View Full Version : Hypersonic 105

28th March 2007, 09:12 PM
I hope you can advise me - I can get a Hypersonic 105 for a good price, and I`ve read all the tests and marketing stuff on it on the net that I could find. Although it sounds promising, most windsurfers I`ve spoken to have a good laugh when they see one, and refer to it as a "plakkie" (local word for a hang-ten style pair of open footwear.)
My goals with it would be flat water blasting from 12-20knots, occasionally stronger winds up to 25. I`d also like to use it in the open ocean if I get brave enough, for sailing long distances on those rare on-shore wind days where you can cruise outside the breakers for a very long distance at high speed.
It must be able to get me back to shore in any circumstance : If the wind switches to offshore, or drops or picks up, I`d like to know I can get back to where I started even if I`m a long way off the beach. If I have this kind of faith in a board I would venture out a bit further than at present. Upwind performance is a must, as well as being able to get back in non-planing conditions.
Oh yes, I`m 75kg.
I have a tiny budget and would sail it right now with only a 6,6sqm Gaastra Nitro5 sail, but would look at a bigger sail later on. Any idea on the windrange with this combination ?
I have a Thommen Small Salom and a 4.7 sail for when it`s windy, so I won`t be using the "plakkie" in over 20knots unless I`m caught out in it.

Appreciate any feedback,
Cape Town

28th March 2007, 09:48 PM
I'm no team member, but I can offer some insight in this case.

I've owned my Hyper 105L for 2 years now, and I have to admit I love it. I almost got rid of it this season but decided it just wasn't worth spending the extra money for a new board, yet, when I am so happy with what I have.

I use it with a 7.6 and a 6.6, both cambered sails. I use the 7.6 in 12-18knots, and the 6.6 in 15-22 knots.

Although some people have preconceived ideas about the Hyper and it's strange and unique design, the fact is I'm faster than them on the water and I coast by them in the lulls when they're schloging.

Have no worries, the Hyper 105 will perform and impress you, and should be great for the conditions you mention.

28th March 2007, 11:41 PM
I've had the H105 for nearly 3 years now and have sailed more than any board I have ever owned. Its been my "go to" board! The performance you describe should certainly be possible. The H105 points very well. My only concern is that at 75kg, it is not going to have much additional flotation. I weigh 60 kg, and its very easy to uphual if need be. You might check the math (add board, sail, mast, sailor, etc weights) to see if it has enough float. I would imagine you could still uphaul it, but if you can try it before buying, by all means do so. It seems that this was one board that lots of sailors didn't particularly like. I'm just guessing, but I think lighter sailors like it a whole lot better, since they get more early planning capability than a heavier sailor. For a bigger guy, I think its low volume makes it require a lot more wind to plane.

29th March 2007, 12:31 PM
Mine is the HS 111. SpeedChaser and Randy are spot on. HS points well when up to speed (but don't over fin the board in the hope of getting more pointing). Its a technical board to sail and just does not want to stop; definitely not plug and play. After several seasons I am just coming to terms with its great performance - by 22 knots I am just about done. Similar sail quiver as SpeedChaser.:o

29th March 2007, 02:50 PM
Hi Steve M,

no team member either, sorry... but maybe contribution from us average sailors can be even more useful.

I've had a 105 and a 111. I must admit that I didn't like the feel of both boards: the HS needs a totally committed power on style, while I'm rather the "glide" speedsailing type. After a few sessions I put the mast foot well back and raised the boom because the board just didn't go with a more relaxed stance; once set in a racey way, it performed. I think it could be the fastest board I owned, expecially the 105 (just impressions - don't ask me why or how much). Once on a plane, it just goes and keeps going. It likes to go upwind, or you can make it fly on a broad reach; but it is a pain to keep it on a beam reach. It also gives you the impression there are no lulls at all, even if you see other people sailing start/stop... Not an early planer IMHO (85 kgs. and using a race 7.5), I guess all that underwater shape adds a lot of drag at low speed; but once on the plane, it just does not stop. My impression is that it is not much fin sensible, so don't think you can substantially change its attitude by switching fins; I used it with those odd wide square Drake designs stock with the 105, tiny slalom Spitfire 31 and the Drake/Curtis 34 and 42 stock with the 111, but didn't noticed the differences that one may expect from such different designs on a classic slalom board. Jibing is a pain, period. The 111 is somewhat more well mannered than the 105. Both boards handled chop incredibly well and could be tamed easily in high winds; I had the impression that high wind behaviour was even better than that of my tiny RRD Avantslalom 278 (84 lts...); but the fun wasn't there, at least for me.
In the end I returned to traditional slalom design (Sonic 95), but I have to admit that both HS were extremely fast, pointed extremely high and never stopped. A very good solution to save light days, and a very good, or maybe perfect, fit for the needs you stated.

