View Full Version : iSonic 101 or 96?

15th August 2007, 10:15 PM
Looking for a board next to my iSonic 125. Will sail this board mainly with a 7.7 Code Red and sometimes with a 6.3 NP Z1.

Will the 96 be a lot faster (GPS speedsailing) with a powered up 7.7 than the 101? What are the actual volumes or is 96/101 accurate?

I'm 92 kg.


hans kleingeld
16th August 2007, 02:05 AM
Hi Rop,

I have surfed the iSonic 105 with the Overdrive 7.5. This size seemed to fit perfectly with the 105. I guess the 101 will carry bigger sails as least as easy as the 105 does. The 105 planed quite quick and upwind abillity was great.

However if you are focussing for a smaller board for more wind, a smaller sail like your 6.3 will be the most important sail on the smaller board. The 6.3 will be perfect with the smaller 96 but allready may becomes small with the 101. Besides this with the 96 you may even use an even smaller sail.

I think for recreational speedsurfing a 101 can be made faster with a 7.7 more easy than the 96 does, also because you're quit heavy like I am. So most important may the question which sails will be surfed with which boards and under which circustances.


Ian Fox
16th August 2007, 10:27 AM
Hi Rob,

Considering your specific factors, the iS96 will give a better top speed/GPS result in perfect and well powered conditions, when everything is in favor of a really good speed run - and provided you can make advantage of that. The iS101 will be more likely to be faster in less ideal conditions (including well powered but really rough conditions), but in these conditions all speeds will be down anyway (c/w perfect speed conditions), so wont impress on your GPS.

Because your target is GPS speedsailing, (where top speed counts for all, but overall practicality, planing, windward, allround speed is less vital) the recommendation is towards the iS96, if it was for general slalom use in these same conditions then the recommendation (for 92kg) would be the iS101.

Cheers ~ Ian

16th August 2007, 03:32 PM
Thanks Hans and Ian,
My concern is a bit that the 101 is too close to my 125. In lighter 7.7 conditions I would use the 125/7.7. Powered up with the 7.7 I would use the smaller board and then the 96 seems a better pick. It would also work with a 6.3 better than the 101.


18th August 2007, 05:18 PM
Hi Ian,

new lineup, same indecision... 94 or 101 it was, 96 or 101 is now... last year I kept my old board, this one probably I will get a new one.
I am still about 185 lbs., this year I sailed 7.0 and a few times 6.3 TR-3 on my '06 S95. Feels pretty good, expecially now that I put the front straps all the way back and out (why didn't anyone tell me before?), of course can't compete against bigger board/fin combos going upwind even in good 7.0 days (specifically I sailed a lot with a guy on WarpSlalom 67 and 7.0, I could easily go away in gusts, but he would gain lots of water going upwind, expecially in lulls; no story in 6.3 days, of course). I still want a board that delivers in 7.0 days and flies in those good 6.3 ones; if it can even hold a 7.6 and work, even better.
So in the end: does the new 96 provide better performance in lighter days, can it be comfortable on 7.6? Does it still work nicely in 25 knots gusting to 30 with a 6.3? Or that wider beam and tail moved its sweet spot towards lower winds? How does it compare with the 101 for my weight, both on 7.0? I guess the 96 will outperform in 6.3 days, and the 101 in 7.6 ones.

Or, in other terms. The '07 lineup comprehended both the 94 and 101, and that proximity (actually just 3 lts. difference, from the ISAF listing) was puzzling. My idea was that it came from the decision to carry on the latest development of successful S100/95 shape along with newer designs, and I expected that to change for '08. Instead, it seems there are both a "new 94" and a "new 101" in the '08 lineup, both slightly wider but seemingly even more close in size and "sweetspot", and that is even more puzzling. Could you please develope this issue?

mark h
18th August 2007, 11:09 PM
I'v been using Sonic's 125/100/90 for the last couple of sessions. My fav combo is the Sonic 100/Warp 7.6m/35cm Select lightning. The S100 really is a "do it all" board with light wind and certain amount of high wind application. Mid 30's Down wind and track well up wind. This combo starts to work well in around 17/18 knot winds and is still fun in upto 30k winds. I'm 105kg so Geo, you wont have any proplems, just fun. I recently tried my 7.6m on a 07 iS87, and it worked pretty well (even though it should'nt).


20th August 2007, 02:13 PM
I'm 105kg so Geo, you wont have any proplems, ...



at 105 the Sonic 100 (95/i94/i96) is more an high wind board for you. Having the board/sail working in 20+ knots at 105 kg. does not necessarily mean it works in 15 knots at 83... I used the Sonic 95 for light winds with a 7.6 TR-2 last year, well it was plenty sailable but not quite in its prime, to my tastes at least.

20th August 2007, 04:13 PM
What about 96 vs 86 erlier planing with the same sail (6.6) ???
I think that there is not much diferent to go plan for a lightweight sailor like (75 kg)
If someone know about these boards 86, 96 .. are easy to plan? which one is best..? Some details for both?

Thanks my friends , cause i have not the opportunity to test these...

Ian Fox
21st August 2007, 07:23 AM
Hi Geo,

Your precise analysis of the finer details of these two very close designs is quite accurate - and there is good reason why these two designs (2008 iS96 and iS101) share a significant overlap in sweetspot. The primary reason is that the overlap occurs in almost the "perfect" slalom conditions size range for most "slalom" type riders, the magic 6.5-7.0+m range - where even a small change to the board can still be "significant" in precise tuning. This, as you know well, is a very fine and precise range of tuning, really the micro detail in this side of the sport, but one that can mean a lot on the water and to those who can appreciate the differences.

Delivering two "options" into that ~100Lt slalom board range really allows the rider the option to fine tune their choice - according to both conditions - and maybe more subtly (but equally or even more importantly) - their riding and/or tuning style. For a given set of conditions and equal rider sizes, some riders will prefer a "hi power" sailing/tuning style that is more sail, more fin, more board, overpowered, more "ragged" and potentially less efficient overall, whereas other riders (same size/conditions) prefer a more precise "hi efficiency" style using slightly less sail, less fin and even less board but a more precise style/technique to achieve a potential higher top speed thru lower drag. In speed sailing discussions, you may have heard this discussed as a more "gliding" style. Of course, both styles have varying benefits, but for optimal tuning the rider needs to identify and match their detail level equipment choice with their own personal ride style/technique.

The newer rail shape of the iS96 (and similar on iS101) you will find more forgiving and confident in the mid and mid forward section when the board is sailed (or oversailed) in choppy conditions, with an increased feeling of "push-on" ability at the critical time when hard railed designs are often giving a more cautionary or "limit" feedback. It's not correct to suggest that either the iS96 or 101 are "freeride" boards, but once a rider is comfortable with the ride/handling, the feeling/ability/confidence on these boards delivers a significant freeride character .. They are genuinely easier to ride, and this increases their potential to be pushed (hard) at the top end, even if (by traditional comparison) some design details (like a wider tail) may indicate a reduced top end control.

Obviously the iS96 is closest to your current benchmark S95 (2006) presents a design with realistic lightwind potential around 7.6m, but with a performance window aligned more to the 6.3-7.0m range for typical slalom guys around 80-90kg. The newer iS96 compares to the S95 by having a more workable bottom end range (thanks obviously to the wider tail area), a modestly better windward or beam reach performance and a modest increase in downwind speed, especially in light to medium or gusty slalom conditions. The wider tail area definitely improves acceleration ( a big plus in actual slalom racing and also in point-to-point speed in gusty conditions) and is generally not perceived to be a control problem (as the typical stance also places the rider further outboard offering an effective increase in leverage over the roll centre of the board). The general feel of the newer design is a little calmer, less sharp on the water and this is often mistakenly interpreted to feel slower ; a simple man-on-man will resolve that.

