I compared 3 hotsails sails. The Bolt 4.7, Firelight 5.0 and the new Freestyle pro 4.8 (no production sail yet). As you see immediately
the firelight is a bit bigger, 5.0, but in this report I will only look at the shaping and how the sails look on land. To be clear, all sails are
rigged for freestyle purpose, so not for wavesailing. With freestyle we want power, control with perfect handling for especially ducking.
When is a sail good for ducking? Well, when you duck a sail the sail should stay as neutral as possible. Lets say you duck with a camber
sail. When you throw the sail behind you de camber will flip to the other side giving the sail more swing and you'll throw it in the water
immediately. So we want some profile for power, but not to much.
Besides the ducking abbilities it must be light and easy to handle. Well all 3 sails are light. The firelight is the lightest production wavesail
at the moment. The Bolt is the 4 batten new school freestyle wave and the Freestyle pro s a 4 batten full monofilm sail that felt pretty
much the same as the firelight. I will not weigh the sails as that is a bit B@##SH@#@ in my opinion. It is the feeling especially on the water.
The Bolt is fully x-ply, making the sail a lot softer than monofilm sails. The bottom batten ends above the boom. Because of this the whole
sail twists. I can tell a bit more about the sail as I'm allready using it for more than 2 years now. To keep it short, some feautures with
okay / good / awesome.
- Getting planing: awesome
- Power: awesome
- Ducking: good
- Light on the water: okay
- Handling: good
The Bolt is pretty good, but as the moves get bigger and more technical, we (the Hot freestyle PWA team) demanded a new sail that was
even better. A sail where you don't even have to duck to do a massive kono or burner (not possible). So we came out with the Freestyle pro.
Okay, no water experience yet but rigged it an checked every detail. First, the construction is super light. Hot used the same mast sleeve as
on the Firelight. No OX-webbing, so it will not survive a mast breakage or reef walking experience as good as the OXwebbing mastsleeves.
But it is light and stiff. Besides the light sleeve the sail is allmost a 100% monofilm. Monofilm is not only light as you have it in
different thinckness, it is also stiff. Monofilm can give you a super stiff and direct feel.
Rigged the FSPro is very thight. The top has a lot more tension than the Bolt and the top two battens are pulled thighter away from the mast
to. Only the bottom batten has some profile for the power. There is a small stroke of dacron in the front of the sail. This will give you
some forgiveness and an easier built up. What does that mean? When you duck the sail and crab it on the other side of the boom the dacron
absorbes some wind and than you can push out to do you move. No dacron would mean instant power and a bigger chance of getting blown
of your board.
Conclusion for now, stiff, direct, light. It will be more stable than the Bolt, but don't know if it will plane as fast. It seems that the sail is going to be
better in ducking and you'll probably also get a higher top speed than with the Bolt. It is definately weaker.
The Firelight is the new super light wavesail. It feels light and it looks light. Super detail and some really nice exotic materials. But I don't care!
How will it be for freestyle? At the moment there is about zero wind and zero degrees in Holland so I can just tell what I see.
The firelight has a lot of profile. It looks powerfull. The two bottom battens have some seamshaping, so fast planning guaranteed. The sail
feels really light, but don't know how it will feel if the wind will fill the sail. I think the handling will be easy, but the ducking will be harder. Like
the camber example. I think the sail has to much shaping for freestyle.
One more thing is the line from the clew to the mastbase. With the Bolt it's straight and with the FSpro allmost straight. The Firelight has a lot
more square meters under the boom. So also for ducking maybe more difficult.
Conclusion: hard one, can't really tell, feels light, will plane fast, questionmark for ducking.
I think this is it for now. Nex time less text more compare photo's and enjoy your sneak preview of the new Hotsails Freestyle pro.