PRESS REVIEW

 

Wind Magazine - July-August 2018

english translation below

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PHANTOM WINDSURFING

 

IRIS SAILS F 7.8

 

Soft and reactive at the same time!

 

Design

Phantom distinguishes itself with its technology and with a unique Iris range whose designs can adapt to all conditions, with 11 sizes covering 4 programs. The construction and 3D Design aim to optimize the efforts and are inspired from high-level yacht-racing like the America’s Cup. Ultra-thin membrane with Twaron fibers are supposed to be lighter and more durable than monofilm or X-Ply. The Phantom range is retailed exclusively online so they can offer high technology at an affordable price.

 

Sailing

We have tested the IRIS F 7.8 with 2 cams, in the freeride-freerace-foil range. The IRIS F7.8 has a rather tight mast sleeve with a power zone that spreads evenly along the boom.

Rigging is made easy thanks to the mast sleeve in water repellant fabric. The mast slides in easily. The cams set-up is also very easy. The IRIS materials make the sail particularly soft, and with a proper block, it is not difficult to outhaul. The sail also has a small vertical batten to give more shape in the mast foot area. The IRIS is very comfortable to sail and it makes a huge difference in choppy conditions. You stay locked in all circumstances. The soft feeling is not scarifying the direct response. In the gusts, the Phantom is not moving an inch. Efforts in hands remain the same. The constant balance of forces offer a more tolerant driving. From a simple and passive sailing on a freeride board, the Phantom IRIS goes to a totally different level and becomes more reactive on a race board. Accelerations become more punchy on each wave impact. It reacts automatically. You just have to let the Iris F do the job. The weight gain of this membrane sail is not obvious but it is so easy and nice to sail that you forget about the cams. We particularly liked the quality of the response when pumping on a foil board with an explosive return resulting in a wider sailing range and fly performances.

 

Verdict

With only 6 battens for 2 cams for a 7.8, the IRIS F is right in cams sails freeride range with a rig that is accessible even without a huge experience. The tight mast sleeve and the overall softness offer a flexible, comfortable and dynamic sail. The simplicity to sheet in is a real asset for auto-pilot freeride sailing.

 

 

PHANTOM WINDSURFING

 

IRIS FREERACE CONVERTIBLE WINDFOIL L

 

A disciplined convertible foiler

 

Shape

As a result of their collaboration with French brand Elix, Phantom launched a range of evolutive boards made of 4 models and 2 references : All terrain 95 and 107, Freerace 117 and 132, Race 117 and 132 and Race Ultimate foil 127 and 159. Phantom positions its boards on a made in France high quality pre-preg sandwich composite construction

 

On the water

The IRIS Freerace L has a irreproachable finish. The footstrap holes positions are freerace orientated, half way between freeride and slalom. The foostraps are well positioned, not too centered, not outer. They are easy to find with closed eyes, and you will stand on the board curve. Experienced racers might want an outer positioning, while freeriders will enjoy the Phantom for the perfect mix of comfort and ‘Gran Turismo’ type of sailing. The pads are simple but have the right thickness, for comfort, and stripes, for a good grip. The Phantom board rides relatively low on the water and without moving, which gives it a gentle attitude in all angles. The bottom is simple and without any cut-out. It offers a good and well balanced support. Under the back foot, the volume is generous. You can push on the 45cm Select fin and have a good heading. The bottom softens the Phantom’s temper. With its full black design, you could expect an aggressive drive. This is not the case. The convertible Race board is very nice on the water. More than a freerace model, the Phantom board leans more on the side of dynamic freeride. Accelerations are long and under control. Sailing it is not physical not technical. The 132 is foil compatible and its moderate width allow freeride aerial windfoiling. It is designed for an aluminum foil for beginners and reaching cruising. The 75cm width is not enough for foil racing and increased efficiency upwind.

 

Verdict

The Phantom Race Convertible Windfoil L is a board for freeride, both in the fin and foil modes, for demanding enthusiasts wanting nice finishes. The 132 is a simple but performant board for planning cruising. The board absorbs everything and makes the ride easy, efficient and comfortable.


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Test of Phantom IRIS 7.0

The IRIS Freerace is a unique sail as it is not built in monofilm like Avanti Italian sails are. The whole surface of the IRIS sail is covered by a membrane made of very stretched plastic material and a weft thread orientated towards the efforts. We can see the same process on some sails reinforcements (like the NeilPryde Forceline). Here the whole sail uses this construction.

The IRIS 7.0 is a freerace sails with 2 cambers, a tight dacron mast sleeve. It is designed to be rigged on a constant flex mast (we have used a North mast)

In details

Phantom made things well. The sail bag is robust, which is a bonus for a long-term protection.

As soon as you open it, you notice this is not a monofilm sail but a membrane sail. The IRIS F name stands for Freerace, while IRIS R will be for the race version.

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Lite Skin

The battens ends, the clew and the batten pockets are protected by a reinforcement named “Lite Skin”

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Mast sleeve

The mast sleeve includes the two cams of the sails. Again, the choice of material has been made for long-term protection.

 

One last detail: the mini batten as the bottom of the sail, to avoid unwanted creases and to guarantee maximum efficiency of the power zone below the boom. A small tool is provided to help close the batten pocket if you had to take the batten off.

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To outhaul

To outhaul, the IRIS sail is equipped with a a traditional block of three pulleys. This is the best solution for an easy outhaul. The mast foot protection in cordura is thick.

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Rig

For the test, we have rigged the IRIS sail on a North mast, which fits perfectly, with a nice and well balanced shape.

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Design

The design and the construction of the sail are very well done, with few folds compared to other sails.

 

The shape below the wishbone is wide, but the sail is not flat at the head, which promises a nice power.

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Threads work

Once it is rigged up, you can admire the threads work on the membrane.

 

 

On the scale

One of the major assets of the Phantom sails is the weight. We put it on our scale to double check.

The IRIS F weights 4,400kg compared to 4,900kg for the RS:On 7m convertible (which is a V8, one of the lightest 2 cam sails on the market). A S Type SL 7.3 weights 5,9kg and a 7.0 Skyscape weights 5kg, with one batten less.

The IRIS F meets the expectations with the light weight, and this will be confirmed in the maneuvers.

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On the water

We have tested the Phantom IRIS both in free sailing, (in St Laurent du Var and La Ciotat), and racing (in Toulon).

As soon as you have it in hand, you will be surprised by the light weight. Despite of this, the cambers are locking the profile, and this is a good thing. This 7.0 seems way lighter than other sails 0,5 or 1,2 meters shorter. It made us think of the feeling we had with Loft Skyscape, but here with an extra batten and a better profile control in the gusts.

 

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Powerful

The IRIS 7.0 is powerful for its size, with a bit of back end. The shape is obvious on the whole surface (the sail is less flat at the head than other sails). On the other hand, the IRIS is soft and delivers an amazing forgiveness. For those who knew the Loft sails before 2013 will understand what I am talking about. Knowing that it is even nicer here… The IRIS sail is like the Mercedes of free-race sails :)

The down side is a sail that is not very nervous. You should not expect fast reactions, but this is to benefit first hand comfort and very consistent traction. Other ‘typical’ softs sails would not be so efficient pumping. Here the perfect mix between power and lightweight create a very efficient sail (if you have an equally good mast). With the same weight and technical level, we started planning at the same time on the IRIS 7.0 and the Switchblade 7.8.

In the maneuvres, the lightweight of the IRIS is impressive. And the cambers rotation is easy despite the deep shape… It feels like velvet!

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Windfoil Regatta

The down side is a sail that is not very nervous. You should not expect fast reactions, but this is to benefit first hand comfort and very consistent traction. Other ‘typical’ softs sails would not be so efficient pumping. Here the perfect mix between power and lightweight create a very efficient sail (if you have an equally good mast). With the same weight and technical level, we started planning at the same time on the IRIS 7.0 and the Switchblade 7.8.

In the maneuvres, the lightweight of the IRIS is impressive. And the cambers rotation is easy despite the deep shape… It feels like velvet!

The Windfoil Regatta in Toulon was also a good test. Considering my lack on winter training, I could not have spent the whole afternoon on the water with a traditional free-race sail. With the IRIS I managed to finish all legs in a good position (5th out of 25 entries) without giving-up or finishing in agony, but also with being able able to follow the 4 strong and fit windsurfers in front of me.

To sum up, the IRIS F with 2 cam impresses with its lightweight, its softness and its comfort, while providing nice power and results which are amongst the best in freeride category. The icing on the cake is the durability of the material, which can only be stronger than monofilm!

If you are interested, we have one for testing and we will be taking it on various windfoil events this summer.


Planchemag, May 2018

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English translation summary

 

PHANTOM IRIS F 7.0 test

This Freeride sail with 6 battens and 2 cambers is amongst the lightest sail in the marker. It features a high tech construction with expensive membrane that is used in offshore sailing and by some brands like Avanti or Severne (Blade and S-1 Pro).

The concept is the following: a machine lays fibres very precisely (based on the sail's mechanical stress) on a film and covers them with another thin film (0.75mil - In comparison, a monofilm or X ply is between 4 and 5 mil. These fibres hold the sail and it can be creased without being damaged. Then another "light skin" and stylish layer of filaments is layed to reinforced the corners. The sail was designed by Alex Udin, Phantom International founder, who has a huge experience in yacht, catamaran and windsurfing sails and masters the latest 3D softwares perfectly. These sails will be updated every two years and are available on their e-store.

The Iris F 7.0 was tested with an 100% carbon constant-curve mast provided by Phantom and it is as easy to gear as other similar sails. There is only one clew eyelet. The profile is smooth and seamless with a slightly bigger draft at the front depending on the tensions. This sail offers a surprising range of settings. It's like a flexible sail that you can adapt to the wind conditions, type of board (windsurf/windfoil) and the aimed results, with a more or less flat profile at the front and a more or less open leech. For example, you can keep the leech tight for windfoil or to windsurf in light wind, or open the leech when the wind gets stronger and you want to slalom with a thiner profile on the leading edge, less physical. You hold it far because the tensions are spread throughout the whole profile. It is a "chameleon sail" that is extremely light and soft in the body, which is comfortable in the chops and reduces the efforts, specially in the maoeuvres. It also has a very stable profile and a perfect passage in the cambers. It also give great Freeride/Freerace results! We just deplored a little lack of visibility when you sail in group and have to gybe.

The first test (with this mast) is very positive in terms of pleasure, operating range (very wide) and performance. We particularly liked the light weight, the profile when pumping and in the chops, the wide operating and setting range, the easy performances and the cambers rotation. The membrane construction is undeniably an asset.

Luff: 460 + 2 cm - boom 1.97 m - weight: 4,5 kg

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The Wall Street Journal article - April 22-23 2017

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Voiles & Voiliers - December 2017

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Voile Magazine - November 2017

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