Described by Goya as a “freeride / freemove combo" the Goya FXR range has been redesigned for 2008. Last tested in ’06 the previous FXR clearly came from a waveboard tradition and was built for control and manoeuvring rather than speed. This season has seen loads of changes as the vee has been reduced, the nose rocker massively reduced, the tail and nose widened considerably and the length shortened. It is now a very different board.

Type: Intermediate’s all-round freeride or heavyweight’s freemove.

On the water: It is quite a big board in this test with a wide nose and tail, and thus offering loads of stability and support for heavier or less able sailors. However, this extra width is not that noticeable once under way, and the board feels light and manageable once up and planing. Although back to back testing revealed the Goya to plane a little later than the majority of boards on test, particularly with bigger sails (7.0- 8.0m) this was interestingly not the perception of the guest testers who all felt it planed early. So unless you are planning a lot of marginal wind blasting, early planing is fine. The Goya was much praised for its very friendly, forgiving and fun ride and it sails quite free, more ready to manoeuvre than locked to the water. The straps and dome give a good connection to the board and the moderately outboard position suits the board well, being recreational rather than performance biased. It is not a competitively speedy board but still feels quick and goes upwind fine. It is very happy in either flat water or swell and handles chop quite well too keeping its shape well even in stronger winds and rougher waters. It will take up to 8.0m or even more but is best when fairly well powered so is most rewarding with up to about 7.5m but can still be fun with a 5.5m. There is a relaxed manoeuvrability to the board that everybody responded to. It is not nippy and agile compared to many of the boards here but it feels extremely loose and fun, and will turn hard if required or else slowly and very tight for a board of its size. This manoeuvrability transfers well into a coastal environment and it is surprisingly good fun to jump and take out in small waves.

Fittings: The 36cm G10 fin suited the board well in moderate / medium conditions – a bigger fin would be a good investment for more marginal wind work. The pads and straps were very comfortable.

Overall: The Goya proved an extremely popular board with nearly everyone and has wide appeal. Marginal planing is not its forte (particularly for inland use), and it isn’t the quickest or most exciting burn-&-turn machine, but it has very strong appeal either for recreational early to mid-intermediates who will love its fun, easy and forgiving nature or for mid to heavyweight (83–100kg) late intermediate to advanced sailors who want a very manoeuvrable and fun bigger sail all-round board, probably for coastal use.