29th March 2007, 07:05 PM
I just had an experience racing against a Hypersonic 105. The sailor was 188 cm, 86 kg. He doesn't use his H105 very often, but pulled it out for a race this past weekend. He came in 3rd for the day. He was very consistent in all heats (except when he broke his outhaul). He had 4 2nds, a 6th and a 3rd. Winds were from 17-22 knots, I would guess.

I have seen him sail it before but we never really did any comparison.

On my iSonic 105, I was faster than him all around, but it wasn't by much. Only once did I get in a position to pass him ... he managed to pinch me upwind. I was gaining on him, but couldn't go high enough to continue the maneuver.

He jumped on my iSonic 105 after the race was over. He described it as scary fast. I could tell he was markedly faster on the iSonic than on the HyperSonic. I could also tell he was holding back, so who knows how fast he could have been on the iSonic.

In lighter winds, he does remark that his Hypersonic isn't floaty enough for him to feel comfortable using it much. He switches to a higher flotation board instead.

29th March 2007, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the opinions guys, very useful information. Ok I called an owner of a Hypersonic 111 for his opinion, and he wants to sell it, so I have a choice between the 105 and the 111. I`m seeing the 111 tonight, I believe it`s in better condition than the 105. I`ve heard that the 111 has more nose rocker than the 105 and handles chop better, and is a better board in general, is this the case ? It would in any case have more float which might suit me better, but I still want it to be able to handle up to 22knots.
Geo, your insights have made me lean towards the 111 for now.

Thanks again,

29th March 2007, 08:23 PM

yes that's right, the 111 has got some more nose rocker compared to the 105. On the water, the main differences I found are: 1) 111 is somewhat easier to handle, less "stiff" directionally and easier to head on a beam reach; and 2) slightly easier to jibe. I found no big differences in floating, probably due to the lower nose on the 105 that makes a larger part of the board to contribute to buoyancy most times. I don't remember any difference in handling chop, except for the fact that the 111 keeps its nose higher and may seem safer; but actually both handled chop pretty well when sailed in the right way, which is: full throttle all of the time, and don't look down. Rather, the slightly higher nose made the 111 a better schlogger, in the sense that it tended less easily to sink its nose. As to sheer performances, I can't tell exactly, but I would not be surprised to understand that the 105 has an edge in planing and top speed.

Generally speaking, I found the 111 somewhat a more well rounded board compared to the rather "thoroughbred" character of the 105. Nothing really important to base a decision upon, anyhow; I'd rather look at other points such as general conditions and price.

Oh, just another point to think about: take a look at the fins; the 111's Drake/Curtis stock fins can be used on other slalom boards also, while those 105's odd square Drake stock fins are totally useless on other boards. So if the 111 comes with both its stock fins (34 and 42) in good shape, that is something to take into account. This can be a real point in deciding.

30th March 2007, 04:30 AM
Hi Geo,
Thanks for those insights, I have seen the 111, loaded it on the car, and it is now mine. The best news is I didn`t have to pay for it, the owner wants a higher price than the 105, but he needs some design work done on his house and that is my trade, so we have arranged a trade-off of my service for the board ! It has both the Drake fins, just have to sand the rough edges off the bottom where they have been grounded.
I`ll hopefully get to sail it between now and Sunday.

Thanks all for the feedback, it is really good to get such valuable input on an older board. I`m just curious as to why Starboard did not continue this board or develop that line of thinking further, as a lot of their marketing material I found on the net implies that this is "the future" of slalom board design, yet it has been discontinued ?

30th March 2007, 04:49 AM

I'm glad for your nice deal!

I think Ian Fox has a clear explanation as for why the Hypersonic line was stopped; well, perhaps we could say that it somewhat evolved into the moddern wide hull iSonic line. Personally, I think that it did not have much of the classic "slalom feel" but rather it is/was a great sporty high performance board, only a bit too much "sporty" and requiring. Many would not like it, a few would just love it, in the end it isn't for everybody.
Don't worry, learn how to tame it and you will find it perfectly suits the needs you stated in your first post, probably better than any other board would.

30th March 2007, 07:06 PM
I think the reason it wasn't continued was that it was not a big enough seller. Had it continued to sell in big numbers, I'm betting they would have kept the line.

The hypersonic line has developed sort of a "cult following" status - a fairly enthusiastic, but rather small group of sailors (like me) that liked it a lot. However, there were lots of guys who either didn't like, or hated it, for some reason or other. I know a guy who bought one of the H105s several years ago, and has almost never sailed it. It just wasn't big enough to provide as much float as he wanted. (I may buy his board someday;)) So it was just one of those things were it probably didn't appeal to enough people. After the first year, the 105s were very deeply discounted, so dealers and distributors had a hard time selling all the boards they ordered.

30th March 2007, 08:42 PM
"The HyperSonic program has enjoyed the highest attention ever and along the way, become the world's best selling board. " From the Starboard website http://2004.star-board.com/products/hypersonic.asp

This contradicts with what you say, Randy, that it was not a big seller. But either way, no worries, I was just curious as to what changed their minds about the hull shape "redefining the future of windsurfing" only to be discarded a few years later. I still have no issues, would just like to know the reason the Starboard designers moved away from that idea. Maybe they haven`t - I see on the homepage under "the board designed for me" appears a pic of the underside of a hull with similar features, but with a daggerboard - I`m assuming this is one of the new 320/380 Race type boards which look interesting. I would really like to see the 320 up close, but I don`t think the SA imorters will order any in - Most windsurfers are now fully dedicated to shortboard sailing here, very little Formula activity and the RSX sank like a stone here.
Thanks for all the insights and opinions here, you guys have been helpful, now to go form my own opinion, forecast for Sunday looks promising..:)

30th March 2007, 09:36 PM
You're right about the "world's best selling board" for sure. I recall that. But that was the first year, and dealers/distributors in the US at least way over-ordered the H105. They could be bought for prices of $700 or less. (BTW - when they say worlds best selling does that mean to distributors or to end users?) I'm only guessing, but I suspect it did not continue to be a big seller in subsequent years (the deep discounts on the H105 had to hurt sales of later models.) Had it continued to be the worlds best selling board, I would see no reason why they wouldn't continue it. In the closeout sheets the various dealers show from time to time, there were (and still are) always Hypersonics available.

There was a pretty long thread *board initiated some time ago explaining why they dropped the Hypersonic. While a good attempt at explaining it, in the end, the explanation seemed rather muddled. I do recall the overstocking issue being mentioned and discussion that the board line has to continuously be "rationalized" whatever that means. (My interp. - wasn't selling very well after 2 or 3 years, but I don't have any real data on that.)

One funny thing about my H105. I'll be out sailing it and from time to time someone will say - "gee that's a big board. What's the volume - 130 liters?" I heard that so much I started to wonder about it myself, and thought maybe I really had the H125. Then I saw on the padding 105. Later on the ISAF web page its listed as 102 liters. In the end, the Hypersonic was sort of an enigmatic board (probably like the Serenity, my other *board) loved by some, and not loved by others.

1st April 2007, 06:03 AM
I own a 111 which I mostly use with a 8.4 RS6 and 49 Select Viper fin. Steve the board still continues to amaze me. In the last fornight I raced in a solid 15-18ktn against a friend on a Isonic 133 and 9.2 RSS. He always beats me racing. That day after a season of tuning and doing heaps of kms on the Hyper I finally beat him in two of four races. I also tested a Isonic 122 and couldn't get it to go upwind like the hyper. You will find it does what it was advertised as doing. It is faster overall. A Isonic is slighlty quicker off the wind but slower up wind. Also the Hyper will continue to plan through a lull like no other board i've ever ridden. Yesterday we had very light wind and a sailor was out on a 10m rig and formula board. He could plan a bit earlier for sure but the second i got going I would start to catch him and over take dispite the big lead he had. It is because the hyper holds speed through the lulls. I could see the formula board slow down in the lull and I would hold quite a higher speed and gain ground. Stick with it and in time you will definately get the reward.
Also I've seen a few emails that suggest the hyper is not dead yet.:D

4th April 2007, 05:18 AM
Thanks guys, here`s my initial take on the board after a 1 hour sail :
Conditions were 12-15knots max, with an outgoing tide running at 6knots at Capesport Centre, Langebaan Lagoon, for those who know the spot. Water was very flat with a little wind-driven chop. In spite of only having a 6.6sqm sail, I managed to get planing on the first run out, man it takes some commitment to find that rear footstrap.
With the six knot current it was difficult to maintain ground but the HS111 still managed to gain upwind ground in spite of this - impressive. I did find that the board was hesitant to start planing at times, after gybes, but then I was rigged small.
I went out for one last run as the sun was getting low, which was a mistake as the wind had dropped a bit, and on my run out I realised that I was not going to get planing easily - I got planing about halfway across the lagoon and headed upwind as high as possible to regain lost ground to the current. I then turned, came off the plane and never got planing again, had to schlog back, trying to go upwind with the current trying to push me out of the bay. The board impressed me, I made it back to my starting point even without planing, on route I sailed past a bouy and noticed the wave forming behind it, the current was running quite fast !
So all in all a good first date, although I know I need a bigger sail in those conditions.
On the "getting planing" issue - the board feels like it has a definite "hump" that it must overcome to start planing - I once turned it downwind over a small chop and it got up and went, once planing it feels like a very "low-drag" board.
Any recommendations on my next sail size up ? Must fit a 460 mast and 215 boom (max)

