Starboard iSonic 101, Wind Magazine (France), Apr 2009

The iSonic 101 - Totally covered to perform under all circumstances

The iSonic 101 has many peculiarities. The outline is still quite rectangular and in 2009 there not only the usual cutaways and side cuts but also added wingers in the outline between the straps to reduce the wetted surface.

The board rides higher than in 2008, and the length and lateral stability are still there. This board’s advantage is that you just have to follow the foot-strap and mast-track indications to go fast with not so much effort, as long as you have a well trimmed rig. With this, the board does all the work. Light, the board gets planing very fast even though it has less volume and floatability compared to the other boards in this test.

The iSonic is still a relatively powerful board so you can really drive the fin. For this reason we also recommend molded fins that have a good response. It glides really fast on all tacks: this is the point that has made the most progress this year. The responsiveness under your toes has also improved, making it easier for you to pilot the board. Its strongest points are upwind and reaching. Once again, we appreciate the blend of glide, control and power. This criteria gives it the cutting edge in all circumstances, particularly in a slalom race with many riders or on long legs close to the wind when other boards become harder to ride. It’s not the one that has the best short jibe, but its exit speed advantage makes the difference. High in performances, it gives you a very constant and very high speed.

+ Versatility, glide, cutting edge performance in all circumstances, exit jibe speed, 2 fins

- Nothing

Overall Test Verdict:

The 2009 tendency is to make board more and more powerful and more and more controllable.

Starboard has really created waves with their original low nose concept. While they now ride a bit higher, and also remain the reference by being excellent in all categories, the majority of the other brands now follow with rather low boards, easy to control but still ultra-fast.

If it was necessary to choose without taking into account the size differences and wind range, the iSonic seems the board with most arguments in its favor while the RRD really pleasantly surprised us easy speed on long leg close to the wind