The North Ego is now into its second year with the focus this year on refinement rather than redevelopment, particularly in the bigger sizes. Pitched as a ‘concept wave’ sail within the North Wave range, alongside the Ice (World Cup Wave) and Duke (Power wave/ Freestyle), the Ego features a more compact shape with a shorter luff and longer boom length.
"The aggressive EGO is a completely new breed of Wave sail, that can and does deliver more than regular Wave sails. Looking for a sail that’s truly ahead of its time? The EGO is the ultimate Wave sail for innovative riders!" – North Website
off water description
As with the Ice, detailing is excellent. The downhaul pulley block is fit for purpose, North’s Trim guide is the best in the business (as far as we are concerned) and other details such as recommended harness line position, PVC badge at the top of the boom cut out (to hold the luff tube open) and elastic tying strap all add up to make a nicely finished sail.
The Ego is a full X-Ply sail, but this year incorporates a monofilm window for improved visibility. Whilst there is an increasing trend with other brands to push for 4 batten sails, North are adamant that 5 battens are required for decent stability and wind range, so all sizes of Ego maintain a 5 batten layout.
Boom length is the longest in the group, combined with a moderate luff length. Despite these dimensions, the Ego has one of the widest heads and smallest foot areas of the group.
Once rigged The Ego sets with a fairly full profile. The lowest batten actually crosses the boom, which makes tuning the outhaul a little less visually obvious. Two clew eyelets are offered with the top one adding a bit more back hand pull to the sail (for those looking for a gruntier sail) and the bottom eyelet offering a softer feel with more release. Choosing one or the other doesn't completely transform the sail, but a subtle difference can be noticed.
on water description
This years Ego feels quite different to the Ego that we had on test last year. This year it seems like the pull has been positioned further forward in the sail, the sail is lighter in the hands and feels like it has more release (ie easier to de-power when required).
It feels really good for wave riding with a forward pull that feels positioned a little higher than most. This really helps to pull you through the bottom turn, keeping the rail of the board fully engaged with the water. The top turn also feels really nice with the forward pull and softer feel of the sail allowing a controlled tight turn and then letting the sail get powered up again as quickly as possible.
In a straight line (particularly in the bigger sizes) it is slightly more ‘top heavy’ than sails like the Pryde Combat which is very low aspect this year. On the bigger sizes, this makes the pull feel a little higher up the sail. Some people may like this, others may not. It tends to make the sail pull a little more noticeable, but does plant the board to the water a bit more, which helps with those great wave riding qualities.
The power delivery is very soft on the Ego. The Ice has a sharper on/off style of power, whereas the Ego is much more forgiving. The Ego also feels more compact in the hands.
There is good tuning versatility. Last year we found the Ego worked best on minimum downhaul setting and tuning was achieved mostly with the outhaul. This year we have had good performance with both max and min downhaul settings which combined with good tuning on the outhaul and the dual clew position, makes the sail quite versatile.
This year, the Ego seems to be a much better all-round wave sail to the one we had on test last year. It has a compact feel and good wind range. The Ego excels for wave riding in both side shore and side-on conditions, where the pull position and sail response really help through the turns. It also has good tuning ability to suit a variety of riding styles and conditions.
"Once agin this is my preferred choice of sail to use. largely due to the way it reacts over the chop. it feels a little more spongy to me and more forgiving. the other reason being the extra drive it makes when riding weather its in onshore of side-shore/ i also feel the ego compliments twinzers really well with its high foot and drive through the back hand.
The set up for my Egos is a little different from 3.7 up to 4.5 compared to the bigger ones. i set the smaller sails with slightly less downhaul. i would have it around minimum or just past it and them more outhaul as this allows the mast to flex more and the extra depth in the head keeps the nose os the board stable but in the bigger sizes i rig it to max VTS and then play with the outhaul. again play with the TwinTrimClew sytem as it realy does make a difference. more power and tighter leach in the upper clew and more free feeling looser board in the lower clew.