settings. It is important to trim the sail for the correct conditions, particularly at the bottom end of the wind spectrum where we found the performance was boosted considerably by using the light wind ‘min’ setting.

on the water

The first thing you notice when trying the Natural is that it strikes a great balance between manoeuvrability and blasting performance. In the manoeuvres it’s light in the hands, smooth to rotate and the high-cut foot keeps itself out of trouble. For blasting, the balance of the sail is really good. It encourages a more upright stance like the Pryde and Gaastra, and feels responsive in your hands.

The more powered you get, the more the Natural seems to pin the board down by pulling low and at the front of the sail, which is great for control as conditions get trickier.

There is a softer, springier feel to the Natural compared to most other sails in this group, which makes it nicely forgiving in the hands, but does reduce the bottom end performance a little. It gets onto the plane as quickly as any of the others here, but doesn’t seem to glide through the lulls and hold power quite as well as some of the stiffer profiled sails. You need to make sure that the downhaul is set to ‘min’ to extract the most performance in these conditions.

It’s a trade-off though, because once powered up the North is fantastic. It’s forgiving, super-light in the hands, balanced, fast and yet still manoeuvrable enough to throw into whatever move takes your fancy.

overall impression

The Natural is a high quality product that offers a great balance between manoeuvrability and straight-line performance. It’s very light in the hands and fun to use, with the best rigging trim guide in the business. Performance gets better as the wind increases.