The 4-batten wave wonder weapon from Witchcraft: With the Slayer, the premium sailing brand meets the high demands of windsurfers in terms of performance, durability and lightness. The Slayer means serious business, aimed to delivery stable reliable power. Like where motocross has moved away from the more direct but nervous 2 stroke engines to more reliable and predictable 4 stroke engines, we wanted the sails power delivery to be very smooth and stable to be able to do more with the wave and hit the lip where you want to hit it. The Slayer´s higher aspect ratio also gives more power on the rail to drive the board. You can make tighter harder driven bottom turns than you could before without getting thrown off balance or the clew catching the water or lip.
It is quite unique with a morphing seam shape through the range, with each size up, seam shape increases slightly to allow you to take a smaller big size so to speak. This also means the bigger sizes are also very good for float n ride, when set full the Slayer has a “turbo boost”. Even higher up it gets shape where there is more wind, especially between waves. Like this it delivers a lot more power, even when you think it´s too light to go out. In its fuller setting, the power delivery is very stable and the sail can still depower well because battens want to flatten by themselves. Set flatter, the Slayer becomes more direct, yet still smooth and stable. Heavy sailors love the power, light sailors love the stable predictable behaviour and precision.
The smaller sizes are flatter to handle high winds better. Our teamriders in Pozo did not want to have to go down to too small a size, you still want something in your hands, so the smaller sizes are increasingly designed for high wind control. So in effect the whole range covers a bigger wind range than the sizes indicate.
The dacron luff panel and PVC window gives a softer feel with the ability to go neutral allowing the rider to concentrate on the wave and not the sail. The higher aspect ratio also keeps the boom shorter and gives more room to maneouvre the sail, to be able to lean it more into the turn, allowing to make tighter turns and get closer to the lip. As luff length is more important than area, higher aspect sails are more efficient so you can rig around 0.3 to 0.5m² smaller than with other brands. The Slayer has the centre of effort located higher and forwards, placing the rider into a more upright, manoeuvre-oriented position and moving the sail around in turns has more effect. It also makes water starting between waves, where there is less wind down below, easier and faster to get out of trouble.
As we are very experienced sail repairers as well, we can safely say that you will not be able to find a better built sail. The sail is built to handle getting washed by waves, without ripping or overstretching and loosing it´s crisp feel. A sail that keeps its shape feels lighter than a physically light sail that can´t keep its shape as well, either because its overstretched, less seam shape or has less battens.
-bigger wind range
-can be set very grunty for float n ride conditions
-smooth power delivery
-More drive and control in the bottom turn
-Very agile for tight, fast maneuvers
-Faster water starting
-Highest durability with moderate weight
The Slayer is best paired with the more dedicated high grip wave boards like our Wave, Haka or Reaper or similar boards from other brands.
Windsurf.co.uk test november 2018 on the Slayer 5.0:
This is the first opportunity we have had to test a Witchcraft sail, and have to say we were mightily impressed with the Slayer´s vast tuning range, employing both rotation and seam shaping to significantly alters its character between its various “sets”.
Rigged on one of the brand’s Broomstick 90% masts and set for light airs, the Slayer requires minimal downhaul and only a little outhaul (in Bouke’s own words: “The sails like it to be rigged “bad”!”). The bottom two battens retain rotation around the mast, whilst the draft displays a deep profile placed high and forwards, the leech remaining relatively tight along its length. On the water this forced shape is soon increased further as the wind fills, allowing the excess luff sleeve and Dacron luff panel to deepen the draft’s camber. So much so in fact that the sail bags out to hit the other side of the boom, particularly if you have a narrow profiled boom. As a result the bottom end grunt generated by the Slayer is impressive – the delivery soft and manageable thanks to the luff panel, yet the sail feeling firm and punchy in the hands – the mast flexing and surging forwards with every well-timed pump. A masterful weapon for float and ride, it can get you out into the line-up quickly, before feeling compact and balanced in transition, with a dynamic measured response. It doesn’t go completely neutral as it’s eased out, yet the softness and balance of the power allows it to be used to good effect, driving positively through the turn. As the wind increases, the sail’s set can be revisited, an increase in tension pulling the battens away from the mast to reduce, even annul rotation, whilst the pre-shape in the seam remains present. With less depth or breathability, the nature of the sail’s feedback is altered, becoming more direct and crisp in response, although the profile remains reassuringly stable, the leech twisting off to circumvent erratic gusts. Interestingly, the reference setting for the outhaul is to use both clew eyelets, fixing the boom right in the middle. From there, you can adjust according to conditions or preference – a micro-refinement in an otherwise vast tuning range.
The Slayer has a massive tuning range, altering its delivery style dramatically along the way. Smooth dependable power combined with stunning stability and real handling ease, it puts functionality and durability at the fore rather than any superficial niceties.
Windsurf Journal (Germany) on the Slayer 5.0 2017:
“The rigging range of the Slayer is very variable, it always requires some downhaul but it can be sailed pretty full but also flatter. The deep shape gives the Slayer a lot of drive to get planing early. It´s softer character helps when sailing through chop or also bigger waves. The control at the top end is wunderfull in the flatter setting but it likes to be adjusted at the boom a bit as well, then it can deliver a lot of fun for demanding sailors. It can be leaned into the turn quickly, offers drive but also can be neutralised.”
“Summary: The Slayer is a really good sail, which can claim to be included in the elite circle of the absolute allround 4 batten sails. Even if the Slayer does not reach absolute top results because of its slightly higher weight. But this robust sail is probably still looking better after 10 years of full sunshine than many high-tech sail after 3 months at the North Sea”
Tested in heavy shorebreaks!
|Model 2023||size**||Compare to||luff*||Recommended Broomstick||Alternative Broomstick or constant flex mast||boom*||weight*||R.R.P. in €|
|Slayer||3.7||3,8-4,0||365-367 (vario)||370 top + 340 base||370||138-144||2.8||767|
|Slayer||4.0||4,1-4,4||374-376||370 top + 340 base||370||140-146||3||776|
|Slayer||4.5||4,7-5.0||402-404||400 top + 370 base||400||145-152||3.2||798|
|Slayer||5.2||5,4-5.7||426-429||430 top + 400 base||400||160-167||3.5||839|