4th April 2007, 09:23 AM

I have H111 and mainly use 8.4 / 6.7 / 5.8 (80kg). I would go as big as possible to fit into your boom/mast requirements, I would say at your weight 7.8 with 42/44cm would be ideal.Should have you nicely powered in 10/12 knots (tide dependant). Make sure the sail is a good race/free race model.

Long Live the Hyper:|

4th April 2007, 08:52 PM
I have saided many boards and the hypersonic is rapid, but i feel it´s a very demanding board. During a weekend i can not sail all the day as I do with my Lorch Board with the same size. Do You have any exlpication for that problem? Do You suffer the same?

5th April 2007, 05:38 AM
Yes John1 my experience is the same. Definitely a high energy board ; even as the board becomes second nature, it keeps on asking for more. High levels of personal fitness really pay off. Why is this? My personal view is that the HS really only comes alive with a power-on style of sailing on the rails, sail decked, and upper body swung forward etc etc. By the way, agree with Maximus on sail sizing. :o

6th April 2007, 03:53 AM

If you find your HS a bit too much fitness/energy/skills demanding to ride with ease, I would strongly advise you to get a smaller fin to make it glide smoothly and keep it flat on water. Banking the hull on the leeward rail * la Formula is only helpful when pointing upwind underpowered with a big fin, otherwise, keep it flat on water. This is the board that requires probably the most of fine-tuning and tweaking with sail/fin/rider size for the right conditions (i.e., a lot of TOW experimenting as well), definitely nothing in common with a plug & play freeride * la Carve IMHO...Once properly dialed in, it flies effortless all day, however.

iSonic are definitely more plug & play user-friendly, no question.

Agree with Maximus as well on sail sizing (5.4, 6.6, 8.2 & 10.6 sail quiver with my HS105).

Cheers !


6th April 2007, 06:07 AM
Agree 100% with JM. With a 6.5m sail I use a 29cm fin. Should clarify: "on the rails" I meant feet on the rail, not railed up (poor use of English on my part). The point is that many I see on traditional slalom boards have footstraps well inboard and are sailing on the board rather than powering off the rails. Not to say they are not fast, but just different aims and attitudes.

7th April 2007, 08:59 PM
To Jean-Marc.
Yes, I agree with you in all what you say:
But my main problem with the board is not the power I have to use, but to control the power. For example: I have to use maximal concentration to keep equilibration with the power on frontfoot versus rearfoot, and if I fail with that, the frontfoot flies out of the strap and from that second, it changes to dangerous conditions. As You have written before It´s possible to do a lot with the following parametrs:

-Downhaul: more
-boomheight: down
-mastfootpositioning: abit forward, but it can kill the "flying capacity"
-and the smallest fin possible to come up in planning condition
-Frontstrap more backwards
-Use a deep forward force sail like the Ezzy sails to get more power on the fronfoot

Ihave tried all of that. I think the Hypersonic is like the Swedish Plane, Jas grippen 39, very potent and with grat capacity, but with an desequilibrium built into its design, just to get its versatility (something for Mr. Drake).

In a swedish windsurfing forum You can see this idea to move the straps without making new holes in your board.
I hav done a similar construccion earlier with a Carve 99 to get the rearstrap in acentral position.

With regards,
John J.

7th April 2007, 11:17 PM

I'm not sure I understand you correctly : do you have problems about trimming the board to make it nice flying well- to over-powered (I might help you) or do you have problems about the hull design or position of footstraps plugs (I can't help) ?
Which HS do you have ?
What's your weight and size, mast-track and footstraps set-up as well as sail & fin quiver ?

Cheers !


8th April 2007, 01:09 AM
Hi Jean Marc.
I can handle the board to bee very rapid and sail i a nice manner, but the main problem can be that the hull is very "dominant" and difficult to manage. I mean that the foot goes out of the frontstrap when well powered up. I have tried everything. It´s better now, but stilll not as a I Want to.
My weigth: 86 kg 180 cm tall, prefere well powered conditions.
Board: HS133, no problem with my Carve 99 and Acid boards.
For the future Iwill only buy sails with typical forward, deep-draft profile. I think it gives more power at the frontfoot.
with regards,
John J.