Equipment Testing

Sailloft Curve

 

2015

Sailloft Curve

Sail thumb

Power Delivery

Sail Stiffness

Sail Pull

Pull Position

Top End

Bottom End

Tuning Flexibility

Untuned Range

Specifications

Weight (kg): 3.58

Size (m): 4.5

Rec. Mast Length (cm): 400

Luff Length (cm): 401

Boom length (cm): 158

Price (£): 479

Sailloft Hamburg (not to be confused with Loft Sails) is a long established brand within Germany, that is now making its debut to UK shores thanks to XPLG distribution.  Sailloft started out as a custom brand in Hamburg, but rapidly expanded into full production, designing and prototyping in Germany with production in Sri Lanka.  They are now into their 14th year of production and have a range of 8 models. The Curve, tested here, is their 5 batten all-rounder/ power wavesail and sits alongside the Quad (4-batten) and Bionic, in their wave line-up.

Rigging

Sailloft take great pride in the build quality of their sails and even go as far as claiming the Curve to be ‘virtually undestroyable’.  There is no doubt, they look extremely well built.  The slight kick-back of this is of course the material weight, where they are jointly the heaviest in the group.  

Sailloft have a nice philosophy of trying to make their sails as mast compatible as possible, both reducing the number of masts you might need to run a quiver, but also aiming to make them as tolerant as possible to other brands masts.  Both the 5.0m and 4.5m tested here set on a 400cm mast.

Looking at the measurements, you can see how the two sizes have been tweaked slightly to both fit the 400cm mast.  Relative to the other brands, the luff length is comparatively longer, whilst the boom length comparatively shorter on the 4.5, making it a taller, narrower sail (comparatively) than its 5.0m version.

Overall, the 5.0m sits pretty much in the middle of the group for luff and boom length, whilst the 4.5 has one of the longest luffs and shorter boom than most.

The Curve is a fairly easy sail to set correctly.  It requires more downhaul tension than most to get the set, yielding a stiffer, more stable feel and sets with the power a bit further back than most.  The Curve isn’t a sail that offers a whole lot of scope for tuning versatility, it’s more a case of get it right and stick with that setting, but with the right setting, the Curve offers a decent ‘un-tuned’ range.

On the water

On the water, the Curve feels light in the hands, relatively stiff and stable and pulls slightly rearwards of centre, giving it a decent amount of drive.  We felt that setting with a reasonable amount of downhaul and low to moderate outhaul yielded the best results, helping to soften the sail up in the hands give it a smooth overall performance.

With all that drive, combined with the light feel in the hands (a rare quality in a sail with a more rearward pull point) the bottom-end performance was pretty good.  It wasn’t the very quickest onto the plane, but once there, the acceleration was one of the best.

At the top end, the Curve benefits from its stiffer, more stable character, which gives a secure ‘locked in’ feel for high wind blasting.  If it’s outright wave performance you are looking for however, you will find the Curve starts to load up a bit too much on the back hand and controlling jumps and wave riding becomes increasingly more difficult as the sail reaches its top end, leading to an early sail change that allows the user to take a smaller size than what might normally be required.  We also noticed a degree of flexibility and softness in the battens as things really start to get windy.

The Curve was definitely at it’s happiest wave riding in moderate conditions.  Here it was light in the hands, yet still able to provide an extra surge of power at will to really drive the turns.

Strengths

Light in the hands , yet powerful
Locked-in stable blasting feel
Sharp handling, and good wave riding performance in moderate conditions

Weaknesses

Wind range, particularly at the top-end.


Who should buy this sail?

The Curve is most suitable for coastal riders who will use this sail both for blasting in chop, where the stable locked in feel is a bonus, as well as for wave riding on more moderate wind days.