GOYA BANZAI PRO 5.0 2022 TEST REVIEW
The new Banzai Pro has arrived, its clean and eye-catching visuals characterising its riding style well. Lighter in the hands, it has a softer, more accommodating nature, which will find favour with most. A quality product in every sense.
Whilst adopting a two-year life cycle for their sail and board ranges back in 2020, the Goya Team didn’t sit back and rest on their laurels. The development has continued throughout, with sail designer Jason Diffin calling on input from two of the most pioneering and influential riders today, Marcilio Browne and Kai Lenny, to move the design of their Power Wave on. The name ‘Banzai’ remains, available in either standard Pro construction as seen here, or in the X Pro layup with an x-ply window. This Pro uses the brand’s Bi-Ply film in its window panel – a transparent two-layer laminate, said to last three times longer than standard monofilm, and is available in two colourways, the fluorescent yellow / white being the signature model of Marcilio. Rigged on a Goya Hundred Pro 400 cm RDM, the Banzai is easy to rig and set, displaying a moderate amount of luff curve as the downhaul tension is applied, loosening the leech of the upper panel to the dot located on the stretch control tendon. There’s a progressive amount of looseness down the length of the leech, whilst the sail’s profile is relatively neutral at rest, the lower batten only just retaining contact with the mast. And looking at the Banzai Pro in more detail, there is a real quality to the sail’s materials, layup, features and finish. It’s clear there has been some considerable thought put into its design, and even though it has two titanium clew eyelets incorporated (more on this later), the Banzai Pro tips the scales as the second lightest on test here, at just 3.10 kg.
“Unique to the Banzai Pro design concept is the back-hand throttle control. The sail pulls forward from “low RPMs” and is very balanced, but there is always a little “extra” available off the back hand for when you really need to juice up into a jump or manoeuvre.”
Using the new Banzai Pro in varying conditions and wind strengths, there is certainly plenty of continuity and familiarity between this new 2022 version and its predecessor. The big difference though is just how user-friendly and easy this new version is to get on with, giving it an even wider user appeal. In the past the Banzai possessed clean and obvious power; high skin tension and real drive, which demanded either good technique to command and / or good tuning, playing the two clew eyelets to temper the power delivery when the chips were down. The new Banzai delivers the useable power too, but has a much softer and lighter nature in the hands, with more natural range on one setting. In light airs, the upper clew eyelet can be used to help connect the mid-leech, the draft breathing smoothly into a deeper profile as the pressure builds. The Banzai’s boom length is the shortest in the group, making it feel small and compact at all times, the centre of effort low yet focussed around the rider. This geometry makes it a delight to use in and around a wave break, providing the power and balance to really express. Drive confidently into transitions, and the Banzai goes neutral in an instant as it is eased out, allowing the rider to really feel and surf their board. As the wind increases, a simple drop to the lower eyelet increases the twist in the sail and settles any movement. And it’s in these violent gusty conditions that we really came to appreciate the new Banzai’s softness and smoother handling, twisting efficiently in its upper panels as it remains focussed and balanced in the hands.
GOYA BANZAI PRO 5.0 2022 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 414 cm
Boom: 158 or 161 cm
Ideal Mast: Goya 400 cm RDM
Available Sizes: 3.15, 3.4, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.5, 5.7, 6.0, 6.3.
PRICE: £700.00 PRO X: £715.00