The Iron is now into its fourth evolution and sits within the comprehensive foursail Simmer wave range as the power wave sail of the group. It is complemented by the Mission X (cross-shore wave), Icon (allround wave) and Blacktip (4-batten wave).
ON THE BEACH
The Iron looks to be an extremely well constructed and presented product. It really does look built to last and has very good attention to detail. It sets on a 400cm mast and weighs in at 3.92kg, which is an impressive 10% saving over last year’s model – particularly as it still looks to be extremely well built.
For 2012 the Iron has a slightly shorter luff and an adjustment to the luff curve with the aim of making the sail more powerful, but also allowing it to release a little easier for more control and less back hand pressure. The width of the luff sleeve has also been increased marginally to give the sail a bit more power up front.
At 419cm the Iron sports the shortest luff length in test (jointly with the NeilPryde Atlas) and the second longest boom at 177cm. As with last year’s model the Iron has a reasonable degree of versatility when it comes to settings. It seems that the sail can tolerate a little more downhaul than last year’s model at the top end, but generally it worked better through the wind range with a little less downhaul and using the outhaul for tuning.
By nature the Iron is a powerful sail and sets with quite a lot of shape in the battens, so don’t try and flatten all the power out of it at the top end, as it doesn’t really work that well. This is a true power wave sail, so if you’re worried about the power, either change down earlier or opt for the Icon.
Sizes: 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.7, 6.2, 6.7
Tested on: Simmer RD M 10 400cm
Size tested: 5.3m
ON THE WATER
The Iron is a very powerful sail with the best bottom end in test. It seems to have a slightly softer power delivery than last year’s model, which makes it a little more forgiving in the hands, yet it still retains that familiar and reassuring power on the back hand.
The rearward power position is definitely more manageable than last year’s at the top end, where even our lighter Clones were able to use it in overpowered conditions thanks also in part to the stable foil. It is, however, a matter of personal preference whether that more rearward power position suits you or not. Generally our lighter riders (under 80kg) preferred the lighter feeling, more forward pulling Icon, while our heavier riders (over 90kg) liked the more powerful Iron.
The stable foil and rearward power position gives the Iron a more locked-in feel than most of the other sails. It would in fact make a great high wind blasting / bump-and-jump sail as well as a power wave. Overall, however, this stability and locked-in feel does make it a little less agile than some, albeit more powerful.
The Simmer Iron is a true power wave sail and well suited to heavier riders and even high wind blasting and bump-and-jump sailing. It has the best bottom end power in test and is very stable at the top end, albeit with a more rearward power position. For 2012 the sail weight is 10% lighter than 2011, yet the build quality remains excellent and certainly one of the best in test.
The consequence of all this power and stability is a slightly less agile feeling sail on the wave-face. Heavier riders didn’t have a problem with it, but lighter riders may be better off choosing the Icon for its lighter handling.