Vandal offer two ranges of wave sail: the 5-batten Enemy (tested here) and the 4-batten Riot. The Enemy is designed for all-round sailing in anything from onshore to cross-shore conditions, while the Riot is the ‘compact’ wave sail, targeted at multi-fin boards and offering ‘radical’ performance.
ON THE BEACH
The original Vandals were pretty much Gaastras with different graphics, but now they have the own unique designs. The stepped leech is new, and is claimed to achieve ‘perfect perimeter tension’, while the full X-ply construction is incorporated for maximum strength.
At 422cm the Vandal has one of the shortest luffs of the test and also one of the shortest booms. Sail weight is also pretty respectable at 3.71kg. It sets with a more rigid foil than most and with the power further forward. There isn’t much pre-set shape in the battens, but instead there’s a reasonable amount of rotation at the front.
There is some tuning versatility to suit different preferences, but generally it’s one of the least powerful sails within this group, so you might want to tune accordingly.
Sizes: 3.3, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.7
Tested on: Vandal Flux Pro RDM
Size tested: 5.3m
ON THE WATER
The Vandal is one of the lightest sails in the hands, but at the same time it feels slightly out of place within this power wave sail test. It’s not by nature a powerful, grunty sail.
The pull point is the furthest forward of the group, and setting with a firmer foil than most it excels much more in powered up conditions, where it claims the best top end performance of this group. The power delivery is actually quite soft, making it feel generally forgiving in the hands.
The bottom end performance isn’t quite as competitive. It was noticeable that it planed a little later then the true power wave sails and also didn’t drive as well when riding in underpowered cross-on conditions. However, it was probably the best sail of the group for pumping, with a springy responsive and efficient feel!
On the wave in more powered up conditions the Vandal was one of the best sails of the group. It felt lightweight, compact, manoeuvrable and easy to depower when needed.
In the hands the Vandal did feel noticeably smaller than other sails. This may in part be down to the lighter feel, although the shorter boom and luff probably also contribute.
The Vandal feels more of an all-round sail than a power wave, and therefore feels a little out of place within this test group. In its own right it’s a really nice sail with the emphasis on manoeuvrability and light feel, and consequently has the best top end performance of this group. Overall, if you are looking for a power wave sail with plenty of grunt, then the Vandal Enemy probably won’t meet your criteria. But if you’re looking for a sail with great handling and a lighter feel, then the Enemy is very good.