Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2010 Northsails Ice Review

To put it short, it's hands down the best sail I've ever used. I weigh 170 lbs (77 kilos) and use the 2010 Ices for 5.3 and smaller. The 2010 Ice carries over the power and then some from last years sails. The major change is the double clew grommet. The Ices have always been extremely sensitive to outhaul adjustments. By pulling the outhaul another 3cm you would go from full power to no power. For 2010 they took it even further. The outer clew grommet gives the sail a similar feel to the 2009 sails with lots of power and direct handling. The inner grommet setting is a very new feeling. The sail just twists off so far making it very soft and have a huge top end. I've had a chance now to sail 3.7, 4.2, 4.7, and 5.3 Ices along with my 5.9 Duke and across the board the double clew grommet works just as well with all the sizes. When I was getting too overpowered to try tricks, I simply changed the outhaul to the inner grommet and I've got total control again. It really is amazing! It's not like going from a 5.3 to a 4.7 but it's like changing the 5.3 to a 5.0 with a quick adjustment.

Another great thing about all these different settings is that you can really get any sail you want in just one sail. If you like the soft feel, use the inner setting, if you like a very reactive sail, use the outer setting. On top of all these adjustments, north now offers an "HD" Full X-Ply version for maximum durability. Can't ask for more than that! I took the HD Ice in the 3.7 and it was really nice too.

The Ice works just as well for freestyle as it does for waves. When the sail has wind in it, it gets a very deep pocket in it giving it all the power. What is unique is that when you try to make the sail go neutral, it goes perfectly flat. So whether you're trying an air funnel, or just a regular tack, the Ice will help you out with it's amazing handling. Going into a jibe or going down the line on a wave the Ice also goes totally neutral. It just feels so light.

If there ever was a time to buy a new sail, the 2010 Northsails Ice would be it. I really can't say enough good things about the 2010 Ice.

Pictures really don't do the new colors justice, but here are a few of my 2010 4.7 Ice.

Double clew grommets

Oversized pulleys make down-hauling simple

Boom length settings on the mast sleeve. As the boom goes up, the distance gets longer so check here for your outhaul setting. I find it best to leave it at the minimum outhaul settings. I actually use mine at 161cm or 162cm where I have the boom mounted here.

Always thinking about durability North puts plastic coating on wearable spots like on the mast tip, batten ends, and here on the foot stitching to prevent abrasion from the nonskid on the boards.

Admiring my 2010 4.7 Ice. Oh when can I use you again......


  1. It does look nice, but I still think the Ezzys have a bit more solid build quality. People don't tend to change their kit as much over here, so durability is really really important.

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  3. Hey Howard,

    The Ezzy is built well, that's what they make themselves known for. I think the new ICE HD is really going to challenge the Ezzy though in the build dept. The shop I ride for, Ocean Air Sports, sells both Ezzy and North, so I'm very familiar with both brands. My 3.7 Ice HD is VERY well built, maybe even surpassing Ezzy. Then with the Ices you get such better performance, and handling you'd really be giving up a lot every time you go out to MAYBE hang onto a sail longer. By the way, I still see some of my 2001 norths on the water. That would put them at over 9 seasons in use and counting.

  4. thanks Mike..I bought one off of Taty and LOVED it..but had to sell it to pay a bill...damn..lousy economy impacting my sailing..phooey

  5. Mike, I just got 2 HD's and a regular ice after testing it up in the delta. I tried alot of the 2010 gear, but nothing handles quite like the ice. It's great for onshore waves, down the line, and freestyle. Was else could I ask for? oh yea, the HD's are bomb proof. I can't believe the range those two grommets give it either.
    I'm going get at least two more to complete the quiver. Great review!

  6. Chachi,

    Next time I see you, we should test the Ice HD (x-ply) against the regular version of the Ice to see if there's a difference in performance.



  7. I found the monofilm to be a bit crisper and slightly more responsive, but barely. I agree, there needs to be a head to head test to know for sure.

  8. I am switching from Ezzy to ICE HD. However I wonder about masts and how the North ICE fits on the Ezzy hookipa masts (I have two 4.00 and I can't affort to switch to North masts as well - at least not this season.

    I saw you didn't use the white North masts so I wonder what do you use, and if you tried the Ezzy masts and if so, how does that work out.

    I read some articles about it, and it seems that Ezzy masts and North masts are quite similar in terms of bending curves.


  9. How does luffing compare w. Ezzy? Does the Ezzy still require a big pop of the lowest batten?

  10. SO far the Ezzy mast works fine in the North Sails I've tried as follows;

    2010 Ice 4.7 Ezzy 400
    2010 Ego 4.2 Ezzy 370
    2010 Ego 4.7 Ezzy 370 bottom, 400 top and with the 370 top. I preferred the 400 top as it allows for my shortest extension. The feeling, light powerful and reactive.

  11. Sorry, haven't looked back this far at posts in a looong time. I use the NoLimitz masts, which are the exact same mast as the Ezzy right down to the fittings. They work perfect and 1/2 the price of the Norths. By the way i've used both the NoLimitz Original Skinny and the Sumo and they both work great, so the Ezzy will be just fine.