This is the first year for Jason Diffin as designer for Goya Sails and the FXR is his offering to the freeride market. Named the FXR 6 in sizes 3.8-6.9m (6 battens) and FXR 7 in 7.5-9.0m sizes (7 battens). The FXR 7 tested here is the only full X Ply sail in this test.
"Huge jumps, blazing speed and tight manoeuvres are what the 6 batten sails are all about, and uncompromised speed, plenty of power and effortless handling characterize the 7 batten models." – Goya website
There is no getting away from the fact that X-Ply construction makes the FXR a heavy sail in this size. At 5.71kgs, it's nearly a kilo heavier than the lightest sail in this group. If durability is super important to you, then the extra weight may be worth it but consider it carefully, because it is noticeably heavier in the hands.
Both luff (484cm) and boom (212cm) length sit pretty much in the middle of this group. Overlaying the FXR on the other sails reveals the foot shape to be bigger than everything other than the Simmer.
Tuning the FXR is fairly simple thanks to the excellent visual trim system. The recommended trim seems to be pretty accurate and certainly gets the best from the sail. However, we struggled to get much of a performance gain (for light or strong winds) when tuning either side of this recommended setting.
Construction and build quality look excellent, resulting in a freeride sail that would put many wave sails to shame in this department! Attention to detail is also top notch, with features such as a boom height scale, centred batten pocket construction for symmetry and a stretch control system.
The thing with X Ply is that it tends to give sails a softer, spongier feel and this is definitely true of the Goya. In light winds the FXR struggles to match the performance of the other brands within this test. It feels heavier in the hands and pulls from a long way forward in a similar way to the Simmer.
A combination of its added weight, pull position and sponginess all result in the least early planing sail in the group and noticeably the quickest to drop off the plane in a lull.
When it comes to the corners, things don’t get much better. The bigger foot area, deeper draft and extra weight of the sail all contribute to the least enjoyable sail in this group to corner with. It's not that it's bad, but in present company, it’s just not quite good enough.
We were struggling to argue a good case for the FXR and then something happened. The wind picked up!
Wow, what a difference. As soon as the Goya gets powered up, it transforms from an overweight, sluggish and cumbersome sail to one of the fastest sails on the water! Suddenly the weight isn’t so noticeable anymore. Suddenly, the sponginess becomes comfort and control. And suddenly the FXR becomes the second fastest sail in this test (to the Simmer) and a whole heap of fun!!
It has a very similar feel to the Simmer when wound up. It locks the board to the water and drives from fairly far forward, with really good stability. The Simmer feels a little sharper and more responsive, whilst the Goya feels a little softer and more settled.
High material weight and springy/soggy feel, contribute to a slightly off-pace, light wind and cornering performance. As the wind increases, so does the performance. At the top end, the FXR is one of the quickest, most comfortable sails in this test.
PHOTOS BY: Simon Crowther
"The GOYA FXR 7.5 is a pure blood high performance free race sail with
no compromise in performance and durability- simple to rig with a
single downhaul setting suitable for almost any wind condition, and
hugely adjustable outhaul setting that can transform the sail from a
light wind planing machine to a high wind speed demon. Not to be
confused with other "minimum build" sails out there, the FXR is built
to provide many years of top performance. The all X-ply construction
creates an incredibly durable sail with a smooth and comfortable
performance- the sail won't wear you out.
Jason Diffin - Goya Designer"