GOYA BANZAI X PRO 6.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
A light dynamic powerhouse for making the most of marginal conditions, the Banzai is a manoeuvre-focussed rider’s dream and really impressed us with its resolute handling over a surprising wind range.
The Banzai is Goya’s four batten power wave sail and is included here since the brand’s established two-year lifecycle means the Nexus 5.9m (tested last season) remains unchanged. So we have the opportunity to see how this, the second largest size in the Banzai range, compares in this crossover category. The Banzai itself is available in two different constructions, the standard using a clear Bi-Ply in its main panels, or alternatively x-ply in this the dearer X Pro version. Material choice and consideration throughout this sail is of the highest quality, such as the carbon stretch control tendons extending out from the clew, the titanium rings used for the two clew eyelets, or the brand’s well-established ‘Rip Stop’ material in the luff sleeve. Rigged on a 100 RDM mast, it sets beautifully, without a crease or blemish in its panels, providing a real sense of the craftmanship and lengths of deliberation that designer Jason Diffin pours into his designs. Easy to downhaul, the Banzai 6.0m sets with less luff curve than most in the group, the two lowest battens retaining plenty of rotation around the mast, whilst the leech falls away to the prescribed mark at the start of the top mini-batten. The only four battened sail on test and boasting the highest aspect, with the longest luff and shortest boom length, it would be a good benchmark to gauge what other options are available in this size sail.
“Unique to the Banzai X 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.”
Used in marginal winds, the Banzai is light and easy in the hands at rest and responds superbly to gusts. Power delivery is crisp and precise, which, couple with the sail’s pumping response, makes it a formidable weapon for making the most of fluky conditions. The reduced luff curve breathes life into the mast and allows it to flex away and spring back to its datum point, resulting in a punch of power, usefully surging the board forward. Once going the Banzai settles into a comfortable upright stance. Its speed is respectable and is certainly comfortable for long periods of use, yet the most impressive part of the sail is its handling, remaining incredibly balanced and crisp in the hands. Despite its height and area, it doesn’t feel unwieldy and was very happy being used for manoeuvres around a break. The centre of effort is high and forward, pulling the rider over the board, and going neutral as it is eased out. As the wind increases, we were expecting the Banzai to come unstuck, due to its four-batten structure and softer nature; but apply more tension and drop down to the lower clew eyelet, and its stability was refreshingly up to the task! It’s not one for really locking and blasting, but neither did it exhibit any behavioural issues, remaining balanced and controllable in the hands. The leech twists off beautifully, keeping the power focussed forward and useable. We could see the Banzai being a real champion in any manoeuvre-oriented rider’s quiver, allowing them to enjoy the conditions when their peers are forced to remain ashore. And with its impressive range it could easily fill the gap until it’s time to change down to a 5.0m … even 4.7m at a push.
GOYA BANZAI X PRO 6.0 2021 TEST REVIEW
Luff: 453 cm
Boom: 173 / 176 cm
Ideal Mast: Goya 430 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.
OTHER SAILS IN THIS TEST
THE LINE UP