This big jump was made possible by a new internal R&D methodology that allowed the team to start their research at an earlier stage than before. Remi Vila, new head of racing development at Starboard, partnered with Cyril Moussilmani, Björn Dunkerbeck, Kevin Pritchard and Jimmy Diaz to kick-start the 2011 cycle with a strong influx of fresh energy and new ideas very early in the season. Add to this extended R&D time the experience of Tiesda You, Svein Rasmussen and Jim Drake, and the 2011 iSonics are born.
Introducing six upgrades for the sixth iSonic generation.
UPGRADE ONE: Harder rail edges in the tail
With harder rails, the board releases from the water cleaner and quicker: this increases top speed, enables quicker acceleration in gusts, improves earlier planing and improves the board's ability to maintain top speed in lulls. On sizes 107, 117, 117 Wide, 127 and 137, the planing surface is also wider and shorter than previously (higher aspect ratio planing surface): this improves bottom-end efficiency. With a harder release edge, the iSonics also gain more jibing power: the rails have the ability to store more energy as the racer enters a jibe that, a fraction of a second later, releases into more exit-speed
UPGRADE TWO: Very Deep Deck Concaves
The 2011 iSonics have VERY deep deck concaves. By going so deep, the level of control is maximized. The pivot point between sail and board is kept as low as possible. The centre of gravity of the board is also lowered further to minimize undesired swing weight. These very deep deck concaves also break the aerodynamic suction effect that often lifts the nose out of control in high winds. Last but not least, the gap between the sail and deck is eliminated and the mast track can be moved back to improve top end speed without compromising control (mast tracks have been moved back 1.5cm in the 90, 97, 107, 117, 117 Wide, 127, 137 models).
Note the very deep deck concaves require the boom to be set about 2cm higher than your normal setting.
UPGRADE THREE: Individual cutaway trimming
The planing surface tabs directly behind the back heel were individually tuned to carefully adjust the ride and trim of select iSonic models (90, 97, 107, 117, 117 Wide, 127, 137). This individual tuning minimizes skin friction between board and water for more top end potential, increases the liveliness of the board and boosts acceleration, without breaching the limits of control if conditions get rougher.
UPGRADE FOUR: Paintless finish
Paint is eliminated from the deck and rails of the board to minimize weight of the iSonic WoodCarbon and Carbon models. A grey pigment is used instead, that provides UV protection and adds a textured finishing effect. Pad sizes were also minimized in a chase to eliminate every unnecessary gram of weight.
UPGRADE FIVE: Snug Strap Positioning
All the front footstrap plugs were narrowed down to have an aperture of 14.5cm, which is narrower than usual. The angle of the front strap was also turned to sit more square to the length-axis of the board. These two tweaks combine to give a very snug fit to the front foot, allowing the rider to adjust pitch and roll more effectively as the board reaches top speed.
UPGRADE SIX: new 80 concept and new 117 Wide concept
Two all new concepts are added to the iSonic collection. The iSonic 117 Wide is 80.5cm wide, filling a much needed niche between the 75cm and 85cm models. Based closely on the 85cm model, the 117 Wide has the lowest thickness-to-volume ratio, giving it a massive wind range. This ultra-slim shape is a clear new favourite and the board we most recommend as an upgrade to any slalom quiver. The iSonic 80 is a slimmer version of the iSonic 87, but this year the rail shapes were also softened and thinned down. This improves high-wind control and further reduces bounce when jibing in choppy conditions. The new high-wind reference for light and medium weight racers.
All iSonics are available in Wood Technology. Wood offers the best ratio between light weight, comfort, control and stiffness. Ideal for all-round performance in all conditions, especially high wind.
The iSonic 90, 97 and 107 are available also in WoodCarbon that are lighter and stiffer for racers who want more bottom-end acceleration and sharper sensations. Ideal for medium wind conditions.
The iSonic 117, 117 Wide, 127 and 137 are available also in Carbon. Carbon Technology is Starboard's lightest and stiffest option, with the highest levels of bottom-end acceleration and the sharpest sensations: ideal for the medium to lightwind conditions.
For more details on the constructions, see the Technology page.
Upgrading from an older model?
Here's our recommended comparison between older versions of the iSonics and the newest edition:
No-paint finish on the deck and rails of all WoodCarbon and Carbon models - for minimum weight
Harder rail edges in the tail - more speed, acceleration and jibing power
Individually trimmed planing surface tabs (97, 107, 117, 117 Wide, 127, 137)
Snug Strap positioning - more effective pitch and roll control
Reduced amount of strap inserts - saves weight
Very deep deck concave - increases control, closes the gap between sail and deck
Fish scale pad grooving - unidirectional traction. Grips when you need them to, helps to release when you don't.
Minimal pads = minimal weight
New Slick Straps by Drake - includes the convenient strap-size indicators.