At end of June 2019 we had the chance to try the 7,7m2 20.20 WARP World Cup slalom sail before its official release. In 12 to 18 knots we got straight to the point and checked out the high-end racing model of Duotone. Marco Lang, Jordy Vonk, Craig Gertenbach, Dani Aeberli and of course Raoul Joa and Alex Hasch gave us helpful tips for the perfect trim. But in the end it was active World cup racer and Duotone chief-tester Marco Lang, who played a decisive part that we really got going.
Duotone claims the following:
„The WARP 20.20 is the most competitive slalom sail we’ve ever built. More than 3 years of development went into the profile and design concept of the WARP 20.20: no compromise design, enormous propulsion, more acceleration at the start and after the jibe. The forward pull is much more controlled and effortless than at any other power slalom sail.“
At this point we have to mention that the sizes from 7.0m up to 9.0m are unchanged for this year. In recent years Marco Lang has mainly worked on the large sail sizes. Over the past year, the development team has worked intensively on the smaller sizes (5.0, 5.5 and 6.2). The testing was carried out in Tenerife, southern France and on Lake Garda. For the 5.5 alone, 16 prototypes were manufactured by Kai Hopf. “With the new loft in Tenerife we made a very good progress in the sizes 5.0, 5.5 and 6.2. Additional X-ply in the top area and the changes at batten 3 and 4 brought additional control. And a special 380cm mast for 5.0 and 5.5 helps, too,” says Marco Lang.
The 2020 WARP, the racing machine from Duotone, comes in 7 sizes in 2020. In 2019 there were still 8 sizes. The 9.4 got cancelled, the 5.4m becomes the 5.5m and the 4.7m is the 5.0m now. The 7.7m, our test size, is a core size, which works in many wind conditions and for many weight classes. A 7.7m also fits on a lot of boards from 67 to 80 cm board width and with fins from 36 to 44 cm, depending on skill level, weight, conditions and range of use. We rigged it on the Platinum SDM 460 mast with PowerXT and the Platinum 190 -250 boom.
But without Marco Lang nothing worked at first. Rigged out of the bag, our 7.7. lacks a bit of depth and the cambers did not rotate as promised. Only when test chief Marco came to the beach and tuned the sail – the final tuning on the Hyper Cam brought the decisive change – the sail opened in the upper area and got depth in the boom area and below.
We tested the 7.7 on the Jag LTD limited in 125 and 135 with the fin, which comes with the board. Of course, a high-end Slalom fin or high-end slalom board might have had a positive impact on the overall impression and speed.
Camber Rotation Test – Warp
Hyper Cam 2.0
Raoul Joa: “Every 10 years you make big steps in sail development. One big step was the change from 8 to 7 battens in all sizes of the WARP. The 4 cambers remained. Absolutely brand new is the new camber, the Hyper Cam 2.0. We invested 40.000 € for the new molds, 8 molds in total. From 2020 onwards the WARP doesn’t need spacer anymore. The times of spacers are over. If you want to increase the tension, you only turn with a Torx-key on the camber clockwise. The only downside: the new camber does not work on older sail models.”
As already mentioned Duotone invested a lot of budget and brain power from the development department of Ulrich “Uli” Bitterolf. In the end a real innovation in slalom gear tuning got developed! With the help of a Torx-key the new camber can be extended by turning the key clockwise. The profile increases. But in return the rotation can become worse. To reduce the profile and the tension you simply turn the camber counterclockwise with the Torx key. For example, if you reduce the pressure of the lower two cambers too much, the rotation will improve, but you will lose performance, stability, forward pull, acceleration and top speed.
So, with the Hyper Cam 2.0, a good compromise between tension, profile depth and camber rotation can be found very quickly, without having to de-rigg the sail. In addition, the tension on the luff and at the clew can of course be changed according to personal preference.
Time will tell if the new camber will also improve the performance on the water. The Duotone World Cup racers will compete with the fastest racers of the other sail manufacturers in 2020 and the results will show how efficient the function of the Hyper Cam 2.0 is.
Marco Lang explains the biggest changes for 2020
KEY FEATURES WARP
HYPER CAM 2.0
A completely new, length adjustable camber. The camber length can be adjusted with the help of a torx key even under full sail tension.
According to Duotone, the lightest protector on the market with integrated trim indicator.
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.
XPLY BATTEN POCKET
No stretch and doesn’t absorb water.
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.
