View Full Version : Futura 141 or Ultrasonic

21st October 2012, 03:20 PM
I need a little help in deciding which large board to get for early planing with 8.5 and 9.5 meter Ezzy Freeride sails. I am trying to decide between a Futura 141 and an Ultrasonic. Both would be in the top (most expensive) construction.

I weigh 154 to 160 pounds (about 72 to 75 kilograms) depending the number of bowls of ice cream I eat. I am 5 feet, 8 inches tall (173 cms). I have sailed for over 15 years and am a fairly good sailor, though not great. Still working on planing jibes, though occasionally I make one. I can water start fine, sail upwind with no problem, achieve reasonably competitive speeds, etc. In other words, I am an okay but more or less average experienced sailor.

My sailing is mostly on inland lakes about a mile or so across with chop in 8.5 and 9.5 conditions from 0 inches to 8 inches (up to 20 cms). This past season I sailed the 9.5 nine times and the 8.5 twenty three times. I used a heavy 150 liter freeride board. It planes early, not because it is an early planing design but because it carries a large sail. But I want something that planes even earlier and stays planing longer.

I have other boards for my sails of 7.5 meters and down. I sail about 80 times a season. Most of my sailing is on smaller gear. But I have big gear to maximize time on the water and fun.

My questions are as follows. First, is the Ultrasonic overkill for my size and my sail sizes—that is, is it too large for my weight and my sails of 8.5 and 9.5M? My concern is that it will carry 12 meter sails and that 8.5 and 9.5 are somewhat close to the bottom of its range. Also, people have told me that going larger and larger in board size does not result in even earlier planing for light weights. In fact, some have told me that going larger actually decreases early planing because it takes more energy to move a large thing than to move a small thing. So please enlighten me if you can.

Second, would the Ultrasonic plane significantly earlier than the Futura 141 given the fact that I am a light weight and given the facts that I sail more 8.5 than 9.5 and that my largest sail is only 9.5M? If your answer is yes, how much difference in early planing would there be?

Third, would the Futura, being smaller, be easier to jibe and attain good speeds on?

Of course I appreciate any other insights you can give on the differences between these boards for someone of my weight and ability with sails of 8.5 and 9.5.

21st October 2012, 09:59 PM
for a fellow of your size/weight - why not Futura 131 ??
the US is expensive :-(
and really race oriented + big sails

22nd October 2012, 02:49 PM
Would I lose much in early planing with a 9.5 if I did that?

22nd October 2012, 08:42 PM
No. I posted a nice long reply but for some reason the forum decided it would need moderation. I would go for the Futura. I've tried both and sail similar conditions. I weigh a little ( well, quite a bit actually at 86kg)more than you but find my 131 about perfect for my 9m on the lake. I know a coupe f people who have had the ultra or similar and switched to the astonishing futuras they are simply superb. You will have a huge amount of fun on be and will loose almost nothing but gain a shed load of speed and smiles.

23rd October 2012, 03:10 AM
Hi Unregistered

It's depend what you want at the end, if its performances is the UltraSonic for sure, if you want sensation is the Futura.
2013 US 147 will plane earlier what ever you have 8.5 or 9.5 vs Futura but also the US is a bit more racing than Futura.

Just to give you a scale of performance :
Best sail on board to get the best from it for ligth wind performances :
131 : 8.5
141 : 9.2
147 : 9.5
Formula is the best for light wind performances but hard to sail for somebody who want get ligth wind performances with out racing, it's exactly why we create the US 147.

Ultimate performances the US 147 but less easy to jibe than the Futura 141 just because the board is wider, you have to push a bit more.

Hope this help

All the best

23rd October 2012, 10:35 AM
OP said,"But I want something that planes even earlier and stays planing longer. "

okay, the 131 is ideal for 8.5, but will it plane earlier ? guess non
will the US 147 do so - probably !!!

23rd October 2012, 11:09 AM
Hi Unregistered

I say what ever your are on 8.5 or 9.5 the 2013 UltraSonic 147 will plane earlier.

All the best

23rd October 2012, 06:43 PM
I totally agree with Remi,
I have the 2012 UltraSonic.
As Remi suggests, it's wider than the Futura 141, so therefore it will plane in less wind and stay planing
in less wind.
If you get the US147, and a 9.0-9.5 rig, you will plane earlier (less wind needed) than anything but a full race formula board (also wider) but to get the earliest planing on the formula board you need even larger sails.
The US147 will plane earlier than the Futura 141 (narrower) on equal sail sizes.
With the US 147 you get earlier planing and good speed even in the lightest winds (windspeed in which you will still be sub-planing/slogging on the Futura 141.
The Futura 141 may have a little top speed advantage if you have enough wind, but you will be planing nicely on the US 147 in a knot or 2 less with the same sail size.
As Remi also suggests, the US 147 is a little more difficult to jibe (due to it's greater width) but you can
quickly adjust your technique so it jibes just as nicely as the Futura 141, just takes a little bit different

23rd October 2012, 10:32 PM
As a big US147 fan, I still would like to add something.
First of all, I'm not in your weight category (87kg) nor do I have experience with the Futura, but because you write that you often sail on inland lakes, I would strongly suggest he US147.
Where I surf on lakes, I always experience a lot of lulls, especially in ultra light conditions. This means that I often have to choose some downwind angles to keep on planing through lulls and regain some height when I'm on parts of the lake with better wind. A wider board with a larger fin will always help you point better and easily bring you back to your starting point, i.e. in planing mode.

