I know, I know. Everyone says the new sails just keep getting better and better. Well, everyone is right. The 2011s are very similar in feel to the 2010s. I've had the 2011s for about a month of testing now. I finally managed to get out on the 4.2 and 3.7 recently and I've been out on the 4.7 and 5.3 a ton.
As always, North is a very high quality sail with the 5 year warranty to back it up. There is an attention to detail in the norths not found in most other manufacturers. It's still the easiest sail to rig on the market. Just set the downhaul to the sail markings and outhaul to the numbers on the luff sleeve by the boom cutout that are dead on. The Ice HD is back again this year in a full X-ply construction. I opted again for the monofilm versions for ultimate handling and easy viewing of the next wave I'm about to slash, or boat about to run me over.
The handling of the 2011 sails is a bit lighter feeling in the hands than last year, and that's saying a lot, because one of the online mags stated after testing a boatload of sails that the 2010 Ice was the lightest handling sail in the group. Now the 2011 is even lighter feeling! The low end of the Ice increased for 2010 and but couldn't tell a difference this year. Still lots of smooth power and I'm still always the first one planing. What I did notice however was the ability of the 2011s to stay even more locked in when overpowered. The center of effort just stays right where the harness line markings on the sail are. Another noticeable improvement for those that are up for some freestyle trickery is that the 2011 is much more controlled in all the duck moves. It goes neutral really easy and just lays into the perfect position for a duck tack, funnel, kono or culo. The improvement of handling was most notable in the 5.3 size. It's very close in feel to the 4.7 now.
All in all, the 2011 ice is as good as or better at everything than the 2010. Little improvements here and there are really adding up. Although you might not notice too much of a difference going from a 2010 to a 2011 if you haven't been sailing the 2010 all year, I recently sailed a 2008 5.3 Ice and the difference compared to a 2011 very noticeable.
For more info on the Northsails Ice go to the NORTHSAILS WEBSITE
Here are a few pics of the 3.7 in action in winds gusting over 40!
And one of the 4.7 in action at Heckscher along side it's older brother (2009).