The Simmer V Type is the lightweight monofilm version of the full X-Ply, Simmer X Type.
They are Simmer's high performance Freeride sails and aimed at the more experienced rider looking for top end performance without cambers. We chose to test the monofilm V Type version, preferring the lighter weight and crisper feel that monofilm offers in this size of sail.
"The V Type is the ultralight version of the X Type. This monofilm, camber free, high performance freeride sail offers full visibility combined with speed, easy handling and durability. The V Type will let you go as fast as you can go, whilst retaining a feather light feel, even if it's powered up and you are white-knuckle quivering!!" – Simmer website
In keeping with other Simmer Sails we have tested this year, the quality looks and feels top notch. Simmer provided us their recommended 75% carbon mast to test the sail with, which is a good match, but worth bearing in mind that some other sails in this group were supplied with 100% masts.
Compared to the other sails in this group (with the exception of the Goya) it has the biggest foot area, combined with the second longest boom length (218cm) and luff length (487cm). It weighs in at 5.34kgs making it the 3rd heaviest in test but it feels like the weight has been put to good use in the quality of materials used.
The Simmer V Type is one of only two sails in this test to offer a tack strap to help pull extra fullness, stability and tension into the foot of the sail. It really does make a difference (particularly as the foot is relatively big), so make sure you tension it before sailing.
The foot features a decent pad and very good integrated pulley block that takes most of the strain out of downhauling. Other notable details include a height scale on the boom cut-out and a PVC badge to keep the luff sleeve open whilst threading the mast through the cut-out. Simmer don’t offer a visual trim system on the V Type.
When it comes to tuning, the V Type has good versatility. It sets with a tighter leech (less downhaul) and more outhaul for a gruntier power delivery in light winds or with a looser leech (more downhaul) for smoother performance in stronger winds and a lighter feel in the hands.
The first thing you notice about the V Type is how much power and stability it has at the front of the sail. It’s very forward pulling, feeling slightly heavier in the hands than most of the other sails but is absolutely untouched when it comes to top end stability.
At the top end this sail takes all of the work out of going fast. It just glues the board to the water, feels extremely stable and rarely gets unsettled even in the biggest gusts. For absolute top speed when well powered up, nothing else in the test could touch the Simmer. It feels almost like a cambered race sail in both feel and performance and just keeps accelerating every time a gust hits!
The qualities that make the Simmer so great at the top end do make it lack a bit of feel in lighter winds. Advanced sailors looking for a light, responsive sail to work onto the plane in light winds, won't find this in the Simmer. They will also notice that the sail doesn’t edge upwind as well as some of the other sails in this test (although using the top eyelet on the clew should help improve this). However, less advanced sailors (particularly heavier ones) will enjoy the settled nature of the sail. It isn’t light and responsive but it is powerful and tolerant of clumsy technique, offering a good, solid, grunty pull.
In manoeuvres the V Type is capable but not one of the best in this group. It feels heavier in the hands, has a bigger foot and one of the more positive, solid rotations. If you are into blasting and gybing fast and hard, you will have no complaints. If you are looking for a sail to learn to carve gybe on you will probably have an easier time on something like the Simmer Spark.
If the wind is cranking and you don’t want to be overtaken, the Simmer is without question the sail of choice from this test. It has a distinctive feel: very racy, solid, forward pulling, grunty and heavier in the hands than most in this test. It lacks some responsiveness and light wind performance but at the gain of a very settled ‘passive’ ride. Nice construction, attention to detail and good pricing make the V Type an attractive package.
PHOTOS BY: Simon Crowther
"The Vtype is a classic analogy of F1 technology filtering down in to the road car.
The characteristics of the vtype reflect in a high performance freeride sail version of our race winning sc world cup sail.
It's no coincidence that the UK’s fastest man and women (Zara Davis ) both use Simmer style….