With your weight and your 9.5, you will probably plane earlier than me with my 10.9.

Oh and don't underestimate the speed of the US147. It's really fast and it feels like a feather under your feet. Probably you've already checked the weight of the US147 and the Fu141. It's the same. :)

24th October 2012, 03:38 PM
Hi. I am the original unregistered poster. Thank you for all your advice. I will take it.

18th January 2013, 12:16 PM
Hi. I am the original unregistered poster. Thank you for all your advice. I will take it.

Hello, I'd like to know whether you bought a US because I'm still contemplating of getting one .
let me know .. I'd like some to hear from some owners...


18th January 2013, 01:10 PM
Hello BelSkorpio,

I'd like to ask u about your US experiences. I weigh about 75 kg and bought a FAnatic RAy 145 LTD last year [model 2011] I sail it with a maui Titan 9.0m and the standard 50cm + a 52 cm fin. Although I plane pretty early I have the feeling I can do better it's just that when the picks up the ray is hard to control it gets big quickly. Of course this board is for light wind conditions I have a futura 111 and some vapors as well when it gets windy.
The question is , is the US more controllable [although it is wider than the ray's 81 cm] and I guess it will allow me to plane even earlier due to it's width.
I just wonder if it will make a big difference and is it quite controllable in choppy conditions. I surf most of the times on lakes like het Veerse Meer in the netherlands :-)

19th January 2013, 07:43 AM
Stargazer, haven't tried the Ray in that size but would guess there wasn't much in it between the two boards when it becomes choppy, the Ray would probably handle it slightly better but the US would plane a little sooner, you could always get a smaller board to take the 9m which would handle the chop better but wouldn't plane as early, its all about comprimise. With the Futura 111 you should be able to put a 7.5 on it as your biggest sail so 9m to 7.5 is an ok jump.

19th January 2013, 10:06 AM
Hi Stargazer,

The Veerse meer is a perfect spot for the Ultrasonic.
Why ? because it is full of lulls (depending on the wind direction).
It's one of the most beautiful lakes in NL, I find.
Windsurfing with the charming town Veere on the background, is simply idyllic.

The Ultrasonic will handle the lulls much better and point much better than the Ray145, because of its bigger width and fin length, used on it.

Is it better controllable in the chop c/w the Ray145 ? There won't be much in it.
If it gets uncontrollable, you should be anyway on your Fu111, certainly with your 75kg.
Until now, I only had 1 serious tailwalk with the US, but it was in a very strong gust and probably my own stupid fault not having sheeted in enough.
Important to know is that the board feels VERY light. I never have the feeling that I am on such a wide board. Probably the tail cutouts will also provide better control c/w the Ray and will largely compensate for the bigger width.
On the Grevelingendam, where the chop is always nastier c/w the Veerse Meer, I've never had any problems with the US. I'm a bit heavier than you, of course (87kg).

8.8 is my smallest sail on the US. I often start with 8.8 on my IS122 and when the wind gets too unstable I just swap to the US.

In very light conditions I use a 10.9 on the board. Feels also great.

Also read the following thread, where many have posted their experiences.

19th January 2013, 07:14 PM
Thanks Belskorpio,

I know it's a little drive from Antwerp but Veere and het Noordzeestrand is well worth it.
It's just that the board will behave "light" as you say. Do you sail the wood or carbon version? Is there a big difference between the 2?
It's a lot of money so I just want to make sure to make the right decision.
I do surf the F111 with a 44 cm and a the 7.6 vapor .. but the wind is most of the times so unstable here that it gets very tiring and frustrating .. hence the light wind option.
The new isonic 127 comes to mind as well .. any experience on that one .. I know it's a lot more technical than the futura but I'm fine with that.


20th January 2013, 05:36 PM
I have the US carbon version. Never tried the wood, Don't see the point of it for light wind conditions.

I think that the isonic 127 is 1 of the most used racing machines for the medium to heavy weight PWA racers. Those guys use a 9.5 on it when I am probably on my IS122 with a 7.8 or 8.8.
I think that the board performs extremely well in the high end and in the typical down wind PWA slalom tracks with rather "clean wind".

On the contrary, if you're looking for a board that deals with the typical lulls on a lake, I don't think that it is the best choice, although it could work for you as a light weight. I think that it's also a board that needs a more active style to get it onto the plane in light conditions, because of its shorter length. Just my 2 cents.

