The Session is dubbed the ‘classical wavesail’ in the Naish range and sits between the Force (power wave) and Boxer (compact new school wave). It is aimed at side-shore conditions and all-round performance for lighter weight riders.
"The Naish Session is a purist wave sail that combines a soft feel with plenty of available power for the non-stop surfing performance. A draft forward shape defined by a single dacron luff panel and moderate aspect ratio delivers balanced front hand pressure that goes neutral during manoeuvres and smoothly releases in the gusts. The result is both the best down the line sail on the market AND the ideal all-around wavesail for smaller, lighter riders." – Naish Sails website
The first thing you notice about the Naish Session is the funky new sail cloth. Without getting technical, it’s a version of X-Ply, called X-166, but it feels so much lighter in the hands. It's so light, you might be fooled into thinking it isn’t as durable, but we are assured that it is! It really is incredibly light and made the Session the lightest sail in test at just 3.17kgs (4.7m).
The Session is quite a tall and narrowly proportioned sail with a moderate luff length and the second shortest boom in the group.
Last year we tested the Boxer and had a gripe over the pulley block at the tack of the sail. It seems that Naish have listened and this year provide one of the most engineered blocks that we have seen on the foot of a sail - nice work!
Unfortunately they didn't listen to our comments on boom height and as we found with the Boxer last year, the boom cut out is just not high enough. If you are around 6 foot tall and like a relatively high boom, you are going to struggle, not just with the cut-out height but also with the clew eyelet feeling too low. The up side is that our smaller Clones really liked the feel of the Naish thanks to the slightly lower clew position.
There is reasonable versatility in the tuning of the session for different conditions/feel. Because of the soft, springy feel of the sail, our Clones mostly preferred it with not too much downhaul, combined with moderate outhaul.
On the water, the Session has a very soft feel to it. It's not however soft in the way that the Fly is (which feels quite loose and baggy in comparison), instead it feels very springy and almost ‘elasticised’.
The boom angle also gives it quite a unique feel within this group of sails, with the clew feeling noticeably lower than the others.
In the hands, the Session feels very light and playful. The pull is positioned forward (although not as extreme as some of the other sails) but you do get slightly more back hand feel, the windier it gets.
It's certainly not the most powerful sail within this group and Naish don’t claim it to be either (with the Force offering more in this department), but it does have an acceptable amount of bottom end power, particularly for lighter weight riders. Again, the more powered up you are, the more feeling you start to get on the back hand.
On the wave, the Session handles well, pulling from a good position and de-powering easily when necessary. You can quickly see how this sail has been designed for proper wave conditions.
In a straight line, the sail is ok, but does lack a bit of drive at times, particularly for riders much over 70kgs. You get a gust and want to accelerate, but the sail at times feels just a bit too springy to deliver the power as effectively as it could. Again, Naish make the point that the Session is a down the line wave sail or all-round sail for lighter weight riders, which confirms this point fairly nicely!
Thanks to the soft power, springy yet settled feel and light handling, the Naish has very good top end performance.
Naish claim the Session to be targeted for down-the-line sailing or for lighter weight riders looking for all-round performance and we couldn't agree more. The Session is very light in the hands and combines a pleasantly springy and soft feel with great handling and an agile performance on the wave face.
PHOTOS BY: Simon Crowther
"As described so accurately by your test the Naish Session is designed as a down the line wavesail for the lighter sailor. For the heavier sailor or power junkies the Naish Force is the sail of choice. For almost the same instant power as the Force, but the softer feel of the Session riders should choose the iconic Naish Boxer. Copied, but never equalled the Boxer is the leader of the pack when it comes to compact wave sails.
Either way you will benefit from the extra performance given by the new constrction of the 2010 wave sails using maximum amounts of x-166, the new x-ply of choice for the Naish wave range.
x-166, which has been extensivley used in the Americas Cup, where money is almost no object as far as developing products that give that extra edge over the competition, is up to 30% lighter and yet is stronger than monofilm. This weight loss results in a massive saving in the 'swing weight' of the sail, and as a result gives more responsive feedback to the rider, and feels lighter in the hand.
Nick Webb, Kubus Sports UK"