The 6-batten Future is new for this year and replaces the Flash as Gun Sails’ all-round freeride sail. It sits in the range just below the 7-batten (no-cam) Rapid, which targets the more speed hungry freerider.
"The Future combines easy and uncomplicated windsurfing with a sporty character and feel. We really can call it uncomplicated, because you will see that rigging and finding the right trim will be easier than ever. The sail feels extremely light in the hands and the narrow camless mast sleeve rotates easily and quickly. By one trim only, you can cover an outstanding wide wind range." – Gun Sails website
Despite the price, the Gun looks like a quality product and it's pretty clear that plenty of thought has gone into the detailing of the sail.
The Future has one of the shortest boom lengths in the group (208cm) and a relatively moderate luff length of 485cm. Where it stands out however is when you lay the sails on top of each other and see just how wide the head is. The top 2 battens are far longer than any other sail in test, giving it a really wide ‘boxy’ head shape.
The Future is a 6 batten sail and weighs in at 5.03 kg (around the middle range of this group).
A visual trim system similar to the North is offered on the Gun Sail and in our opinion is by far the best system on the market at the moment. When set to recommended, the sail has quite a lot of power and shape. There is a slight lack of skin tension in the panel above the boom, near the back of the sail which does limit the feel on the back hand a little, particularly in lighter, less powered conditions.
In stronger winds the Future lacked acceleration and some stability in the recommended set (more on this later). We found the strong wind performance to be greatly enhanced when downhauled well beyond the recommended setting.
In light winds the Gun Sails delivers very good performance. The slight ‘bagginess’ at the backhand prevents the sail from being described as truly ‘grunty’ but it does have good power and gets you onto the plane as quick as anything here (with the exception of the Tushingham). It remains relatively light in your hands and has quite a responsive feel to it when up and going.
In manoeuvres the lighter feel, shorter boom and soft rotation make it one of the best and most enjoyable sails within this group.
As the wind increases the Future feels less at home. It's fine for comfortable planing conditions but once the gusts get stronger the sail starts to struggle. It becomes quite back-handed with a lot of pull in the sail. The sail should be accelerating but instead it just pulls harder.
There is a way around this. By downhauling the sail way beyond the recommended set, the leech opens out more, the foil stiffens up and the Future can just about hold its own with the rest of the group. Unfortunately this set really limits the light wind performance of the sail, so it’s a real trade off, particularly if the wind is gusty.
Overall, we would describe the Future as being pretty responsive in the hands, giving the rider plenty of feedback, whilst sitting in the middle of the group for power delivery – neither the sharpest nor the softest – a nice balance!
Within its comfort zone the Future is a great sail. It gets you planing early, is great fun in the turns and looks a really nice product both on and off the water. The sail is made even more attractive when you check the price! It’s a pity the top end performance (speed and comfort) isn’t up to scratch. However, if top end is important to you, it might be worth checking the 7 batten Rapid.
PHOTOS BY: Simon Crowther