GOYA BOLT 125L 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Bolt shot onto the market late last year, the 115 we tested really impressing with both speed and ease, and demonstrating that Goya can certainly hold their own in a straight line as well as round the corners. This 125 is the smaller of two new bigger sizes that have been added for the new season, extending the appeal of the range. Available solely in the brand’s full carbon Pro construction, it comes complete with easily adjustable MFC straps and G10 fin, and is dressed in minimal graphics over a heavily hand-sanded finish for weight saving and a business-like appearance. Flat decked and wide in the tail, it looks big in comparison to others, with parallel rails and a scooped deck around the mast track leading to a low-rockered nose shape. The rails are hard and defined in the tail complimented with fancy two-tiered cutouts, whilst the edges soften from the mid-section of the board, becoming quite tucked by the shoulders.
“The boards are basically the same as the smaller Bolts with increased release. The Bolt’s rocker has an almost continuous flat section from behind the mast to the tail, with the lightest release off the tail for unlimited speed and acceleration. A concave deck drives the power of the rig lower and forward on the water. Tail cutouts bring flotation to lower speeds and reduce the wetted area on straight speeding lines, allowing you to forcefully ride on the fin with direct control.”
Used extensively in a wide range of conditions, we have to say we are equally impressed with this 125 as we were of the 115 last year. Wide and stable, it can carry large sails and riders with ease, and responds the instant power is supplied. It accelerates rapidly, sitting high in the water and feeling light and loose underfoot. Partnered with an efficient sail, the Bolt keeps accelerating in gusts and glides through lulls as if immune. It is also fast on every point of sail and gives the rider the confidence to fully explore their sailing area – you can simply go anywhere. It certainly has a freerace nature, skimming over the water’s surface and flying on its fin to feel engaging and fun. And yet it is easy to retain control on the Bolt – if the conditions or water state become too much, you can ease out and adopt a more relaxed stance over the board to temper everything down. The secret, we believe in part, is due to the fin being set 10cm in from the tail, whilst others in the group are 8.5cm. Sounds like a miniscule detail and yet the difference in control that it delivers when the chips are down is certainly noticeable. Manoeuvres are easy to initiate thanks to the Bolt’s planted riding style, the tuck in the shoulder’s rail helping the board to bite and retain its speed, whilst its wide outline provides the time and balance for the re-position on the exit. When the conditions become severe, the Bolt does begin to feel its size, particularly for the lighter rider. In the gybe for example, the wide tail takes a committed riding style to keep engaged. As such it offers the accomplished slippery-ride akin to a slalom platform, with the ease and range to throttle back if desired without feeling you’re dicing with death on the limits.
Fast on all points of sail, the Bolt is a super efficient freerace hull, with the manners and temperament to provide room for error and the life to keep even the most demanding sailor engrossed.
Other sails in this test: