The Combat is a legendary wave sail that was re-introduced to the NeilPryde range in 2004. It’s targeted as the all-round, durable wave sail from Pryde and sits alongside the Alpha (power), Zone (side shore) and The Fly (Kauli’s signature sail). 2010 sees quite an overhaul of the Pryde range with a brand new minimalist look.
"Built for more powerful, dynamic and aggressive sailors, Combat is the undercover assassin without the undercover bit. Shock and awe in equal measure, Combat delivers die-hard upwind ability and low end power when you need it, for as long as you want it. Light for jumping, stable for predictability, and strong for endurance - Combat is equipped to deal with whatever, whenever, and whoever." – Robby Swift K-89
off water description
Pryde’s compact clew shape (designed to keep the stability locked forward on the sail at the top end) has got even more pronounced on the 2010 Combat. Other changes for 2010 include a massive (claimed) weight loss of 20%, a lower aspect ratio and more minimalist design.
Despite the less fussy design, there is still attention to detail where needed. The padded foot protector is a decent size and works well. The pulley block is of good quality, making down-hauling relatively easy and the batten tensioners are Prydes own unique system that allows adjustment by hand.
The Combat remains in full X-Ply construction, which is great for durability, but beware of the limited visibility you get through the sail when wave riding (particularly in brighter conditions).
The Combat is reasonably versatile when it comes to tuning, allowing it to be set with minimal downhaul and tighter leach for more grunt or more downhaul and softer leach for smoother performance.
Luff length is the shortest in test (same as The Fly), whilst boom length sits around the middle of the group despite the compact clew, illustrating the low aspect ratio of this sail.
on water description
This years Combat does have quite a different feel to last years. First off it feels incredibly light in the hands. The pull feels slightly further back than last years sail (which was really quite front pulling) and gives you more feel and feedback on your back hand. It also helps give a bit more bottom end power.
Overall the rig has slightly more rigidity although it is still one of the more ‘springy’ feeling sails in test. It certainly feels lower aspect than last years version with all the power lower down in the sail.
Top end is very good. The sail does move around a bit in gusts due to the soft nature, but is very easy going in stronger winds and can be de-powered easily.
On the wave, the Combat is excellent. It’s still quite a forward pulling sail and incredibly light in your hands, which makes it great, particularly for down the line wave riding. It's also quite soft in feel which makes it very forgiving.
Un-tuned range remains very good, meaning that even in gusty conditions, the Combat performs well in gusts and lulls without requiring retuning – a real bonus for UK conditions.
In a straight line it's not quite as settled as some of the firmer feeling sails (like the Simmer), but the advantage of this softness comes when landing jumps where the sail is able to flex open and gives a bit more room for error.
The Combat stands out as being incredibly light in the hands, combined with a soft feel and a little more back hand power than last years model. It has very good performance at both the top and bottom end of the wind spectrum and makes a great all-round wave sail choice.