We already were full of expectations of how the first production membrane sails from DUOTONE would perform. And it seemed we were not the only ones interested in this sail. We had to share the sail with many other windsurfers and foilers, who were eager to test the sail. The SUPER HERO M.Plus was one of the most requested test sails at this year’s Duotone distributor meeting in Bolonia. But of course we got the chance to try it and feel the difference to a standard sail. Unfortunately real wave conditions were missing. Instead Raoul Joa, Duotone’s windsurfing line and product manager, made honest statements at the product presentation.

Raoul Joa explains the Membrane Technology

ON LAND

The Super Hero M.Plus comes in 6 sizes, from 4.2m to 5.7m and was introduced to the market in June 7, 2019 as a completely new product. The sail has been tested by Duotone’s wave team since the summer 2018. From 4.2m to 5.3m you can cover all sail sizes with 2 masts only. Just the 5.7m requires a 430cm long mast.

The bodies for the membrane sail come from a yacht specialist from New Zealand. The weight is impressive. We speak of an incredible weight of 2.95 kg for a 5.3m wave sail. In comparison, the standard Super Hero weighs 3.5kg in 5.3m. It’s a fact that this sail is the lightest ever launched production wave sail in the era of North Windsurfing and Duotone.

According to the producer the size of the sail generates the power of a one-size-smaller model of the standard SuperHero in x-ply &mono film, which on the other hand offers significantly more stability in gusty wind conditions. The sail is not built for overpower or gusty conditions because of the membranes, but suits for lighter, constant or so called “float and ride” conditions. In addition the sail performs very well on the foil board.

Features Super Hero M.Plus

Tack Fitting. Keine Vorlieksrollen um weitere 80g Gewicht einzusparen.

Tack Fitting. No tack rollers to save 80g.

Super Light Bumper. Extra leichter Protektor mit integriertem Trimm Indikator. Laut Hersteller, sogar der leichteste am Markt. 

Super Light Bumper. Extra light protector with integrated trim indicator. According to Duotone, the lightest protector on the market right now.

Membran Laminat

Membrane Plus: Membrane laminat with 20% thicker film and increased adhesive content results in a significantly increased durability with just 100-150g extra weight.

HTS

HTS: 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. 

ON THE WATER

We immediately recognized, that the M.Plus Sail, in our case the 5.3m, does feel extremely handy and comfortable in ideal, constant wind conditions. The sail has tension everywhere. There’s no flutter. And even when only drifting around in waves and you are sporadically planing, the membrane version definititely wins over the standard version. 

We tested the lightweight not only on the foil board, but also on the thruster Freewave 95. We managed to plane in conditions in which a free racer with 7.8m made it into planing sporadically. According to wave team rider Adam Lewis this is mainly due to the fact that the draft position is further in front compared to the standard Super Hero. It was really a surprise how early we got into planing. The carbon stripes in the luff panel prevent stretch in this area and generate the power. Of course our components were all very light, too. We use the very light Platinum AERO2.0 Mega Slim boom 140+ and a Platinum 400 mast. The sail is also reduced to basic features and has no 3D mast protector, no tackle rollers and a slimmed top construction to reduce weight. Only downside: In very strong gusts the draft position moves backwards, which can create an unhandy feeling.

KEY FEATURES

SUPER HERO M.PLUS

MEMBRANE PLUS
Membrane laminat with 20% thicker film and increased adhesive content results in a significantly increased durability with just 100-150g extra weight.


HD EPOXY BATTENS
Epoxy battens for maximum durability. According to Duotone: unbreakable.


SUPER LIGHT BUMPER
Extra light protector with integrated trim indicator. According to Duotone, the lightest protector on the market right now.


BATTEN FREE CENTER
Big gap between the foot batten and the second batten. As reactive as a 3 batten sail and stable in overpower.

Batten Free Center

Batten Free Center


HOLLOW LOWER LEECH
Hollow lower leech means a scooped leech outline to reduce leech flutter and should stabilize the profile.

Hollow Lower Leech

Hollow Lower Leech


TACK FITTING
No tack rollers to save 80g more weight. 

TECH FEATURES

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.

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.)

VTS

VTS in the sail top. Two visual marks in the sail top show the correct luff trim.

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 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. 

