The Poison is billed as the “powerhouse wave” and its vaunted characteristics are comfortable power and instant response. It adds freeride ability to its other ‘specialisations’ of wave and bump-&-jump. Both these definitions seem pretty accurate, even if ‘powerhouse’ does slightly exaggerate the pulling power of the Poison.
Set: We found both sails quite easy to rig and not that critical to a specific set. Both set with plenty of rotation in the lower two battens and moderate twist in the leech. The Poison needs slightly more downhaul tension to achieve a similar amount of head twist and derotation, and sets slightly fuller with greater foil tension. Neither sail needed much positive outhaul. We set the sails on 4.00m Gaastra 100% and 75% masts which we have previously measured as having a stiff-top bend curve. The use of flex-top masts would increase the head flex, stiffen the lower foil and further increase rotation, probably damaging performance.
Summary: Relatively powerful and direct in feel with relatively low twist and stiff foil. It powers up quicker than most on test, stays very comfortable, and enjoys a betterthan- average top end with good balance and manoeuvrability.
Matthew: “It sits comfortably forwards and upright waiting for you to do something, but absorbing gusts and bumps and retaining a good direct feel. It coped well with differing weight sailors, with exactly the same set. Build-wise it’s not the toughest – but it’s the one that puts the biggest grin on your face to sail and was my favourite.”
Emile: “It’s a very good sail and pretty similar in feel to the Manic. I didn’t like it quite as much because I found the power less smooth and the foil stiffer. It felt as if it had more ‘grunt’ but didn’t actually seem to deliver any more power than the Manic. It also seemed to rotate particularly fast in forwards.”
Ian: “A very nice sail in both sizes with sharp handling and immediate power yet still very easy to use. It’s hard to imagine a style of sailing that it wouldn’t suit well – but like Emile, I personally prefer the slightly softer and more manoeuvrable feel of the Manic.”