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  1. #50
    SB, I gave my 5m Blade (standard model, not the Pro) a thorough testing yesterday, in the sense that I started underpowered and then the wind came up a lot.

    It is a very good sail and feels light in the hands. It drives you forwards without much backhand pressure in gusts, and seems to have a wide natural wind range. The pull is from low down in the rig and if you do get any backhand pressure that's because the outhaul is too slack.
    I completely agree with the recent Boardseeker assessment of this sail.

    Tushingham often get put down as a cheaper UK brand but I think the current Rocks are a very good sail too. The difference is they feel a bit heavier in the hand, because they are more 'grunty' with their pull. But, like the Severne, they have reasonable tuning options.
    I think a 5m Rock might get you planing eversoslightly earlier than a 5m Blade, but that would be difficult to test – and I'm just going on what I'm used to at my local spot.

    Where the Blade yesterday showed its class was when the wind came up. I was overpowered but still in control. I pulled on some more downhaul – probably more than the sail was meant to have – and the head was wide open, even fluttering at the leach at times. But there was still forward drive from low down in the rig, in a wind strength where I would have had to have changed down with the Rock.

    So the difference, apart from the price, is a lighter feel in the hands with the Blade and an exceptional wind range.
    Last edited by basher; 29th March 2015 at 10:39 AM.
    Now back in the UK.

  2. #51
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback Basher. I think I have to go to the TWS test centre and try a Severne. With my Rocks I think it's maybe a case of until I try a more sophisticated sail I'm not missing more refined performance, sort of thing. I agree that the Rock is a perfectly OK sail, and they certainly last well which is important given the use that we give them, but I have no illusions that they perform as well as say Severnes.

    It might be interesting to ask a general question at this point: compared to getting a new board, how much do you think a different (better) rig makes to one's windsurfing ? For instance, I remember when I changed from a single fin to a twin waveboard, my wave riding improved by perhaps 25% ... but I'm guessing that changing from say Rocks to Blades would perhaps only lead to a 5 - 10% improvement in feel / performance ? There again perhaps it's "chalk and cheese" different.
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    Currently writing the World's first Windsurfing Novel: 'Too Close to the Wind' - watch this space!
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  3. #52
    That's an interesting question, if off topic here.

    The answer is that occasionally you make a change to a board OR to a new rig that suddenly suits you, and that's where you can talk about a big improvement. It's only a complete improvement if you were on the wrong kit before.

    With a board it's about getting the right size of board for your weight and sailing conditions, and it's also about having the rocker that's fast enough or loose enough for your waves.

    With a rig, the big changes come when you get a good mast match to the sail or when you go from a heavy 60% carbon mast to a lighter 100% carbon one. You don't so much get a eureka moment as you simply find yourself thinking: "Ah, so that's what they mean by a sail that's light in the hands", or "So that's what a more neutral sail feels like". The change brings an improvement in your experience and your understanding in addition to it being a change to something you might feel is better.

    The rest of the time any improvement is mostly in your head – because everybody loves a new sail or board.
    I think changing kit (any change) also helps you get out of a sailing rut – which is usually about how you sail or your stance etc. Changing to newer gear also encourages you to invest more time and effort in your sailing, because it's like a new beginning.
    Last edited by basher; 29th March 2015 at 11:07 AM.
    Now back in the UK.

  4. #53
    Senior Member boards_Geko's Avatar
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    SB,

    They were the black RDM's with the polka-dot Rocks.

    I think Basher sums up the difference between Rocks and Blades pretty well. I quite like the slight laziness that the rocks had but the Blades are better, sharper and just seem easier to sail in the same conditions. I do like the fact that they seem to push the board onto the water when over powered - rather than lifting the nose. It's in the tougher conditions that you notice the difference more. I also agree that size for size the Rocks would probably get you going just slightly earlier than the Blades but once going they are effortless in the hands.
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  5. #54
    Senior Member RIDER5's Avatar
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    I use my Bades with gorilla masts but have also tried them with ezzy and powerex mast. With the non Severne masts they rig ok and feel ok to sail, but I think with the gorilla I plane a smidgeon earlier have a bigger wind range and the sail feels more dynamic and responsive.

  6. #55
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    2014 Blade vs 2015 Blade and Blade Pro: Are they worth the extra money?

    Attachment 11766

  7. #56
    That's a good question.
    I hope to get out on my Blade Pro 5.3 this afternoon, so will report back. But, as already said, it's a very different sail from the standard Blade.
    It's also a thing of great beauty which I would happily have hanging in the corner of my lounge, perhaps with a light behind it.

    After the conditions we had yesterday though, I'd repeat what I have always said which is sail weight is not the issue when sailing on sails less than 5m. When it's blowing half a gale and you are staring a meaty shore break in the eye, what you care about is sail strength and the reliability of your mast, should the launch go wrong.


    As far as the 2014 vs 2015 Blades issue goes, someone who has sailed both will have to comment about if there are any significant changes.
    But several my mates are on 2014 Severnes and if the 2014 versions are still available and now at a discount, I would say grab them if they have any stock left in the size you want.
    Now back in the UK.

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