The E_PACE 2020 is the no-cam freeride sail, which is designed to cover a wide trim range and many wind conditions. We tested the E_PACE in Bolonia at the end of June 2019 in 12 to 20 knots of wind with different downhaul and boom settings. We combined the sail with Fanatic Geckos 110 and 122, the Blast 100 and 115 and even with a Skate 99.
In 2020 Duotone’s no-cam freeride sail got a new name. The E_Type becomes the E_Pace, which lines up between the S_Pace and the Super Session and is the performance no-cam sail. It’s also available in a Heavy Duty (HD) version with softer and more robust X-Ply instead of the monofilm in the sail.
With the E_Pace Duotone wants to bring an uncomplicated sail onto the market that is easy to rig, glides like it would be with an electric motor and doesn’t require exhausting pump strokes. The luff curve has been significantly reduced compared to the previous year model, which affects in a reduced loose leech.
The minimum and maximum trim marks in the sail are very far away from each other. The minimum trim is designed for windsurfing in the lightest gusts or for the use on a foil board. With the maximum trim the E_Pace becomes a predator cat and can even keep up with a pure race sail. Duotone promises an incredibly wide trim range, from extremely powerful with less downhaul to very lively and fast with more downhaul. They want to satisfy the foilers or light wind fans on the windsurf board as well the no-cam, fast freeracer. The secret lies probably in the upper part of the luff curve, which is relatively straight.
More performance in light wind conditions
“We tested our sails in the harbour of Maui. The NeilPryde sails, the Ryde or V6, have surpassed our freeride sails in the past. Only in strong winds our sails excelled. We worked a lot on the luff curve during our development. The first tests of Pierre Mortefon, who was two knots faster on the foil board with the E_Pace than with special foil sails, showed that we were developing in the right direction. He was also faster than on the Ryde and the Speedster, Neil Pryde’s no cam models. Neil Pryde is our main competitor in this sail group. Marco Lang worked in 2019 70% of his time on the E_Pace and the S_Pace. This also shows how important it was for us to optimize these sail models for 2020. The big challenge was that the sail rotates in every trim despite the reduced luff curve and that the control in the MAX trim is maintained. With the help of several prototypes we found the ideal compromise.“ (Raoul Joa, Line- / Product Manager)
The sizes are unchanged for 2020. In total 7 different sizes are offered, from 5.4m up to 8.2m. We’ve chosen the size in the golden middle, the 6.6m, rigged on a Platinum 100 SDM in 430 with 30cm and as well 32cm extension. It would be possible to rig the 6.6 on a RDM mast, too. Unfortunately we had not enough time time to test this combination.
As boom we used the cheaper, but stiff Silver Hybrid HD 160 – 220 aluminium boom, which is compatible for both SDM and RDM masts – with Vario SL (Slalom) harness lines with a range from 28 cm to 34 cm. The sail already feels extremely light on land.
According to Duotone the sail should be performance-oriented? What is meant by this? The top-speed or the power in planing? We are excited. Let’s go on the water.
KEY FEATURES E_PACE
According to Dutone the lightest protector on the market with integrated trim indicator.
3 IN 1 DESIGN
The E_PACE works in light wind trim with MIN Trim for windsurfing and foil. In Max Trim the sail becomes a lively fast, free race sail.
MINIMUM MAST CONCEPT
Two masts cover all sizes.
HD (HEAVY DUTY) VERSION
Available also in a heavy duty version with soft X-Ply.
HOLLOW LOWER LEECH
Hollow lower leech means a scooped leech outline to reduce leech flutter and should stabilize the profile without losing performance.
DUOTONE is world champion in little features and pointing them out. Everywhere are little features, marks or indications, which should help the customer to rig and trim the sail.