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.
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. 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).
The Hyper Cam 2.0 is a completely new, length adjustable camber. The camber length can be adjusted with the help of a torx key even under full sail tension. The patent is pending. Due to a new batten attachment the cam is not retrofitable to HYPER CAM 1. generation sails.
The DUOTONE logo above the boom cutout gently opens the sleeve so that the mast can be threaded into the luff easily.
Moderate Cutaway Clew for less blow out and more power and direct acceleration.
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.
Two horizontally placed clew eyelets. The outer eyelet position provides more power and a more direct feeling, while the inner position gives more control and a gentler riding feel.
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.
According to Duotone the lightest mast protector right now with integrated trim indicator. (This idea comes originally from Ezzy Sails.)
ON THE WATER
Already during the first runs we notice, that the WARP 20.20, despite the 7 battens, feels very tight and stable. Pumping the sail was much harder for us than with the little brother, the S_Pace, which felt much more elastic and soft. The WARP 20.20 is absolutely no sail for recreational racers or lightweights. Anyway the 7.7m requires the highest physical commitment. Simply holding the sail and pressing down with the back foot on the fin is not an adequate concept to bring the WARP into race mode. To get into gear 5 or 6 you need physical effort, a board with a proper fin and so much wind that you almost fly away with the respective size.
Once you have found a comfortable stance, the harness in perfect position, have the boom not too low – a slightly higher position brought a significantly better board lift in lighter winds – the sail wants to go downwind, wants to get faster, wants to go through any swell and as soon as you reach a certain speed it wants to go on a even deeper downwind course. The draft position seems to be cemented on downwind course.
For an optimal sail position on upwind courses, a bit of work of the back hand is required. If more upwind courses are on the schedule, it helps to bring the hip forward and move the harness lines further back.
Also the jibe and the sail shifting require the necessary training to plane through the entire jibe perfectly. The WARP is definitely a no-compromise sail, tuned for race use, with lots of power, drive forward, very good camber rotation and impressive top-end speed. BUT: the one who wants to tap the full potential of the sail needs the skills and not to forget the physical constitution for it, because the sails wants to be sailed a size bigger. Joining a fitness studio and get fit upfront is no fault.
The question if the WARP is really the least physical slalom sail – Duotone says so – we leave unanswered. Whoever manages to bring the WARP to its limits will indeed have a lot of fun on the slalom course.
WARP 2020 – The first Test runs with the 7.7
Once tuned – our model does not get the certificate “race-ready out of the box” – the sail works in a wide wind range. As already mentioned, we could take advantage of the know-how of chief tester Marco Lang for the tuning and are not sure if we would have tuned the sail that fast without Marco. With the cam rotation test (see above) you can easily check if the cambers rotate smoothly. You only need a second person.
If you are not used to the weight and power of a high-end slalom sail, it could even be a little bit intimidating on the first runs because of the power and weight. And we “only” tested the 7.7.
Our tested 7.7 sail was rigged with the 190+ Platinum boom, with 30mm boom diameter. If you want a thinner boom diameter (28.5mm) you could use the 170+ Platinum boom and save 600g weight. In any case the 7.7. sail asks for someone with 85kg+ body weight.
Compared to its smaller brother, the S_PACE, the WARP weighs 600g more. The no-cam E_Pace in 7.8m has even 1,2 kg less weight.
Anyone who isn’t necessarily speeding around marks in a professional field or isn’t focused on results, should consider the S_PACE or perhaps even the E_PACE. These lighter sails offer great acceleration, too. And in the jibe the performance-oriented hobby windsurfer will be able to achieve a significantly higher success rate on the less extreme race sails.
~ No really big size available for heavy, tall racers. 9.0m is the biggest size.
Tech Specs WARP 2020
Mehr info about the sail:
Watch also the official Warp 20.20 Advertising video
We tried the WARP during the 2020 Duotone distributor meeting in Bolonia (Spain). The travel expenses were paid by Duotone.
I had a chance to test a ’19 7.7 from a friend, a very expert sailor, so the sail was rigged properly and with the right mast. The sail felt terribly hard to sail. A huge lot of physical engagement, only to get far from proportional performances. On the same day I was on my 7.0 (I will not disclose the brand) that felt way easier and softer to get going, much easier to accellerate and able to deliver much better performances on the reach with hugely nicer handling. Maybe in the hands a PWA racer, fit, trained and very… Read more »