Mar 17, 2013
Over the last few years, Naish has been at the forefront of lightening sails without sacrificing durability. Their X-166 scrim made an immediate difference when it was first introduced, and now Naish follows this up with a complete re-engineering of the sail’s construction, once again raising the bar. The Force is the tallest sail in the test, while also sporting one of the shortest boom lengths. This creates a rare combination of traits in that it has a higher draft while still feeling easy to sheet-in with a sensitive feel in the hands. On a wave, the result is a sail that loves to be thrown forward into a traditional oversheeted and laid-down bottom turn. The higher pull gets you forward with little effort, and with the short boom being easy to oversheet, you’re fully de-powered as you hit the lip. For traditional waveboards or the more reluctant turning freestyle waves in our test, it gets the most out of them by driving the full rail into the water, letting the rocker line carve smooth, clean arcs. With other sails, these same boards would feel bouncy and forced during the same turn.
The new panel layout of the Force helps to stiffen the X-166 material so it gains some upper wind range over the older version. Once you’re way over-powered, it still takes a fair amount of rider input to keep things under control, but up to that point the sail feels efficient, with the X-166’s weight savings giving you a light feel in your hands. This balanced, efficient feel also makes the Force a great bump-and-jump sail, where the higher draft will help put aggression into your jibes and add some height to every jump.