On regular top caps and pin systems the webbing is connected in a “one-dimensional” way with the sail body (either side to side or front to back), which transfers the downhaul tension only in certain points. The 3D TOP CAP allows a “three-dimensional” and very widespread transition of the downhaul forces into the sail body. This eliminates top fluttering and ensures a progressive loose leech extending the wind range. The integrated abrasion ribs eliminate the need for heavy, bulky reinforcements at the end of the luff sleeve.
DUOTONE says they are the only manufacturer to use only polyester webbing for the top and the tack roller. The advantage compared to conventional polypropylene is the negligible amount of stretch. As a result even brand new sails will retain full luff tension and will not need subsequent trimming.
Improved sail control at higher winds. Designer Kai Hopf originally designed the TT TOP for the WARP. The reduced, concave shape improves tension conditions for a more effective, three-dimensional top twist. This means the top twists not only horizontally, but also vertically under strong winds. By completely neutralising gusts of wind, the rig is kept steady in the rider’s hands, and thus works in a much larger range of winds.
Short and highly effective mini-battens provide support for the areas between the battens and prevent undesirable flutter.
The VTS Visual Trim System 2.0 is a visual mark in the sail top and at the mast protector, which help to find the perfect luff trim. Even beginners can trim the sail in a matter of seconds to 100% accuracy. Originally this idea came from Ezzy Sails.
iROCKET 2.0 batten tensioners are super-lightweight, aerodynamic and highly stable, consisting of high-quality components such as a self-lubricating, salt-water-resistant brass nut with stainless-steel screw which can withstand all batten tensions. DUOTONE promises 100% correct batten tension, correctly adjusted when purchased and forever after. They calibrate each individual batten at the factory according to development specifications. All battens are adjusted to 100% accuracy using torque wrenches and they apply soluble screw adhesive to the locknuts so that the tension cannot be altered. This means that the batten tension remains absolutely correct and will never have to be adjusted again. The batten key included with the sail is therefore only needed for fine tuning or in the unlikely event of a batten breakage (should not happen anymore).
Epoxy battens for maximum durability.
Double the durability with half as much stretch with the triple-stitch zig-zag seams. Unlike other products with their single-seam design, these are double-seam. They cover all exposed crash areas, which increases tear resistance and reduces bending-elongation by up to 50%, boosting profile stability and performance.
A luff reinforcement, which provides a soft transition to the monofilm to avoid film breakage. The area around the boom cutout is exposed to extreme wear due to rigging and can result in tears in the mono film.
The DUOTONE logo above the boom cutout gently opens the sleeve so that the mast can be threaded into the luff easily.
Specific length recommendation printed directly on the luff sleeve at the boom level.
The harness line trim system is a patented print on the sail and helps to find the harness line position quicker. The final harness line position depends of course on personal preferences and style.
Maximum puncture resistance, UV weathering resistance and stretch depend only on the thickness of the film. In an extensive series of tests, Duotone has developed the ideal combination of necessary film thickness and number of threads. Duotone uses for the X.PLY PLUS in particular only at 150 /100 microns in thickness.
The Duotone Cutaway Clew with Cross Batten concept shifts the draft position down and stabilizes the large surface in the clew area. It allows for an early planing profile without losing handling. The Progressive Cutaway Clew also allows a shorter boom. Both features vary depending on the sail type and size. The more pronounced the CUTAWAY and the longer the CROSS BATTEN, the more flex and comfort is achieved, especially when overpowered. For a more performance oriented sail both components are less pronounced to ensure a more direct acceleration.
The bottom (lower clew) of the sail is constantly dragged over the nonslip coating. The Duratech Foot protects the seams within a large plastic channel so that the surface cannot chafe against seams and material.
The integrated, nickel-plated brass triple roller minimizes the downhaul forces tremendously.
ON THE WATER
Will the sail have enough power on the water? And how! We would describe the E_Pace as an ingenious planing miracle.
And besides the ability to start planing very early and the fact it always stays in planing mode, the E_Pace offers a further feature that will make the passionate freerider happy. The sail loves to be shifted! No matter if you shift the sail in a Power jibe, Duck Jibe or even in a Heli Tack.
