SOUL vs. HERO
Tight vs. medium loose leech
It all started back in 2012 when we introduced the first HERO. At this time we did not yet have the IDOL as a dedicated Freestyle sail in our range. Therefore a lot of our Freestyle riders took the HERO for Freestyling. Against the initial idea they rigged the HERO with a fairly tight leech. Since we saw some interesting aspects on the HERO with this trim we started developing the SOUL.
Basically the new SOUL is designed to be rigged with a fairly tight leech whereas the HERO is meant to be rigged with a medium loose leech.
You should also keep in mind that the looseness of the leech automatically defines the amount of sail tension (a looser leech always requires more downhaul tension = higher sail foil tension).
The other difference is that the SOUL comes with a wide luff panel out of elastic Dacron material and a short batten above the boom (which makes for a rather big distance between the foot batten and the first full batten).
With these differences in the design parameters it's pretty easy to describe the differences in performance:
1. Due to the tight leech the SOUL has an enormous low-end power. On the other hand the HERO with its looser leech offers a much better high-end control (overall you can say that for example the SOUL 5.2 covers a similar wind range than the HERO 5.6)
2. Due to the lower sail foil tension plus the rather soft Dacron luff panel the SOUL has a very smooth/soft power delivery
3. Due to the lower sail foil tension the SOUL needs less wind power to fill out. This means that even in sub-planing conditions you already have "something to hold on to". On the other hand the HERO has a much more stable/locked draft position once the wind picks up.
4. Due to a rather big distance between the foot batten and the first full batten you can luff the SOUL at any time. It's not the traditional on-off but a gradual power/de-powering making the SOUL the least technical/exhausting wave sail in our range. Simply spoken a sail for soul-riders.
The HERO on the other hand is a high performing wave sail satisfying even vice World Champion Victor Fernandez.
Important: in waves both sails work best on multi-fin boards.