"The Naish Force is our flagship wave sail. The design objective of Robby’s personal ride is to deliver maximum performance in ALL conditions. The result sets the standard for power wave sails both in performance and ultra light construction technology. Designed with moderate aspect ratio and a powerful shape defined by twin scrim luff panels, the Force delivers even pressure to both hands and works equally well in both offshore and onshore conditions.”– naishsails.com
on the beach
In profile, the Naish is quite a tall, narrow looking sail with a comparatively high aspect ratio. The measurements back this up, with the Force sporting the second longest luff in test (435cm) and, by quite a considerable margin over most, the shortest boom (170cm).
Possibly the most impressive thing about the Force, however, is the weight. At 3.43kg it is 0.8kg lighter than the heaviest sail of the group, which is a big difference. It’s becoming clear that Naish and Severne are consistently making the lightest sails at the moment. Impressively, they always look well built and appear to be saving the weight through use of high tech materials rather than through scrimping and saving.
The longer luff means that the Force sets on a recommended 430cm mast. It actually sets with a fairly flat batten profile, but plenty of rotation where the battens meet the mast. Although the leech is relatively tight compared to some of the other sails, we preferred tuning the Force with a reasonable amount of downhaul. The sail works okay with less, but we noticed that in chop the sail had a tendency to buckle a little with too much tension in the leech as the board slams, causing the power to come on and off quite abruptly. Our overall impression was that the Force works best by finding a setting that works for you and then relying on the sail’s great ‘untuned range’ to take you through the wind range, rather than tuning the sail continuously for different conditions.
on the water
The Force instantly stands out for having a light, springy and powerful feel to it. It pulls from fairly high up and slightly on the back hand compared to most of the group, but the light feel and springiness keep this pull at bay, and it never gets too ‘overpowering’.
At the bottom end the power is very good, and the higher pull position gives a reassuring gruntiness to the sail. At the top end the pull is still very evident (where some sails go lighter once up to speed), which is more likely to suit the heavier or more ‘power orientated’ sailors.
It’s an extremely manoeuvrable feeling sail, thanks to the very short boom and incredibly light feel, which actually makes the Force feel a bit smaller in the hands than some of the other sails. It’s great on the wave, or for general manoeuvre orientated sailing where you can really throw the sail around as if it were a lot smaller than 5.3m.
Despite that springiness the foil tension is actually quite tight, giving the Force a fairly responsive and reactive feel in the hands. It also helps to keep the sail pull locked and stable right through the wind range.
The Force offers a totally unique blend of power, light weight and manoeuvrability, giving it a very wide range of appeal. It has a reassuring grunty feel that continues right through the wind range. Lighter riders (less than 80kg) may prefer a less ‘pully’ sail at the top end, and could perhaps look at the Boxer or Session as an alternative.