We would have liked to test smaller models of the Super Hero 2020 during our test week in Bolonia, but the wind conditions only allowed to try the two largest models of the range, the 5.7m and 5.3m Super Hero, in moderate wind conditions. Additionally we tried the membrane version in 5.3m.
In 2020 the Super Hero is available in 10 sizes, from 3.0m to 5.7m. The three big sizes with 5 battens in 5.9, 6.3 and 6.7 got cancelled.
Also the design got reworked for 2020. Responsible for the designs has been Flo Panther since one year. He is a designer from Germany and also in charge of the kitesurfing designs at Duotone.
Flo’s responsibilities for the 2020 range were: reducing color for a more pure look, a clear corporate design and more difference to the angular design to the former North Sails.
We would say, goal achieved across the whole range. Stronger colors and subtler designs characterize the line. Duotone has graphically moved one step further away from North Windsurfing.
Batten Free Center
What we already noticed on land was the big gap between the foot batten and the batten above the boom. The sail has 4 battens, but feels almost like a three batten wave sail on the water. The relatively narrow placed three battens towards the top increases stability in the top area. The pressure point got moved forward in 2020 in comparison to the 2019 model, but is still a bit more back compared to the membrane version. The big mast sleeve opening for the boom allows windsurfers of different sizes to find the perfect position.
The relatively big sail top looks a bit oversized in some sail sizes, but creates power. Team rider Gollito Estredo or Klaas Voget use their 5.0m sails in absolute light wind conditions in Cabezo! In the same conditions other windsurfer are using their 5.3m to 5.7m sail sizes. “On the wave tour we tend to use the Super Hero in one or two sizes smaller compared to the other riders. Victor for example rides on the 5.0m in Cabezo and Marcilio Browne uses his 5.7 Banzai and both have similar weight. We think that it’s the best to use the smallest possible wave sail“, Klaas Voget tells us.
Klaas Voget speaks about the Batten Free Center of the Super Hero 2020
KEY FEATURES SUPER HERO
According to Duotone the XPLY PLUS is the laminate (100/150 MICRON) with the lowest stretch and best UV- and puncture resistance on the market.
HD EPOXY BATTENS
Epoxy battens for maximum durability.
The TRI PLY foot panel (150 MICRON) with its 3rd thread direction increases the rip-stop ability by 30%.
BATTEN FREE CENTER
Big gap between the foot batten and the second batten. As reactive as a 3 batten sail and stable in overpower.
HD (HEAVY DUTY) VERSION
Available in a mono film-free HD (heavy duty), full X Ply construction, too.
RADIAL LOAD STRIPES
Radial load stripes at the clew improve the stability and extend the wind range.
HOLLOW LOWER LEECH
Hollow lower leech means a scooped leech outline to reduce leech flutter and should stabilize the profile.
DUOTONE is worldchampion 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.
No more trial and error when trying to find the best vario top setting. Even when first rigging up, the correct length of the vario top is found straight away. Clear length indicators mark out the perfect setting with reference to the mast length used, eliminating any need for testing or re-adjustments.
Inspired by high-strength climbing harnesses and Formula 1 helmets. The exclusive, two-part metal double-D buckle on the vario top replaces traditional solutions. This design guarantees the best trimming characteristics and eliminates all webbing slippage.
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.
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. All you need to do is pull the luff until the top of the loose leech reaches the “lower wind limit” or “upper wind limit” mark. In addition you can mark your ideal trim with a velcro patch at the mast protector (originally this idea came from Ezzy Sails.)
Short and highly effective mini-battens provide support for the areas between the battens and prevent undesirable flutter.
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.
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).
Extremely stable, extremely break-resistant with extremely durable epoxy laminates.
The DUOTONE logo above the boom cutout gently opens the sleeve so that the mast can be threaded into the luff easily.
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.
Specific length recommendation printed directly on the luff sleeve.
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.
Die zusätzliche 3. Fadenrichtung des TRI PLY PLUS 150 Material erhöht die Reißfestigkeit um 30% im Fußpanel.