21st January 2013, 09:10 PM
Thanks Belscorpio,

I think you r right .. the IS 127 looks awesome but the US although wider and having more volume will fit me better dans le petite temps :-) and that is what I'm looking for .. when the wins picks up to around a ready 4BF I'll be switching to my F111 anyway.
As you mentioned we have to deal with a lot of lulls on lakes ...

28th March 2013, 02:53 PM
Hi I am a heavy guy from Scotland (yep it's cold) and I am looking to get a new board and sail to cope with light winds, cold water and all 103 kg of me. Would love an US147 but ... is it more designed for smaller sailors squeezing the wind? Or would it cope with me? What brand of sail would compliment it best in the 9.5m + range?

Windsurfed for 25 years and have a few skills but getting old for the smaller boards :)


29th March 2013, 01:15 AM
in this article at gb.zinio.com/page/;jsessionid=AE9444B2B1801211B406AC1873FE5724.prd-main-news5?issue=416170010&pg=57&categoryId=cat1960028&acf=PG

and other spots it is suggested both the SB US and JP SLW are GREAT at planing early AND for heavyweights

in that article it says - donut worry about which one planes first - just get one and plane

some people prefer the JP SLW 92 for length
others prefer the SB US for speed and over the JP SLW since that fin is too "soft"

so, yeah - go for it

29th March 2013, 10:13 PM

No worries for your 103 kg with US147. A pal of 105 kg is using one with an Overdrive 11 m2 sail + 62 cm fin (planing as of 8 knots of wind) or a NCX 9.0 m2 sail + 58 cm fin (planing as of 12 knots).

Go for it !

Cheers !


4th April 2013, 08:52 AM
Hi guys,
Yesterday I've ordered 2013 US Carbon from Boardwise in Cannock UK. Payed deposit and will have to wait nearly 2 months to get it delivered. (checked with RobinHood Watersports UK as well. They said it would take them 4 months to get the board for me!!!).
Would there be somebody from Starboard available to comment on those extremely long production, delivery times? And would it be somehow possible to expedite delivery of my US to Boardwise?
Kind regards,

4th April 2013, 09:20 AM
does this mean SB makes boards upon order receipt ??
and is TWO MONTHS behind ??
sounds like they need some forecasting and optimization software :-)
i was starting to slide SB up my short list
they just dropped a notch or TWO :-(
will ONLY buy what is in stock now ...

4th April 2013, 02:50 PM
I have been told to expect to wait 3 months for mine and that was last month so it looks like ours will be coming over on the same shipment Mr unregistered, shame as it looks like the weather is going to warm up and I have just bought a new big sail for it too! (pic to follow)

I had to wait the same ammount of time for my 2011 and 2012 but you would think that SB would get their act together and ramp up production prior to launch so that these are in stock or at least available more quickly!

4th April 2013, 10:57 PM
mcross19: jamais deux sans trois

aftr two(2) burns - could you NOT order in Fall 2012 ??

5th April 2013, 04:17 PM
My local shop told me that SB UK had these in stock but they were customer boards and already spoken for but didn't find this out until after I had sold my 2012 US.

Otherwise yes I would have ordered sooner

22nd August 2014, 10:44 AM
I was wondering if someone could offer advice about the upwind performance of the Starboard ultrasonic.

I weigh 165#, and commonly sail with 7.5 or 8.5 sails. I was looking for an early planning board. My understanding is that a formula board will sail upwind better, but may require larger sails.

It is always nice if you can sail back to the same point you started from.

22nd August 2014, 03:07 PM
The Ultra Sonic (with the correct size and type fin for the conditions and sail size) goes upwind just fine.
You need to be in fully planing mode and at least slightly powered up for any short board to go upwind well. There are ways to go upwind in sub planing mode but they are slow and a bit arduous.
A well sailed and powered up formula board will go a few degrees higher than the Ultrasonic but it will take more effort to get up that high.
Mostly no one but formula racers (in a race) ever needs to sail up that high as most recreational sailors tend to sail on reaches (faster and more fun) so getting back up wind when recreational sailing should almost never be a problem.
If you are worried about sailing way downwind (formula boards also do this the best) and not getting back to where you launched from (the walk of shame it's commonly called) don't sail so far off the wind in the first place.
If you are racing, then you need to sail as fast and as far downwind as you can, and will have to sail back upwind at the highest angle and speed you can achieve. Tacking will be required to get to the upwind bouy in most cases (depends on how the race committee lays the course out).
I've been racing, and sailing recreationally for > 30 years and do not remember ever having to do the walk of shame except when I was learning and didn't know how to sail upwind.
If you are sailing recreationally, it's hard to see why you would ever decide to sail way downwind, and even if you do, a few tacks and you are back upwind and able to sail directly back to where you launched from.

24th August 2014, 06:59 PM
I agree with Roger. the Ultrasonic wil go upwind very well when well powered up, even if you were to go off on a broad reach you should still be able to plane back to where you started from.

I would use the 8.5m is the smallest sized sail you would want to go on this board. If you want more light wind performance a 9.5 is great with this board.