“Feels quite a different character to when we tested it previously with the much smaller fin”
“Initiates the gybe really nicely with a lot of grip, but when pushed hard by an advanced rider it can catch a little near the end”
“A good all-round freeride board with a lot of comfort and control factored in”
“One of the best boards for coastal conditions, but a little slow for flat water drag racing”
We actually tested the Goya FXR 125 a couple of years ago on boardseeker.com. Since then the hull shape has remained unchanged, but instead Goya have added the FXRS to cater for the more speed-orientated freerider.
While the board shape has been untouched, the fin size has received a massive hike from 36cm to 42cm, which has had quite an effect on the board’s character. But more on this later.
The Goya is offered in just one construction option, which keeps it simple. Weight is on the higher side of the group at 8.14kg, but the board is also one of the longest and certainly feels one of the biggest underfoot. Tail width is the third widest of the group (only the Exocet and Quatro are wider). The track and straps are positioned relatively far forward, and the inboard straps felt just a bit too inward for blasting (particularly compared to the other boards), so we opted for the outboard positions, which were well placed for all-round freeriding.
In a straight line the Goya blends speed and comfort with a definite leaning towards comfort. It’s not slow by any means, but it won’t match the top speed of the fastest boards in this group – at least not on flat water. The blasting stance, however, is one of the best in this group for comfort and control. The nose rides nicely high over chop and the board feels very well balanced. At the very top end it does feel slightly over-finned and can get a bit lifty. We didn’t experience this at all with the old 36cm fin, so if you want to boost the top end of this board it’s well worth dropping the fin size a bit.
This test was actually quite an eye-opener as to how much difference the fin can make on some boards. In the gybes the Goya was good for advanced gybers, but was noticeably less keen to keep turning through the last part of the gybe. The entry is good, the grip is good, but just at the point where you step forward the shoulders have a habit of catching a little unless you keep your weight on your back foot to finish the turn. This is quite a contrast to the superb gybing performance that the board had with a 36cm fin. It’s not all bad though, because for less experienced gybers the larger fin really settles the board and makes the Goya a nice, wide, stable platform for mastering your first gybes on.
The bigger fin also increases the board’s rig carrying potential, and we could happily go up to around 8.0m on this board and down to 6.0m. With the smaller fin you’ll find that the Goya works down to about 5.5m if necessary.
The bottom end performance is also a lot better, and as such the Goya now scores fairly well within this group. Of course the performance of all boards will change by altering the fin size in this way, but with the Goya we get the impression that the character of the board changes more than most with the different fin size.
The Goya FXR is a really fun all-round freeride board. It is slightly more biased towards comfort and control than absolute top end speed, but with its high nose and balanced ride the board really excels in coastal / choppier water conditions. To get maximum range of use from this board a 36cm fin would be a good addition for advanced riders to gain the most manoeuvrability and top end control.
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