Severne pitch the Blade as their performance wave sail, featuring a lower power point aimed at driving the board through turns. Blending power and control, it’s designed to be more powerful than the S1 with a softer feel and focused on lightweight handling and a smooth power delivery.
At 3.39kg the Blade is the lightest sail on test and tips the scales at exactly the same weight as the 2011 model. Some of the other sails have closed in a bit more, but impressively the Blade remains 0.22kg lighter than its closest competitor (the Goya). In sizes as big as 5.3, weight saving really does make a noticeable and very positive difference to the sail’s handling.
It’s worth pointing out that the Blade certainly looks one of the most high-tech sails we’ve seen, and it’s clear that weight saving hasn’t been achieved through scrimping but rather through use of exotic materials such as eM3, Dyneema and Kevlar.
The Blade has one of the longer luff lengths in test (432cm) but one of the shortest boom lengths (169cm). It sets with a slightly tighter leech than most, and with a fair degree of pre-set fullness in the lower battens. When it comes to tuning flexibility the Blade offers a reasonable amount of versatility in both downhaul and outhaul ranges to suit different preferences and wind conditions. We preferred it with slightly less downhaul and a little more outhaul to get a sharper, firmer feel, but it’s worth spending some time experimenting to see what suits you best.
Sizes: 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7 5.0, 5.3, 5.7, 6.2
Tested on: SEVERNE RED Line RD M 430cm
Size tested: 5.3m
It was very hard for us to distinguish any difference from the 2011 Blade on the water. The Severne still stands out within this group for being both extremely light in the hands and exceptionally controlled at the top end. However, the merits of the Blade most certainly don’t end there.
This is a power wave sail test, and to that end the Blade fits perfectly. But this isn’t your standard arm-wrenching, back-handed power wave sail, for it delivers its power in an uncannily subtle manner. The incredible lightness of feel belies the amount of power this sail has on tap at the bottom end – enough to rank it as the third most powerful in test, yet easily the lightest feeling sail.
At the top end the Blade scores second to none. It’s not only stable, but remains so light and controlled in the hands that even our lightest Clones enjoyed using it overpowered. It actually has quite a springy, flexible feeling in the hands, and the power delivery is a bit softer than some (particularly Severne’s S1). It has a fairly solid profile, giving it a comfortable, locked-in feel.
The power point is very stable and pulls quite low in the sail, which helps lock the board down and gives the Blade its extremely controllable handling. The power is ever-so-slightly on the back hand, which gives the sail a reassuring pull at the bottom end, but the springiness in the leech and light feel means that it never gets too much at the top end.
The Blade seems practically unchanged from 2011 – which is a good thing! It’s one of those rare sails that manages to combine great bottom end power with superb top end control. It is incredibly light in the hands and looks like a real high-tech product. The sail has a springier feel than most and a slightly softer power delivery, which makes it very forgiving (at the cost of some responsiveness). It feels very efficient in the hands and the name ‘Blade’ nicely describes the controlled, locked-in feel of the sail.