View Full Version : iSonic 133

21st June 2007, 04:48 AM
A couple of weeks back I decided to add the an iS133 to my quiver.

Here in the UK we get quite a lot of warm, light wind summer days so I thought it would be the ideal choice. It's been a long time since I have had a board this large having sold my carve 144 2 years ago. Re-learning how to sail a big board has actually proved to be a challenge.

My other boards (Acid 80, K96, iS87 and iS115) are so much more manoeuvrable and compared to the smaller iSonics (esp the 87) this thing is hard work to turn. Even when not planing it just wants to go upwind all the time. When I was going downwind, the large chop on the lake was a real challenge on such a big board at speed. To be fair it was actually a 7m, iS115 day but I went out on the 133 with a 7.8 just to give it a go.

The next day was a different matter. It was a north westerly giving a long, flat run up and down the lake. The wind was marginal so I rigged an 8.5 Lightning. The board was a dream. It got going on the slightest gust as long as I turned it well downwind. Once going it would point really high and go through the huge lulls as if the were not there. Having been used to the smaller boards I really had to work to gybe. 80cm seems such a long way to step across and a seemingly lot of pressure needs to be applied but I'm sure I will get used to it. I had the same problems with the straps, a bloody long way off even compared to the 115.

Although the slick straps are good, I am going to fit either the Starboard race straps or DK Contours. They have the edge over the slicks and I find them more comfortable.

All in all I am very pleased with the light wind performance of the 133. I found it very easy to pass others on the lake. I like picking a target and then passing them:D. This board is great for that. I also think it will keep my fitness up and it's much better than going to the gym on those light wind days.

All I need to do now is improve my big board skills. It's amazing how easily they are lost when you sail smaller kit for a long time.

21st June 2007, 10:35 AM
Hi Phill104,

I experienced a similar result after limiting my sailing to a 7.0 for a while. Going back up to an 8.3 and using my older course slalom board, I found that my jibing skills were initially quite weak, almost pitiful. I felt so untogether, but it's an older design that's more difficult to jibe than some of the newer shorter designs offered today. Still moving up in sail size affects the process greatly, such that I almost feel that I was swinging a barn door of sorts. I can't even imagine sailing formula size sails. Surely, in my mind, a task better suited to younger guys in their 20s and 30s.

Still, it feels great to be styling on a floater board with a bit of sail working for you. Being limited earlier by the 7.0, the kiters were able take advantage and make me feel that I was off the mark, particularly in the lulls. However, with an 8.3, I'm able to advance enough power and speed to easily bring me back in the game and give them something to think about. The situation is really a competition amongst old friends, so the circumstances really stir up quite a bit of interest and stoke overall, despite the contrast in the two different sports.

In any case, I think that those higher volume boards and bigger sails are sweet, despite the extra challenge jibing the kit. We just need to tighten up to be on top of the game.

21st June 2007, 03:13 PM
gybing the iS133 is a bit of a task (planing through). The main problem is finding out where to place your foot to maintain a curve (but not too much) AND not fall off a plane. Too far forwards or too much MFP (which in this case isn't much at all) and board grinds to a halt. Larger sails make flipping the sail a bit slower so you have to initiate the flip sooner to make sure your "still" on a broad reach (new tack) when you've got the sail in your hands (again) (and you have to remember to ease off the curve quite fast). Having that dialed almost everything (other surfers, kiters) in light wind turn into markers for your gybe.

22nd June 2007, 07:54 PM
How much advantage do you think you've gained with 133 over 115 with the same sail 8.5? I know this might be difficult to answer, but I am your weight and I am interested in iS115 or 111. Put differently, do you find iS115 comfortable with 8.5/9.0? I suppose 133 will really come into its own with 9 or bigger.

22nd June 2007, 11:30 PM
Screamer wrote:
Put differently, do you find iS115 comfortable with 8.5/9.0?

I used the 115 quite happpily with the 8.5 for the last year and as long at there was enough wind I could get planing almost as fast as the guys out on their carve 144s on 9.4s. Once planing I could catch them, shame my gybes are crap.

The difference the 133 makes is quite noticable though. You can pick the slightest gust to get planing and then keep going in winds that would see the 115 drop off the plane.

13th July 2007, 04:15 PM

I had a very similar experience yesterday. Did't get out until afternoon and before that it had been quite windy, approx. 25 knots. Now the wind had dropped to around 16-18 knots and I decided to try my new big kit out, an Isonic 122 with 8,0 camed freerace sail. This although my s-type 115 would be a better choice considering the very untidy choppy conditions.

With "old" very close waisthigh swells/chop rolling in, it was a scary and very bouncy experience to be fully powered on my iS 122. Close to wipeout several times but I managed to hold the kit down. Buried the nose of the board in waves several times. Got tired of survival surfing and brought out my ST 115, what a difference! Although challenging conditions, far better control with nocam 7,0, nice and smooth.

My question is now about the intended waterstate for the larger iSonics, am I right about that these boards are flat water to small chop machines only? What is the general waterstate like when the pros race bigger kit? I really can't imagnine anybody on this planet to stay in control fully lit on big kit in the conditions I was out in yesterday.

/ andy

Ian Fox
14th July 2007, 03:52 AM
Hi Andy,

A lot depends on rider weight (height), strength/experience/attitude/determination.

Using a big, technical, more demanding board/rig combos in these choppy and medium wind conditions is not usually the best option for a fun pleasure ride, as you were able to prove in your own comparison. But if you had to race the best guys in the world in that situation, that big/scary/survival combo may still have been the most effective race trim. "May" is important because it really depends on the type/style of racing and a zillion other variables, and yes, there are conditions where (especially some) riders will be more comfortable on the "easier" ride of the smaller board/sail combo.

However, also worth noting that a real performance potential exists for a well driven larger board/sail combo to out perform in these conditions using the "blaze across the top " style (technique) rather than the "sailing smoothly down into the chop" style with smaller boards.

Abviously "blazing" in these conditions is not so relaxed, or even fun, for a lot of people. And yes there is no doubt it is physically (and mentally) more challenging/demanding. But it can be more effective than it (initially) feels. And if it's more effective, at the end of the day, the pros will ride it. Comfort second.

Cheers ~ Ian

15th July 2007, 01:15 AM
Klint wrote:
My question is now about the intended waterstate for the larger iSonics, am I right about that these boards are flat water to small chop machines only? What is the general waterstate like when the pros race bigger kit? I really can't imagnine anybody on this planet to stay in control fully lit on big kit in the conditions I was out in yesterday.

/ andy

Hi Andy
Well it's maybe hard to imagine, but you'd better believe it, there are a few on this planet who do it regularly. I personaly know only one guy who participated in a few Euro cup and PWA races (he's far from Albeau/Dunkerbeck/Micah level though) and it's hard to believe what gear he is using in 25-30 knots and waist+ high swell/chop.
Check these pics, all taken during Costa Teguise event (SLALOM, not wave mind you):



Don't worry (I don't), they're not humans ;). In these conditions, mortals like me reach for their Kombats/Acids and have a ball.