And what about top speed? Those who dare to lean back can generate the extra boost. A fifth or even sixth gear will speed you up, the board will fly and get much lift. Not for nothing has the sporty freerider borrowed its name from Jaguar’s SUV. The E_Pace is a small cat of prey, which pushes the sporty Freerider under your feet, in our case the Gecko LTD or the Blast.
Of course, as a former slalom racer, I love settings with juicy luff tension, a deeper profile in the bottom and a further forward positioned draft point. The power increases, but also the control in increasing wind. In addition we noticed that the E_Pace rotates even better with increased luff-tension. You shouldn’t be surprised that even with the max setting the loose leech is still not very visible.
E_PACE 2020 – The first run with the 6,6m
At the clew we always choose the upper eyelet for windsurfing, no matter if it’s for the light wind cruising trim or freerace oriented power trim. We extended the 160+ Silver Hybrid boom to either 190 or 192 cm, what’s an extension by 30 or 32 cm.
Trim Tipp: pull the outhaul fully out in the light wind trim setting. This is due to the tight leech concept and the reduced mast bending and guarantees the rotation of the lower battens. However, the Loose Leech is still relatively little in performance-oriented setting. A new trend is emerging: away from the classic loose leech.
The boom height: The E_Pace works very well with low boom height. But if it’s about maximum acceleration or very efficient sail pumping, you should move the boom a few cm up. The draft point in the E_Pace is slightly higher. With a higher boom setting we managed to pull the sail on the board, almost creating a close the gap feeling. Kai Hopf, sail designer from Duotone, thinks little of this position, but we like the feeling, derived from racing, but no-cam.
The E_Pace works very well for foiling with minimum downhaul trim and the boom on the lower eyelet position. The only requirement for the larger sail models from 6.6m and above is a SDM mast, which is needed to provide sufficient stability in the rig. A stable rig is required for foiling! For 5.4m, 5.8m and 6.2 the RDM mast should work well, too.
Our conclusion is clear: the E_Pace deserves its new name. It’s a no-cam freeride sail that delivers good to excellent performance in many conditions. It’s light, not sensitive in trimming and uncomplicated, on land and on the water. So the E_Pace is for many levels and has a wide range of use. The sail not only likes flat water, it also performs very well in bigger rolling swells and has enough stability when the wind decreases a bit in between the waves. The sail helps to get you planing, keeps you planing forever and if necessary, it lifts you well during the beach- or water start due to the higher draft position. So, the sail even suits intermediates, who practice water starts.
We tested the E_PACE mainly on windsurf boards and found the perfect board with the Fanatic Blast 115. We pulled the downhaul to the maximum setting and released the clew tension. That was our favorite setting. On the easygoing Gecko the sail worked very well, too, even with less downhaul.
The explosivity we have wished for this sporty freeride rig, we found with more downhaul and more loose leech. But of course the light wind-oriented setting is also working well and creates a very special feeling, a mix of a lot of power and still not overpowering heaviness. In our case it was the 6.6m that we’ve tried on boards from 100 to 120 liters volume. The tight leech design concept, which was first integrated into the Idol, then used on the Super Hero and now also integrated into the E_Pace and the racing models, has definitely advantages for the trim range. In addition the end consumer gets by with fewer sail sizes. We were already planing in very little wind with the 6.6m. Since the E_PACE also works very well on foil boards, the performance-oriented no cam freeride sail can be optimally trimmed for foil boards with minimal luff tension or for absolute light breeze windsurfing.
For us the E_Pace stood out above all as a sporty freerider, which convinces in classic moves like the power jibe and in planing performance.
+ can be used on many board groups, from slalom oriented freeracers to intermediate level freemovers
Tech Specs E_PACE 2020
|Mast||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver|
More info about the sail:
We have tried the E_PACE in 6.6m during the 2020 Duotone Distributor Meeting in Bolonia (Spain). Travel expenses were paid by Duotone.