GOYA VOLAR 105L 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Volar is new to the Goya range for 2017, marketed as their ‘thin freeride’ option sitting next to the more tradition Carrera freeride shapes. There are four sizes available, this 105 being the smallest, with each design solely produced in the brand’s ‘Full Carbon’ construction, including a carbon deck “for maximum stiffness and lightness”. Comparing the design to the others in the group, it is quite eye catching, with a wide rounded outline and a particularly thin profile. The most noticeable attribute, however, is just how low the shoulders and nose are, making the deck shape ‘ironing board’ flat! On the underside, there is a hard edge to the rail of the board throughout, albeit the tuck starts early, and the hull possesses the popular combination of vee with double concave, becoming pronounced in the mid-section. Dressed in blood red graphics and supplied with a quality MFC fin and straps, one point worthy of note is that the front strap inserts have twice the spread of the back inserts, providing a mass of options to suit every gait.
“The newly launched Volar is our ultimate windsurf board, to learn, grow and be enjoyed at all levels. The board is fast and accelerates with each gust of wind. On a straight line or gybing, the board rides naturally and stable, giving the rider all the confidence to push their own level at every move. With its thinner profile, on the water or in the air the new Volar feels like an extension of your body.”
On the water, the Volar is certainly from the ‘new breed’ camp of freeride boards. Wide, stable and easy underfoot at rest, it releases and accelerates the instant power is provided, feeling alive and gunny from the off. The nose shape gives the impression the board means business, sitting low and hunting for the next gust, yet the board’s flat deck and width means its character remains easily applicable for the progressing rider. As with most boards in this group, there are a seemingly infinite number of footstrap setup permutations, due to the number of plugs, and this is even more apparent on the Volar. Move the straps forward and inboard and it tempers the board’s nature, but move them outboard and you feel your stance is right out on the rails, providing the capacity to really push more power into the board. It is fast on all points of sail, rising up and flying on the fin; so much so in fact that going upwind requires a degree of subtlety and finesse to reduce the risk of spin-out. The fin compliments the board for the most part, but gives way on occasion when really pushed and pointing high. As the conditions turn on, the Volar retains its crisp, direct feel, yet combines it with a secure dependency that helps to provide confidence as you enter heavy seas. The hull shape does its part, keeping the ride smooth and board planted. Yet, above all this, it was in the gybe that we all really became captivated with the Volar. Feeling loose yet dependable upon entry, it grips into the corners beautifully, the thin rails penetrating the water like a knife through butter, the early tuck helping to retain traction, whilst the hard edge maintains speed throughout.
The Volar displays the true potential of the wide and thin concept, making its lively and engaging riding style easily accessible to most. And that’s before you’ve got to the gybe mark…
Other sails in this test: