“Being the easier version of the AC-1, the AC-K has been dressed in a very compact outline to allow more power in a smaller sail area. Performance is similar to the full-cambered sails but with easier rigging and handling. Developed to absorb the shock of gusts and choppy conditions easier than the AC-1, the AC-K produces amazing high speed racing even for those who are not professional windsurfers.” point-7.com[Rollover a clone to see what he has to say…]
The Point-7 looks the most race-orientated sail of the group. It has a much wider luff tube than the other sails, three cams instead of two, and quite a low foot. Dimensions are fairly average, with a 467cm luff and 205cm boom length.
It looks extremely distinctive on the water in its trademark black colour scheme, and appears to be a very well built sail. The weight does reflect this though, with it tipping the scales at 4.48kg, making it the heaviest of the group. On the other hand, the Point-7 mast was actually extremely light (the lightest in test), but nevertheless the combined weight of mast and sail was more than 0.5kg heavier than its nearest rival.
It’s great to see Point-7 offering a visual trim system on the sail (North are the only other brand to do this within the group). It takes a fair bit of strength to reach the recommended downhaul set, but being a more dedicated style of sail it requires a lot of downhaul to get the best from it. We found the AC-K to work best on the recommended downhaul setting and with at least a cm or two of negative outhaul.
Range: 5.8, 6.5, 7.2, 7.8, 8.5, 9.4
Mast: Point-7 100% 430cm
Sail + Mast: 7.81kg
It was immediately apparent that the supplied 430cm mast gave the sail a much softer, springier feel than anything else in test. It’s a bit deceptive because the sail looked like it should be a hard foiled, solid racing sail, but the mast just made the whole sail spring around a lot more than we anticipated.
The 7.2 AC-K can actually be used with a 460cm mast instead of the supplied 430cm, and having had a go after the test with a 460cm in this sail, we much preferred the characteristics of the longer / stiffer mast. With the 430cm it felt to us that the mast didn’t suit the sail’s characteristics. We would have expected the sail to be at its best at the top end of the wind range, but instead we found that the mast would flex with the gusts and chop, leaving the rider coping with the movement of the centre of effort in the sail rather than accelerating. In glassy flat water and constant wind the Point-7 could hold its own for speed with the best, but as soon as a gust hit or the board encountered chop it would lose out to the faster sails. Again, the brief time we had with the stiffer mast seemed to help a lot with this.
Bottom end performance was pretty good, with the sail generating a good amount of drive and power, making it one of the quicker sails onto the plane. Again, a stiffer mast would probably have improved the pumping performance, but without pumping there was plenty of drive generated with the supplied mast to get the board onto the plane.
We did find reducing the downhaul to just below the recommended setting helped quite a bit (with the shorter / softer mast), but it felt more like a workaround rather than something you’d do if you had a stiffer mast in this sail. With a 460cm, the recommended setting seemed accurate.
Manoeuvrability isn’t really what this sail’s about. Sure, you can gybe it no problem, but the extra weight and wider luff make no pretence that it’s focused towards speed rather than handling at the corners. Having said the static weight of the sail is relatively high, it’s worth noting that it actually became much less noticeable when sailing in a straight line, where the Point-7 was definitely able to ‘lighten up’ in your hands once up to speed.
It’s a shame the 430cm mast supplied with this sail seemed to let it down somewhat. Point-7 assure us they prefer the 430cm, but from the quick go we had afterwards with a 460cm, we found the sail to perform better with the longer mast. The AC-K is a great looking product and feels like it has the potential to do great things both in terms of top speed and bottom end power. With the supplied 430cm mast the performance was still commendable, but we got the feeling there was a lot more to come from this sail with a stiffer / better matched mast.