Mar 17, 2013
No one-sail line covers the many facets of windsurfing as well as the Gator. It ranges from 3.7 all the way to 8.0, and each size is “designed to echo the demands of the aggressive freerider.” The larger sails have six battens, a pronounced clew cutaway and shaping intended more for straight-line speed, while the smaller sizes, like the 5.3 in the test, have five battens and a higher foot to emphasize handling and maneuverability. The result is a sail that does not at all feel out of place in the waves, while still having plenty of crossover appeal for bump-and-jump sailing, as well. Its draft height is easily tuned through a large downhaul range that even the less detail-oriented riggers will be able to discern differences in.
With less tension providing a tighter leech, the sail has plenty of rail driving grip in bottom turns, as well as the low-end power that bigger riders might be looking for. More tension lowers the draft and opens up the head, maximizing the top-end stability and lightening the feel in your hands. What’s amazing about the Gator is regardless of the amount of downhaul you choose, there is still a slippery and efficient feel that requires very little rider input. Freestylers might notice that the slightly lower foot is a bit harder to duck, but for everyone else, the Gator has enough maneuverability to sail aggressive in the waves and make the most of any ramps that present themselves.
While the Gator may be designed as something of a freeride sail, the construction is not. This is a full X-ply sail with fancy laminates to spruce it a bit and small details like doublestitched seams in the body to keep it in good shape for a long time.