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GA Poison

GA’s windsurf legacy knows no bounds and their foray into the wingfoil market is steaming ahead with plenty of exciting new products in the pipes. The Poison is the all-round offering from Gaastra with six sizes available from 2.8 through to 7.2m.

Off the bat, it’s evident that Gaastra haven’t played it safe in terms of design, and the Poison wing has plenty of unique and innovative features. The modular handle system is cleverly designed with the handles slotting into some neat plastic tracks and locking in place with simple M6 Torx bolts. The handles are mid diameter and offer a decent tactile EVA grip which looks as though it will prove to wear well in the long term.

The strut is a unique stepped-back design with a considerable angle between the handles. It seems to work well ergonomically, presenting the handle to the rider much further back than you normally would find it, but enabling a straighter rear arm position. This takes a little getting used to, but for a wing that drives predominantly from the back arm, it makes a lot of sense. A profiled section of ripstop forces some canopy depth in the center of the wing, and after the elbow joint the canopy is directly attached to the strut giving a firm and direct feeling when pumping. Inflation is handled by two separate iSUP-style valves on both the strut and leading edge and allow rapid pump up and deflation. The leash is a very practical solution, with elasticated webbing providing decent stretch and retraction and a sturdy constricting wrist cuff from high-grade Velcro securing itself solidly.

The canopy layout includes some modern seaming placement techniques to balance load in high pressure areas, and two fiberglass battens are employed per side to minimize any trailing edge flutter. Two windows are placed mid-way up the canopy and are made from a pliable PVC. Canopy tension in the front of the wing is quite tight and loosens towards the trailing edge.
The front tube has a large span and a medium level of dihedral, an extra layer of double Dacron stiffens the wing in the central section, which has a relatively high diameter, and there’s a pronounced taper out towards some much thinner and efficient looking wingtips. Build-wise, they’ve aired on the side of sturdy with a Kevlar material gracing most of the tube segmentation and protecting the wingtips from scuffing thoroughly. If you’ve got a rocky launch on a lake, this could be a consideration.

In the hands, the Poison like to drive off the back arm, which will give any ex-windsurfers a familiar user experience. The canopy depth provides plenty of instant power, and sheet-and-go ease of use, and the low end on the 6.2m is formidable. The airframe is relatively stiff in the center, but you can generate a little butterfly effect in the slimmer wingtips which have a little reflex, and feel comfortable in gusts. Once foiling, it functions well on apparent wind and sits quite aggressively upwind with a slight tendency to backwind if sheeted too far, which can take a little getting used to. From a point of sail perspective, it ticks all the boxes, and it’s a solid wing for flatwater blasting. For freestyle, the solid handle configuration makes it an easy wing to rotate, and it has enough float to land relatively comfortably. In waves, the stiff front handle lets you correct the wing with ease, and the dihedral does a good job of getting the wing to remain stable in the neutral position and fly forward. Its weight distribution prefers a flag out and trail at the hip in onshore situations.

Overall, the Poison feels solid in the hands and will suit a rider that likes to blast around with speed and wants an engaging experience. Its forward speed potential definitely suits a faster foil.

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