“The 2XC offers quick and simple rigging, great low end power, smooth rotation and easy handling. With research and development directly linked to that of the Simmer race program, 2XC features all of the most recent innovations found our full bred race machine.” simmerstyle.com[Rollover a clone to see what he has to say…]
Simmer build quality is always very good and the 2XC appears to be no exception. The sail weight is actually very respectable, which combined with the light weight Simmer mast adds up to the second lightest rig on test.
The 2XC has a fairly minimal compact clew (see Simmer’s comments in the introductory interview) and the longest boom length in the test at 209cm. It is actually fairly low aspect in comparison to most of the other sails, borne out by the relatively short luff measurement.
The Simmer sets on a 430cm mast with a flatter profile and slightly tighter leech than many of the other sails in this group. Beware not to over-downhaul this sail as it is actually designed to set with less downhaul tension than most. Simmer’s thinking is that heavy downhaul prebends a mast to a point where it is unable to flex as effectively as it should when the sail needs to ‘breathe’. Less downhaul tension means that the mast is operating with less prebend, and is therefore more able to flex and allow the sail to ‘breathe’ when needed. Visually, you can expect to see a slightly tighter leech when tuning the sail on the beach.
On our test sail the cams (particularly the one below the boom) were a little sticky to rotate. They rotated best using the set described above; less downhaul and a little outhaul.
Range: 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.1, 7.8, 8.5
Mast: Simmer 100% 430 SDM
Width: 459 cm
Sail + Mast: 6.67kg
The Simmer strikes a nice balance between blasting and manoeuvres. In comfortably powered conditions it feels very light in the hands and therefore very agile and manoeuvrable. The slightly flatter profile is also a bonus in the turns, making the sail feel more neutral than some of the others when required. The only drawback regarding manoeuvrability is the stickiness of the camber below the boom, which sometimes needed a helping hand or foot to acheive full rotation.
In a straight line, the 2XC has a firmer, tighter and more responsive feel than most. It is a powerful sail (the second most powerful after the North) and delivers this power on the back hand. This gives a reassuring pull, which less experienced and heavier riders will like, but lighter riders may find makes the sail feel heavier in the hands and less controllable at the top end of the wind spectrum.
This slightly more back-handed drive means that the 2XC goes upwind better than most, with the pull point really helping to drive the board and keep it going through the lulls.
The sail had the sharpest power delivery of the group, giving instant power when required and a lot of ‘feel’. It was generally lightweight in the hands, but the more backhanded pull position made it feel heavier at the top end and generally more ‘grunty’ on the water.
The top end performance was limited by the power. Heavier / stronger riders will get more from its top end as the limit is a question of how long you can keep that power pinned down. The same is true for speed. A heavier / stronger rider will be able to capitalise on the available power to get the best from this sail, whereas a lighter rider will at times find there’s just too much power to keep the sail fully locked down, particularly in well powered conditions.
The Simmer offers a nice balance between blasting and manoeuvre orientated performance. It’s generally very light and extremely responsive in the hands. The more rearward pull position gives it a lot of power, which is great for lower wind performance or improvers who like the reassuring ‘pull’ in their hands. At the top end the Simmer is more suited to heavier or power-hungry riders, offering plenty of grunt and speed to those with the stature and ability to capitalise on it. Lighter weight riders may find it less forgiving at the top end.