GOYA BANZAI 4.7M 2014 TEST REVIEW
Although a lot of the behaviour sounds better oriented to lightweights, heavier sailors and/or those looking to drive larger boards with as small a rig as possible will be happy enough.
Like most modern sails, there’s a definite minimum downhaul setting to add tension and shape and get the head/leech twist functioning, but the outhaul is the main tool to tune for the conditions. The two clew ring choices also offer further options for wind range and preferred styles of stance and control of the power through the mastfoot. We liked a looser outhaul setting in onshore El Médano but could feel a more neutral feel with it flatter, which might suit more sideshore situations.
“This new Banzai is lighter, more flexible and has a better forward feeling in the hands, plus it offers better high wind control in all sizes. The Banzai has explosive low-end power and a very direct feel. All wave and wave style sailing conditions are a blast with this sail, from down the line waves to onshore waves and freewave sailing. The Banzai is a top level progressive performance sail delivering ultimate power waveriding and jumping. Very well suited to multifin boards.”
Due to some logistical delays the Goya sails arrived late to the test and as such our priority was to get them out on the water as soon as possible before we had to hand them back! This meant they missed the comprehensive inspections and evaluations we make of build quality and features. However the news is good as the Banzai boasts twin clew positions, a really ‘built’ looking scrim and x-ply body with Kevlar x-ply perimeter panel construction as well as carbon stretch-control radials.
Outline: Although the Banzai is one of the original 4-battens, this latest incarnation is actually quite high aspect with a moderate luff curve, narrow ‘reduced’ head and straight leech.
The instant impression on launching with the Banzai is that it’s got plenty of drive and power – force that’s all effective and refined and not exactly tugging your arms out of their sockets. The balance is nicely poised and the general air is of a low-energy-to-sail product – this isn’t the kind of rig you square up to and fight! As a result, early planing is easy and a pleasure. One thing we noticed was that the skin is super clean – always looking creaseless – even over rough water and when the board is banging around – behaviour that amplifies the smooth ride and that definitely motivates you to try moves, as you’re not worrying about what’s in your hands. The same can be said on the wave face. The Banzai can go neutral quickly and has some backhand feedback when set fuller, all while being very throwabout and nimble in the hands so you can concentrate on surfing without focusing on what the rig’s doing. There are other sails in this group offering faster acceleration and more obvious pressure for jumping, but in powered-up conditions you won’t be lacking for power when it comes to lift-off.
A light and rugged choice offering efficient drive and fingertip balance for the full gambit of wavesailing conditions. Another superbly ‘invisible-feeling’ Goya product.