Das Unterliek wird beim Wasserstart oder Aufholen ständig über den Standlack gezogen. Hier liegen die Nähte in einer großvolumigen Kunststoffschiene, sodass die raue Oberfläche Nähte und Material nicht aufscheuern kann.
DUOTONE says they are the only manufacturer to use only polyester webbing for the (vario) 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.
The integrated, nickel-plated brass triple roller minimizes the downhaul forces tremendously.
The iBumper 2.0 is is a new and lighter moulded mast protector with an integrated vinyl viewing window to see the lower edge of the mast. Once the perfect trim has been found, the optional Velcro patch marks the position. (this idea comes originally from Ezzy Sails)
On the water
At first we tried the 5.7m Super Hero and in comparison we tested the 5.3m and the membrane version in 5.3m, the SuperHero M.Plus, the new ultralight wave sail from Duotone. First we put the 5.7m on a Skate 99 to get a feeling for the handling of the sail. The 5.7m landed in the ranking of the planing performance just behind the Super Session 5.6m and clearly behind the Idol 5.2m. What we noticed positively was the lighter feeling compared to the 2019 model. And even in the tiniest wave the Super Hero wanted to turn leeward, with no signs of losing speed. By the way, the Idol also likes to do similar turns. In the basic wave moves the Super Hero scored big. Going upwind, tacking, balancing in the wave zone, helicopter tacking or doing Snap jibes is easy and the sail loves these moves.
We quickly noticed, that the Super Hero, the ultimate wave sail by Duotone, guarantees fun on flat water on a freestyle board, too. Although the sail isn’t recommended by the producer for flat water high wind conditions, we think it works well in flat water conditions or for classic freestyle windsurfers in bump & jump conditions. The sail top, which is a bit wider and larger, creates additional drag forward and takes more wind in the top section. It’s not too backhanded and all the time in a well balanced position. Off course, compared with the Super Session, it has a bit more pull on the backhand and a clearly lower draft point.
The eyelet on the clew seems to be positioned exactly at the right position. Not too high and not too low. We immediately noticed this on the 5.7m during the first runs and even a bit clearer on the 5.3m. Duotone told us that the 5.3m is the size with the biggest changes compared to 2019. According to the manufacturer information it is the best all-round size. To be honest, we would have loved to take the 5.3 home with us after the test runs.
Switching from a shallow to a deeper profile and the enlarged sail window help the 2020 Super Hero to generate more drive in lower wind conditions. The rigg in 5.3m impressed us with excellent balance and we were able to sail really light wind with a Freewave 95 in tiny waves. It felt easy to turn around with a tack and pick a small wave with a few sail pumps.
Rigg-tips of the pros
By changing the tension on the clew, the range of use and the feeling of the sail can be changed tremendously. Victor Fernandez or Klaas Voget usually rig on the medium trim position, which we liked, too. Only in very light conditions we reduced the tension of the outhaul. The sail touched the leeward side of the boom. A trim Adam Lewis prefers. He said: “I rig with more downhaul. I get one more click on the POWER XT compared to Klaas or Victor, but have less outhaul. For me, the sails feel a little bit more free with my trim.“ But Klaas Voget warns against giving too much downhaul because it will kill the profile.
C7 Verdict – is the SUPER HERO the ultimate wave sail?
We only tested the two biggest sizes of the Super Hero models in lighter wind conditions and less waves. The handling and the planing performance definitely convinced us. Having the choice between the two sizes we would take the 5.3m, because it has more range of use. Due to the long luff the 5.3m works really well in stop and go conditions, when pumping into a wave is necessary. We felt that the Super Hero was more active in side onshore conditions compared to the M.Plus version in membrane and rather would invest in a carbon boom than in the membrane version of the sail.
+ small sail window with a good view
+ smooth batten rotation
+ the sails can be used one or two sizes smaller, which improves the handling
~ some sizes have a large sail top
Tech Specs Super Hero 2020
|Mast||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||Platinum/ Gold>Silver||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:
Check out the official Super Hero promo clip, too.
We tested the Super Hero during the 2020 Duotone distributor meeting in Bolonia (Spain). The travel expenses were paid by Duotone.