GOYA BANZAI 4.7M 2016 TEST REVIEW
Described as their power wave sail, the four-batten Banzai has come to the forefront of the Goya sail range, being the choice of World Champ Marcilio Browne. Look at it in closer detail and you get a real sense of the sail’s quality, with a new tack fairing (incorporating a rope storage mesh), a 7mil monofilm window, various Carbon Stretch Control strands and lots of x-ply throughout the rest of the panels. The 2016 Banzai also incorporates what Goya are calling a hybrid luff panel, made from half Dacron and half x-ply scrim, designed to provide a smoother power delivery without compromising its precise handling. The extent of downhaul required is clear, thanks to a bold visual aid on top panel, resulting in the leech falling away extensively in the top and to a lesser extent in the mid-leech. With tension applied, there is a moderate to good amount of shape in the foot of the sail, whilst the sail sets relatively flat and neutral above the boom, using the Banzai’s two clew eyelets to fine-tune the sail accordingly.
“The new Banzai provides instant yet flexible power with very light handling alongside massive range in a wide variety of conditions. Equally at home in straight onshore wind and stormy surf, or brushed offshore reef break perfection, the Banzai will give you the speed, control and confidence you need to push your performance level up.”
On the water, the Banzai displayed a true mix of qualities that would be welcomed and appreciated by a broad cross section of sailors, from the novice coastal bump and jumper, to the seasoned large wave junkie. But it is its layout and structure, including the materials used, which really set it apart and make the Banzai so easy to tune. Downhauling the Banzai to the visual dot, irrespective of the conditions, the centre of effort is locked low yet back in the foil, focussed around the rider for crisp response and excellent balance in the hands. The style of feedback provided by the sail can then be determined by choosing one of the two clew eyelets to use – the top for a more direct connection with the power; the bottom for a more locked in controllable stance. This unique tuning ability is due to the eyelets linking directly with the sail’s Carbon Stretch Control seams, making a noticeable difference to the sail’s character. Fast and dependable around a break, the high skin tension of the sail’s x-ply luff panel provides the stability and structure to deal with severe gusts, tempered by a hint of breathability in the thin Dacron luff panel to ease the power delivery. In transition, the short boom and rider-centred power makes for a blend of balanced ease and instant response that will inspire most to push their performance beyond their comfort zone.
With a fantastic tuneable nature, the Banzai proves that the four-batten wave sail has come of age, being as applicable for novice coastal cruising as it is for elite large wave hunting.
Other sails in this test: