PRO 115L 2019
The Bolt has been in the Goya lineup as their freerace contender for four seasons now, with the range extended from three to five sizes in 2017. The three largest sizes, (which includes this 115) now come as standard with foil-ready boxes, providing extra versatility and a pathway into the most exciting development in the sport in recent times. At 241cm in length, the Bolt is one of the longest in the group, made all the more prominent by its low-rockered profile and hollowed out deck shape. The straps are the quality MFC Velcro versions we have come to know and love, holding their form well and being easy to adjust. They set large as standard, but can be pinched in by spinning their asymmetrical washer inserts, whilst the fin supplied is a large Deep Tuttle H1 from the same house and suits the board well. Available solely in Goya’s lightweight Pro construction, incorporating a full carbon deck, the Bolt 115 offers a number of strap position options, the front strap plugs spaced wide apart to accommodate riders with a broader gait. Clean and uncomplicated in its sanded silverscale livery, the board certainly looks business like, with cutouts in the tail and the fin box placed further back than any other board here.
“The Bolt is basically our user friendly race board, and comes all ready to enjoy the new foiling experience. As on our Proton race program, the Bolt comes with the same tail cut-outs in combination with the lightest tail release that helps reduce the wetted surface area, providing you with endless acceleration and comfort.”
With its longer length and large fin, the Bolt is a master at making the most of more marginal conditions. Directionally very stable, as soon as there’s a whiff of enough power, the board responds, rising purposefully onto the plane and accelerating quickly underfoot. It feels alive and exciting, capable of carrying a large sail and rider weight, whilst still having the life you’d expect of a 115L board. In flat water and fluky winds, the Bolt was in its element, powering well through its fin to point high and cruise unhindered through lulls. As the conditions pick up and the sea state becomes turbulent, the Bolt’s low rocker does begin to show its susceptibilities, the rails catching around the front foot and making the ride somewhat wet. A little playing with the board’s setup (such as moving the straps and deck-plate back, and opting for a smaller fin) can refine the stance and ultimately improve the board’s performance in these conditions. Control is not an issue at any stage, the Bolt settling if you relax into a more upright stance. But to compete and keep pushing does require concentration and input from the rider to maintain trim. In the gybe the Bolt feels chunky in the tail compared to others in the group and responds best to a proactive, forceful style through the turn, particularly in choppy conditions. The long length, sharp rails and low rocker do add up to a relatively stiff nature through the turn, but drive in positively and the Bolt is willing to respond. We also had the chance to put a foil in the Bolt to check its flying credentials. Setup in foiling is key and there are a few features of the Bolt that make its foiling suitability quite niche, the most prominent one being the rearward position of the fin box in the board. It means that the board foils with a back-foot heavy stance, which is hard to overcome irrespective of tuning. The most applicable foil would therefore have a very forward focussed lift-point to help provide some balance. So whilst modern developments in board design continue to push the envelope, if you’re looking for a clean, distilled freerace board with a classic feel and plug-and-play temperament, the Bolt could be the one for you.
Conventional in outline and feel, the Bolt is a light-wind machine and thrives on making the most of marginal conditions, when others of similar size are struggling to get going..
Other sails in this test: