Perfect Score – Test by Windsurf UK , May 08


Starboard iSonic 111


TARGET:
ADVANCED TO EXPERT/PRO

AT A GLANCE:
Good details and fittings on the iSonic include a "recommended" mast track setting. grippy. minimalist "Uni Directional Grip Fish Scale" foot pads, easy to adjust, well positioned footstraps with "K9 Anti Twist Strap Inserts", and two Drake Slalom Pro fins: 38cm and 44cm (Tuttle box). The deck is slightly concave around the mast track and flat to a progressive dome around the footstraps. The plan shape is very straight, with width into the short nose and a wide ’wedged’ tail. The underside has a small amount of vee for control, while tail cut outs and hard rails allow for speed and good water release; some tuck in the rails enabling smoother turns.

RIDE AND HANDLING:
The iSonic is stable at rest and planes early with 2 gears: a cruising speed and a blistering top end, which releases when it is driven in a gust, or partnered with and efficient foil. The board feels good underfoot: rider position nicely outboard, and the fin offering a good platform to drive against, although it can spin out if there is too much pressure on the back foot. The board responds best to being driven with the back leg pushing down and away, rather than straight out from the board. The iSonic is very versatile for a wide range of user groups. It works well for freeride styles and being driven off the fin with the back foot, and also responds to being ’flown’ off the fin when taken off the wind for high end performance by experienced sailors.
It is controllable in choppy water states and when overpowered, the rider is able to sit back and plane comfortably fast: the board skimming over the water efficiently. Attention needs to be paid to trim for the best performance in heavy chop, as the rider position is so outboard that a lapse in concentration can cause the rail to catch: slowing the board down. The iSonic sails will on all points of sail, especially upwind, where it is one of the best in the group, and also has great potential for carrying larger rigs.

MANOEUVRES:
The board gybes well, and while not the tightest, still exits with loads of speed: responding both to being driven hard, and to more reserved styles; the rail cutting through chop well. The board is flat and wide around the mast foot, although the nose is quite short making tacks fairly easy.

VERDICT:
A great board, the iSonic offers a huge range of performance, especially with the option of using one of two fins, for a big range of users.


Starboard iSonic 101


TARGET:
ADVANCE TO PRO

AT A GLANCE:
The iSonic has great features and fittings, including easy to adjust, comfortable footstraps with "K9 Anti Twist Strap Inserts", grippy foot pads with "Uni Directional Grip Fish Scale" design, a mast track recommended setting, and two Slalom Pro fins: 36 cm and 42 cm (Tuttle box). The pads and straps are positioned outboard for good rider position, which is emphasised by a flat deck with dome at the sides and a slight concave around the mast track. The board has width extending into the nose and tail: the plan shape straight as a result, and the tail has ’wedges’ cut out of it. Vee in the underside provides a smooth ride, while double concave encourages early planning and good water release. The rails of the board are fairly hard, with a small amount of tuck enabling easier turning.

RIDE AND HANDLINE:
With width extending into the nose and tail, the board feels stable at rest despite a slightly short nose. It releases easily, rising up onto the plane to reveal a very comfortable, quick ride. The deck, pads and straps put the rider in a good position to channel power from the rig and drive the board. It is quite easy to sail well, seeming to almost trim itself and catering for a wide variety of sailing styles: from classic freeride driving off the fin, to freeracers channelling drive for maximum performance. Partnered with and efficient toil and taken off the wink in a gust, the board can be taken up a gear, accelerating to a very good top end.
As the board goes into heavy chop and overpowered conditions, it feels in control, but the outboard rider position can cause your feet or the rail to catch a little, throwing up spray and reducing speed. The board performs well on all points of sail, including upwind. Width around the mast track allows it to take big rigs, which, because of its wick user appeal and range of use made wider by two fins, is a real bonus.

MANOEUVRES:
An almost flat deck and width around the mast foot make tacks simple on the iSonic, despite a short nose. The board works for a wide range of gybers: from slightly reserved back footed styles, to aggressive, tight arcs and fast exits. Although the arc, when driver harder, is not as tight as some, especially in heavy chop, the board still performs very well, giving good speed and security on the exit of a gybe.

VERDICT:
The comfort and control that the iSonic offers, partnered with its respectable top end, make it a great freerace board: the twin elements of speed and control balanced perfectly.

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Posted:09-May-08, Read 12745 times,
 

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