Marco Maywald, rider from Bergamo, has recently completed in Lanzarote the accurate test of the Goya Banzai 4.7 2022/23, the 4 batten Powerwave windsurf sail of the Hawaiian brand. He sent us this article, in which he tells us that the new Banzai is a bit different from previous years.
Windsurfing, test: Goya Banzai 4.7 2022/2023
I bought the sail at the end of 2022. However, there weren't great conditions to try it in local sea waves in recent months with the exception of a session in Sottomarina, Chioggia (Adriatic sea) with a 94l wave in very onshore conditions. So, mainly sessions to Lake Garda with a freestyle board. Therefore I waited for my trip to Lanzarote to be able to try it in different wave and wind conditions. Now I have a complete idea. Here are my impressions.
Let me start by saying that I have been a Goya customer for years. I have owned several Banzai and Guru in sizes from 4.7 to 3.4, over the last 7-8 years and have always appreciated them for their stability, strength and versatility, maybe at the expense of lightness. Well, this is the first thing you notice about the new Goya 2023. The sail weighs about half a kg less than the previous versions. In planing and waveriding the difference is clear! I chose the yellow color (that of M.B. to be clear...) not so much for the aesthetics, which I personally appreciate, but for the best visibility in the water, which is always helpful in case of problems. I chose the standard version and not the X (textured) to have better visibility in the window when riding the waves, especially if the spot is crowded. Higher breakage risk? This was my doubt.
I weigh about 80kg and I started using the Banzai at the lake in flat water with a 93l freestyle board. Wind from 15 to 25 knots. I first rigged the sail according to the manufacturer's instructions. The 4.7 has a luff of 400 cm and this allows you to rig it with both the 370 mast (recommended) and the 400. For me, this is a plus if you want to rig the 4.2 and 4.7 simultaneously with two masts. However with the 400 the sail is stiffer, so it can be good in flat water, but I advise against it in waves. At the same time, when travelling, being able to use a single mast from 4.7 to 3.7 is also an advantage. I mainly rig it with a Goya C90 370 mast from a few years ago (it's positive there hasn't been a radical change in the mast curve), constant curve slightly flex top and the sail is perfect. I also have a challenger 370 C100 constant curve mast. Even with this mast the profile is excellent.
Now, let's come to the sensations in the water. I had the 2021 Banzai 4.7 and found it too powerful for my personal liking.
Then, I switched to the Guru 4.7 of the same year, which was much softer but gave the sensation of having little power, especially with a small board and in the typical Peler conditions, in the lower sail range limit, at Lake Garda.
The Banzai 2023, on the other hand, is a perfect compromise. Just adjust the extension at 28 cm instead of 30 and you immediately gain the power needed to plan with a few less knots.
The sail is always stable and light in the hands. Does the wind increase? Just put the extension back to 30 cm and you immediately get a more loosen leech and the sail returns in control. The double ring on the clew allows you to adjust power and control to your liking. It is also possible to use both rings to have an intermediate position.
But let's get to the behavior in the waves. I tested it in Lanzarote in 4 spots with different wave and wind conditions with an 86l wave board: Las Cucharas with onshore wind and even small waves; Los Charcos with side-side on wind direction, waves up to 2m, and wind intensity at the limit of the sail range; Jameos Del Agua with side wind, and waves from 2 to 4.5m; Tiburon, near the airport, in overpowered conditions, off-shore wind, and waves of 2m.
I'll make it short: the sail performed very well in all conditions. Just change the trim of the rig and immediately you can get what you want from the sail: power or control. Always light in the hands, especially when surfing the waves. In the side conditions of Jameos del Agua, it is where I particularly enjoyed sailing. Going down the wave it is as if the sail were not in your hands, but as soon as power is needed for the cut back or to escape from the wave, the Banzai does its duty immediately. I had quite a few wipes out. A couple of times I went to rocks. The sail prooved tough despite the weight reduction. Indeed, the lightness allows you to lift the sail from the water and turn it quickly to restart and avoid further wipes out.
You may ask yourself: does the sail have any defects? If I have to nitpick, I have noticed that the stitching at the base of the sail near the mast protection has worn away quickly. To tell the truth, I had also noticed it on the other models. Could it be that when you turn the board under the sail, the anti-slip acts like sandpaper on the texture? I don't know, but that's the only drawback.
Conclusion: I will also buy 4.2 and maybe 3.7 as well!
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