The Force is Robby Naish’s sail of choice and heralded as the sail for ‘power junkies and heavier riders’ within the Naish range. It complements the Session (lightweight riders and cross-shore) and Boxer (all-round new school wave and freestyle) to complete the three sail 2012 Naish wave line-up.
For 2012 the Force has undergone refinements rather than a redesign. The biggest visible change is the incorporation of radial Kevlar load strips that extend from the clew to the luff. The main window has also been reworked to improve visibility and strength.
Naish have apparently used the increased stability gained from the new panel layout to allow them to add more shape, with the aim of increasing bottom end and upwind ability. In profile, the Naish remains quite a tall, narrow looking sail with a comparatively high aspect ratio. The measurements back this up, with the Force sporting the longest luff in test (435cm) and the second shortest boom (168cm).
But possibly the most impressive thing about the Force is the weight. At 3.59kg it’s the second lightest sail in this group (behind the Severne). It’s becoming clear that Naish and Severne are consistently making the lightest sails at the moment. Impressively, they always look well built and appear to be saving the weight through use of high-tech materials rather than scrimping and saving.
The longer luff means that the Force sets on a recommended 430cm mast – one of only two sails in this test to do so. Naish feel that most lighter riders who choose the Force will use 5.0m as their biggest sail, so heavier riders will be better off using the 430cm in this size of sail. Although they do add that the Force 5.3 can be used with a 400cm mast, and lighter riders who use the 5.3 tend to choose this combination.
Although the leech is relatively tight compared to some of the other sails, similar to last year we preferred tuning the Force with a reasonable amount of downhaul. The sail works okay with less, but we found we got more range with a reasonable amount of downhaul and neutral outhaul.
Sizes: 3.0, 3.4, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.7, 6.2
Tested on: Naish Firestick 100% 430cm
Size tested: 5.3m
The Force instantly stands out for having a light, springy and slightly forward positioned pull to it. However, while it pulls from further forward (which is great for control and a light feeling) it still holds a little power on the back hand just to remind you that it is a power wave sail.
The pull position, lighter feel and stable foil help to give it very good top end. Despite holding a bit of power on the back hand, the lightness and little bit of spring help to keep it manageable. At the bottom end the power is very good, and the higher pull position gives a reassuring gruntiness to the sail.
It’s an extremely manoeuvrable feeling sail, thanks to the very short boom and incredibly light feel. This actually makes the Force feel a bit smaller in the hands than some of the other sails. It’s great on the wave or for general manoeuvre orientated sailing, where you can really throw the sail around as though it were a lot smaller than 5.3m.
Despite the springiness the foil tension is actually quite tight, giving the Force a fairly responsive and reactive feel. It also helps to keep the sail pull locked and stable right through the wind range.
We have criticised some Naish sails in the past for having too low a boom cut-out for taller riders, but the Force has no such problem with a cut-out that should suit all heights and styles of rider.
The Force offers a unique blend of power, light weight and manoeuvrability, giving it a very wide range of appeal. Despite the light and slightly forward positioned feel, it still manages to hold just enough power on the back hand to remind you that it’s a power wave sail. The wind range is very good, with decent power at the bottom end, combined with stability and a light feel at the top end.