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Choosing an Asymmetrical Spinnaker

Choosing the right spinnaker doesn’t need to be confusing!  It’s important to remember that the names given to the different cuts (A1, S2, etc.) are a rough guide and each sail is purpose built for the boat and intended use.  Sails using an “S” or “A” signifies whether the sail is a symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnaker.  The number following signifies the intended use; odd numbers are designed for reaching and even numbers for running.  A lower number calls for use in lighter wind i.e. an A2 is a large, light-air asymmetrical spinnaker meant for running, whereas an A3 is made for medium-air reaching. 

A2 
TWA 120-160 
Wind Speed 0-22 knots 

The workhorse of any racing inventory, the A2 is a full-sized runner designed to maximize downwind VMG in light-air conditions.  Typically the largest and deepest spinnaker in a boat’s inventory, the A2 is a core sail of any racing wardrobe and the king of windward-leeward courses. 

A3 
TWA 80-130 
Wind speed 8-26 knots 

An all-purpose reacher, the A3 is designed to cover a large swath of the sail chart and eat up distance on the course.  Its shape is smaller and flatter than that of an A2, giving it the edge in reaching conditions. The A3 is a must-have sail for any boat doing coastal or offshore racing. 

Code Zero 
TWA 45-110 
TWS 0-25 

The Code Zero earns its name for its unique sailing capabilities. Designed for both upwind and downwind sailing, this sail is truly in a class of its own. Its flat shape and tight luff are guaranteed to upgrade performance at tight-angles and create the widest wind-range of any spinnaker. It is notably the only sail on this list optimized for sailing above a beam reach.  Read more about our Code Zeros here: 

A1/A1.5 
TWA 0-12 
TWS 80-140 

Fully sized and designed to reach, the A1 will keep the boat moving in light conditions. A classic A1 cut is designed to reach across the wind, generally in point-to-point races. The A1.5 is a hybrid sail that uses apparent wind the create boat speed. Compared to the A1, the A1.5 has a longer luff to give it better projection in light air, as well as narrower shoulders than the A2 for better reaching performance. Both variations are great for light air venues.  

A5 
95-150 
15 knots and over 

The A5 is a small, flat sail for blast reaching in big breeze while providing smiles for anyone onboard.  An excellent addition to any boat that sails in big breeze and likes to go fast! 

A4 
TWA 130-170 
TWS 15 knots and over 

The power runner, the A4 is a smaller and stronger version of the A2 purpose-built for big breeze running.  Designed for max rotation at deep angles while keeping the boat under control, the A4 is a necessary addition to any boat racing at heavy air venues! 

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