Equipment Testing

Gaastra Manic 4.7



Gaastra Manic 4.7

Gaastra manic 4.7 2009

Power Delivery

Sail Stiffness

Sail Pull

Pull Bottom

Tuning Flexibility

Untuned Range

The Gaastra Manic is a time tested sail. Available in a choice of standard or HD (all X-Ply) constructions, the Manic is the ‘soft and manoeuvrable’ wave sail in the Gaastra range, whilst the Poison caters for the power hungry.  We were given the standard construction Manic for this test. 


"This years Manic has done it again! Soft and manoeuvrable, the power stays locked between your hands. Designed for wavesailing enthusiasts, its pure down-the-line waveriding ability is aptly complimented by solid all around bump and jump performance. The 09 Manic is light in the hands, quick in the turns, and carefully balanced to excel both at Hookipa, and at your local beach" – Gaastra Website

The Manic fits pretty much in the middle of the group when it comes to luff and boom length. The sail sets on an RDM mast and we were supplied with the Gaastra 75 for this test.

The head of the sail is not adjustable and features a pronged head cap system, which we have to admit is a system that we are not big fans of.  It's used by several of the brands (including Pryde and Naish) and makes rigging a little more fiddly and means that if you don’t use the manufacturers mast, you may have to change mast bungs before you can rig the sail.

The foot of the sail has a nice pulley block to help downhauling, but it is noticeably less recessed into the foot than the other sails in test, which means you have to be a little more accurate with your extension setting to avoid an unwanted gap between board and sail.

The Manic allows some versatility in tuning and generally sets with a less ‘floppy’ leach than many of the other sails in this test. It has a little more pre-set shape to it than the North Ice.

True to Gaastra’s claims, the Manic feels incredibly light and manoeuvrable in the hands. It has a little bit of pre-set shape and a slightly stiffer feel to it than it’s nearest match, the North Ice.

The Manic scores the highest in this test for top end. Not only is it stable, but it also has a magical way of almost disguising how windy it is when you reach the top end. It remains extremely smooth in your hands and still gives you the feeling that you can go for manoeuvres that you definitely wouldn’t try when this powered up on other sails.

The bottom end power of the Manic is ok. It’s probably not going to impress heavier sailors in cross on conditions, but thanks to the slightly stiffer feel and pre-set shape, it does offer an acceptable amount of power for most.

The lightness in the hands is great when wave riding, particularly in cross off conditions. You can really lose the power in the sail and focus entirely on riding the board.

The extra stiffness and pre set shape does make the Manic a little more ‘clunky’ in rotation than some of the smoothest sails in this group, but nothing serious.

The light and manoeuvrable feel of the Manic really inspires you to throw the sail around. This is particularly noticeable in powered up conditions, where the Manic remains comfortable through manoeuvres, whilst other sails become a handful. The Manic has reasonable bottom end, but leans towards sailors who are willing to sacrifice a bit of power in return for light handling and top end control.