HTS

HTS: “Harness Line Trim” print

 

Specific length recommendation printed directly on the luff sleeve. 

Membrane laminat with 20% thicker film and increased adhesive content results in a significantly increased durability with just 100-150g extra weight.

Membran Laminat

Membran Laminat

 

 

 

DUOTONE says they are the only manufacturer to use only polyester webbing. 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.

 

 

No tack rollers to save 80g more weight.

Tack Fitting. Keine Vorlieksrollen um weitere 80g Gewicht einzusparen.

Tack Fitting. Keine Vorlieksrollen um weitere 80g Gewicht einzusparen.

Extra light protector with integrated trim indicator. According to Duotone, the lightest protector on the market right now.

Super Light Bumper. Extra leichter Protektor mit integriertem Trimm Indikator. Laut Hersteller, sogar der leichteste am Markt. 

 

Is the membrane wave sail better than a standard wave sail? 

They are different! Reportedly the conventional laminates have no longer life and less solar resistance, which means that the membrane sail doesn’t like the sun at all, especially the glue between the films suffers. A quick de-rigging after each session definitely is recommended.

Also the feeling of a membrane sail is not for everyone’s taste. It doesn’t feel much lighter while planing and creates a lot of drag because of the very deep powerful profile in the front panel. Therefore you can take one size smaller most of the time. Nevertheless, in theory membrane sails are actually softer than classic sails and become more elastic after repeated use.

As already mentioned the pressure point moves backwards in gusty conditions and can make the handling more difficult. Besides that the twist of the sail is less. 

A sail of this type wants stable wind conditions, which we definitely had in Bolonia. We think the 140-180 Mega Slim boom on the already very light sail body is a bit too thin and we prefer to use the standard Platinum boom in 140+ with 150 gram more weight. We really liked the Mega Slim on the Super Hero and Idol. For very tall riders, the mast sleeve opening could be a few inches higher.

Cruising with the Super Hero M.Plus

Cruising mode with the Super Hero M.Plus

THE WEIGHT

The Super Hero M.Plus in 5.3m weighs less than the standard Super Hero in 4.0m. This is indeed impressive. And two sails in 4.7m and 5.3m, a Platinum Aero 3.0 400 mast, a Platinum Aero 2.0 boom, an iBase plus plate, an UNI.XT Carbon extension weigh incredible 9.96 kg. These are the manufacturer’s information. Next time we will weigh the components. If the informations are correct, you would stay below 23 kg of sports luggage together with the bag, a board, a harness and a wetsuit. Not bad, right?

C7 Verdict

The Super Hero M.Plus is something new, something special and beautiful, which works on the water, too, especially in stable wind conditions. Two times wave World Champion Victor Fernandez used the sails at the wave World Cup in Cabezo and finished in second! He also told us that this model is his actual favorite sail model. He as well used the sails in Sylt.

The Super Hero M.Plus is as well a sail, which works very well on the foil board or for bump & jump conditions. Everyone, who gets the chance to try this special sail, should definitely try it! Of course the sail has its prize and it’s not stronger compared to a mono film/x-ply mix. But for a reason it’s the favorite sail of two times PWA Wave World Champion Victor Fernandez.

+ very light, great for traveling
+ easy to handle (especially in non-planing conditions and sub planing)
+ custom Style
+ big wind range, especially in the lower end
+ works excellent as a sail for foiling
~ small sail window with less view
– price
– durability
– repair difficult, especially in case of major damage
 
Super Hero M.Plus

Super Hero M.Plus

Tech Specs Super Hero M. Plus 2020

Sizes4.24.54.75.05.35.7
Boom (cm)153159163167171175
Luff (cm)378382404406430436
Battens444444
Vario topnononononono
Weight (kg)2.552.652.752.852.953.05
MastPlatinum/ GoldPlatinum/ GoldPlatinum/ GoldPlatinum/ GoldPlatinum/ GoldPlatinum/ Gold
Mast (best/alt)370370400400400430
Mast GeoRDMRDMRDMRDMRDMRDM

Check out the official Super Hero M.Plus promo clip, too.

Note:
We tested the Super Hero M.Plus during the 2020 Duotone distributor meeting in Bolonia (Spain). The travel expenses were paid by Duotone. 

 

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