GOYA BANZAI PRO 5.3M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Banzai remains in the Goya Sails range as their 4-batten ‘Powerwave’ option, but for 2017 is now available in either Pro or X Pro construction. The former (tested here, dressed in either blue or yellow scrim in the upper panels) uses what Goya are calling Bi-Ply in the window – a film with the visibility and structure of monofilm yet is claimed to last three times longer; whilst the latter (produced in red or green livery) uses x-ply in its window. Set on a 400cm RDM mast, it is easy to rig, using the visual aid in the upper panel (next to the outer carbon stretch control (CSC) cord), to determine the extent of downhaul required. The sail can then be tuned according to conditions and preference using the ‘Polyclew’ eyelets. It’s a very easy and credible tuning process, even capable of being performed on the fly, in the water. With plenty of fine detailing, a ‘ripstop’ luff sleeve and various weights of scrim throughout its panels, the Banzai is a well thought out and attractive looking sail.
“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 – Banzai will give you the speed, control and confidence you need to push your performance level up.”
We tested the Banzai in 4.7m last year and were very impressed with its tuning ability through the clew eyelets, almost changing the character of the sail depending on the one you used. And we’re pleased to say this 2017 5.3m continues in the same manner. With the correct downhaul applied, allowing the leech to fall away extensively in the upper panel, the Banzai can be setup for use in light, marginal winds using the upper clew eyelet. Lifting the rider into a more upright stance, the sail feels positive and powerful in the hands, capable of making the most of any gust and pushing energy into the board. It also possesses the same hybrid Dacron/scrim luff panel as the 4.7m last year, which influences the delivery style, most noticeably in gusty conditions. The Dacron stretches to enable a deeper draft and tempers the sharpness of the power, whilst the x-ply provides an elastic limit, promoting a crisp, precise nature to the handling. As the wind increases, the drive remains solid and dependable … and yet with easily the shortest boom length in the group the Banzai’s feedback is both useable and purposeful. Turn the wind up another notch and you can rest assured that you have an extra trick up your sleeve, dropping the boom down to the bottom clew eyelet allows the leech to twist open more and keeps the centre of effort locked low and focussed around the rider to anchor control. Comfortable for coastal blasting or bump and jump, the Banzai becomes locked-in, fast and direct, yet offers the balanced power and instant response to make the most of any manoeuvre tight spot.
The 2017 Banzai is effortlessly tuneable through use of its two clew eyelets, providing direct, manageable drive and crisp handling across a massive wind range.
Other sails in this test: