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Freeriders looking for dependable power rather than speed may find their perfect sail and it’s no wonder you’re looking for an Ezzy Cheetah review if you can relate.
This no-cam sail can generate some speed on the water and some fans of the Ezzy line may even consider this one of the line’s faster options, but you can’t mistake this sail for a racing windsurf sail.
This sail is a classic free ride sail and exemplifies the essence of the sport with its easy handling and impressive wind range.
Though named for a fast cat, and though it is one of the quicker free ride sails available and user friendly for all skill levels, you’ll soon see that this is a free ride board all the way.
What’s new in the 2021 Ezzy Cheetah
The Ezzy Cheetah has been around for more than a few seasons. Designed by renowned expert in sail design, David Ezzy, this sail benefits from a heritage of design and innovation spanning more than 35 years.
This homage to heritage may be the reason the Cheetah is relatively unchanged this season.
On the surface, you’ll notice a visual makeover, but the construction remains consistent with the Cheetah models before it to preserve this classic sail’s focus on durability, ease-of-use, and long riding free rides.
The visual makeover breathes fresh life into a sail that keeps on sailing, now in a new blue-red or blue-yellow color way for more dramatic appeal.
More options for a truly custom-feeling free ride experience
The cheetah comes in 8 different sail sizes to offer riders the opportunity to truly customize their experience.
Sales are available as small as 5.5 sq.m up to 9.5 sq.m, with options at every .5 sq.m in between.
The smaller sails feature 6 battens while the 7.5 sq.m sail and those larger all incorporate 7 battens into their design.
Built for rugged durability
The Cheetah maintains its focus on durability in the 2021 model.
Ezzy’s namesake and expert designer, David Ezzy himself, is known in the industry to have said that a sail should last forever.
This emphasis on long lasting quality and durability definitely carries through to the Cheetah’s design and construction.
As with every Ezzy sail, the Cheetah incorporates Spectra-X reinforced x-ply, using this extensively throughout the sail because of its high resistance to abrasion and wear.
The brand eschews monofil because of how quickly the material cracks and breaks, but incorporates spectra-x because this lightweight alternative is engineered to withstand the elements.
The colored panels feature a ripstop scrim-X.
The luff sleeve made from WeftStop, and anti-rip material capable of withstanding even overpowered conditions without losing shape or structure
Every detail exhibits the attention paid to durability in the Ezzy Cheetah’s design.
Prior to construction, every seam is glued and each is covered before sewing.
A PVC window enhances this design, providing resistance in impact while enhancing the board’s feel, creating softness the rider will notice on flat water and in chop.
Easy set-up and take down
The Cheetah is a great option for recreational windsurfers interested in optimizing every resource to experience the longest ride.
With the Cheetah, you won’t waste much time rigging or tearing down, leaving you more time for free riding ease.
This sail features calibrated rigging guides. These gauges ensure you achieve the correct set every time and provide a foolproof reference that newer windsurfers will appreciate.
Fine Tuning and tweaking your ride for responsiveness when winds change is as easy as the setup – down hauling until the gauge lines up with the mast bottom will dial you in for the ride.
If you’re new to windsurfing, the rigging process can seem daunting. Check out this video that walks you through rigging the Ezzy Cheetah for proof of this sail’s user-friendly rigging design.
The Cheetah’s Shape Characteristics
The Cheetah is one of a growing number of no-cam sails to hit the market in the last few years.
These sails boast east rigging and easier jibes due to their shape and construction rather than reliance on a cam.
The sewing design incorporated in the Cheetah’s production creates the look of a molded sail without demanding the more advanced technical skills and physical strength of the cammed varieties.
We talk about the luff curve and its ability to influence a sail’s handling.
The Cheetah’s features a very minimal luff curve.
Sails with less luff curve incorporated into their design make down hauling easier
The mast of the Cheetah has been strategically pre-bent.
This is an approach that is becoming more popular as a mechanism for increasing the handling of a sail, especially on higher wind days.
Pre-bent shapes broaden this sail’s wind range and focus wind for more consistent surface tension across the skin of the sail.
The Cheetah’s degree of pre-bent spans almost the entire length of the sail’ leading edge.
This lowers the battens so that they create a fully pulled away effect or, depending on wind conditions, just barely make contact with the mast.
This sail is not one that rides with a wholly connected feel.
Six battens in the structure of the Cheetah are strategically located to create some distance with the top batten fixed right at the top of the sail.
What this means for the ride
The Cheetah is a well-oiled machine of a freeride sail and its design ensures consistent, easy performance across a wide range of wind conditions.
In marginal winds, the Cheetah is capable of generating massive bottom end power.
When the winds are low, rigging on minimum settings will still see plenty of shape and depth to the Cheetah’s profile.
The minimal curve of the uff sleeve allows for movements, generating that bottom end power and amping up enough torque for easy planing even when paired with a grippy board.
Its impressive performance in lower wind conditions means the Cheetah is a great freeride sail for riders who want to stand there and enjoy the ride while the sail does the work.
On the other hand, some riders like to take a more hands-on, involved approach in their riding style.
For these riders, the Cheetah responds with lots of pop and lift.
The space between the mid-battens, that distance we mentioned earlier, generates real snap with pumping.
Variable winds? No problem
The Cheetah is designed for a wide range of wind speeds with an eye towards delivering a consistent, freeride feel no matter the conditions.
This attention to consistency in delivery resulted in a sail capable of adapting easily when variable conditions result in changes to the wind speed.
With the Cheetah, you’ll be able to keep sailing with only minor tweaks to the outhaul set because this sail is engineered to absorb changes in speed.
This system provides versatility enough that larger, more significant changes can be countered with a bit more adjustment on the downhaul, but variability in winds doesn’t mean variability in ride.
How does the Ezzy Cheetah handle maneuvers?
The Cheetah may be the essence of a freeride sail, but it can still hold its own in the maneuver department.
The Ezzy Cheetah provides plenty of power and the necessary dependability to let riders enter tight corners with confidence.
The deep profile of this sail ensures you’ll never go neutral mid-transition with just a little input from a rider willing to do a little pumping for the maneuver.
Foiling is a definite option with the Cheetah
Foiling is quickly gaining a following across all board sports and windsurfing is no different.
Free riders are drawn to foiling because the addition of a foil completely changes to performance and feel of a windsurf board, creating a much more playful, dynamic ride even in low wind conditions.
The Cheetah is a favorite among foilers because its construction is perfect for achieving the playful feel of foiling.
Because this sail is built to perform in light winds and features a higher, more forward focused center of effort, it creates a tightly connected mid-leech that thrills riders in flight.
Ezzy Cheetah Review – best viewed as a freeride sail
Quality sails are often capable and rated for multiple styles of riding and the Cheetah is no different.
However, though Ezzy insists on keeping the Cheetah in among the sails competing as freerace sails, its construction and performance make this a much better choice for those looking for an easier riding freeride sail.
The Cheetah isn’t built with the extra gear and technology of dedicated freerace sails, but it will deliver a fast freeride that opens the sport to riders of any skill level.