Severne are offering three wave ranges this year, the Swat, S-1 and Blade. The Swat is a 4 batten wave sail, whilst the S-1 and Blade are both variations of the 5 batten theme. The S-1 is the manoeuvre orientated sail, pulling from further back than the Blade, with a slightly higher skin tension and clew position. The Blade (tested here) is a more traditional design with a deeper draft, delivering more forward pull and power that drives the board, making it more suited to riders who prefer a softer feel.
"The Blades ideology is derived from the fusion of power with control. This sail is designed to drive power down into the board through every turn. The handling remains constant across the wind range with every size fine tuned to get you dialled into any conditions. For 2010 the weight of the Blade has been radically reduced, whilst durability has increased due to extensive use of eM3." – Severne Website
Unfortunately, we weren't able to get hold of a 4.2m Blade from Severne, so only had the 4.7m for test. This meant that we didn’t get as much time on this sail as we did on the other sails and this review is based purely on the 4.7m size.
The first thing you notice about the Severne is the funky sail cloth that they are using this year. It makes the sail look very high tech and is extremely lightweight (and apparently durable). The Blade was actually the second lightest sail in test at 3.23kgs (4.7m).
Luff length is one of the longest in this group of sails whilst the boom length is fairly moderate. Severne have opted for the simplicity of just one clew position and have not followed the ‘compact clew’ trend that some other brands are adopting at the moment.
The Blade has better visibility on the wave than most full X-Ply sails thanks to the coarser grade of X-Ply that has been used in the main window.
The sail sets with a fairly loose head and good fullness lower down. Some sails are quite adaptable through tuning and can deliver different styles of performance depending upon how they are set. The Severne doesn't really have this kind of versatility of tuning, but does require adjusting slightly for different wind conditions.
This years Blade seems to have a slightly softer, springier feel to it than last years and feels remarkably light in the hands.
On the water, the Blade is still a powerful sail with a fair degree of pre-set shape to it. It maintains a fair amount of fullness lower down in the sail, combined with a relatively loose head.
In the hands, it feels slightly more forward pulling than average, but then starts to load up a bit more on the back hand the more powered up you get.
Bottom end power is very good. Don’t be fooled by the slightly lighter feel in your hands, the Blade still has a lot of power thanks to the fuller profile.
The power delivery actually seems a little softer than last year. Last year we felt the Blade was more on/off in feel, but this year the power is much more progressive.
It's actually hard to find any real fault with the Severne, it just gets on and does the job without any real complaint. It’s perhaps not one of the most memorable sails we have used, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
The Blade combines decent power with light handling. It is slightly more forward pulling than average and feels slightly softer, springier and therefore a bit more forgiving than last years model.
PHOTOS BY: Simon Crowther
"The geometry of the BLADE was designed around the riding demands of Scott McKercher who won the world title in 2004. It had a lower clew position, more power and was designed to deliver more drive in the waves whilst remaining in control. Throughout the evolution of this sail, the weight has been drastically reduced and the performance updated every year.
- Rig the BLADE on the mast it was designed on; the SEVERNE RED Line RDM. This will increase the performance of the sail better than any other rigging tips
- Stash your excess downhaul rope in the mesh pocket inside the moulded tack fairing
- If you prefer an even lighter sail with direct response for new school wave and freestyle, try the S-1