The iS101 - whilst very close to iS96 in static size - definitely sails a full "size" bigger than the 96 and is more suitable for riders looking to retain a hi level of performance in the 6.5-7.0m range whilst reinforcing that with solid 7.5 and even 8.0m potential. The significantly (c/w S95) wider tail boosts light-medium and upwind performance but the wider iS101 also has a more noticeable "Jekyll and Hyde" character where despite 101 being a medium wind slalom board it also likes to be sailed very hard (and with the correct technique, it can be !!) - and this transforms the efficient mid wind board into a bit of a (solid 20-25) kts mid-hi wind animal. In that mode it would be considered to be quite "dirty" (not so efficient and not so calmly controlled on the water) but the comparative results can still be rather impressive - even in open water downwind extreme conditions that would traditionally favor a narrow, smaller board. The big BUT here is that it really does need to sailed "animal" (plenty of power + plenty of balls), if you try and sail it "precise" in 25 solid kts and wild chop, it's very safe but just not so fast. Also worth noting that in these conditions "very fast" is relative, as in absolute terms any board speed across rough water is significantly lower than flat water speed, and so the ideal weapon for rough, open water may not be the same as for super flat.

In pure speed (ie : GPSSS) conditions very flat, sheltered water when (absolute) board speeds will be higher, the narrower iS96 generally is a more suitable (top speed) choice and is generally considered to be a more competitive choice than the iS101.

The tail rocker of the iS96 is based on the traditional straighter rocker of the Sonic 95, and so the tail rocker trim of the 96 has a similar overall style/technique to the board you know now.
(this is in comparison to some of the newer double flat concept boards, which feature a rear flat release section, which in technique terms benefits from being able to get the board up onto the tail section, improving the release from the mid e section but also requiring the trim maintained in that position for maximum effect. This again is a very small detail, but significant once you get to the mid / upper levels of extracting the very most from these boards.

I hope this has explained a lot more towards your understanding of these designs, but of course we welcome your discussion and further questions as required. As always, we would suggest an extended demo or test ride for personal comparison, but again caution that a "casual" couple of runs on the new boards won't (normally) allow a rider to fully discover and exploit the potential of the new designs c/w more traditional ones.

For Hermes :

In powered 6.6 conditions, you are correct to note that the planing won't be a lot slower/later on the iS86 than the iS96, however in marginal (that's marginal slalom 6.6) conditions the extra size of the iS96 can make a significant difference in not only the actual planing, but which board comes to "fully planing" earlier. On the slalom course - or even drag racing with friends, that can make a lot of race difference.

Of course, when judging early planing thresholds, one really big variable is the level of rider input : if a rider has a very energetic/determined /hi input/pumping technique, they can significantly close down the early planing gap to the iS96, however if the rider is more "static" (not so active planing technique) then the difference in board choice will be more significant. Additionally, water conditions (and other variable) play a big role; in flatter conditions the smaller board + pumping will be less of a handicap than the smaller board + pumping in rough/choppy conditions.

Cheers ~ Ian

21st August 2007, 02:14 PM

thanks a lot! You are precious as always, and your detailed explanations are of huge help for me making up my mind, and I think for many others. The point for me is that I hardly can test new board designs without previously purchasing them, so the best I can do is to understand designs and the way they work.
Testing obviously brings surprises, and I must admit it was a real eye opener about "wide bodies" performance... but that was only this Summer, months after new board deal time was over here. So thanks a lot again for your helpful explanations.
I think the combination of wider tail and smoother forward rails is a good way to enhance performances of iS96 compared to S95; after all, power under foot is good to have when trim is OK, while some forgivingness when trim goes off for any reason shouldn't affect speed performance, but only recovery times. Well done, I guess, and most interesting.

15th September 2007, 05:49 AM
Ian explanation is very helpfull and I think it's very hard to find better words to say what he states.
I'd like to say some more:
one of Isonics plus is that they bring in slalom what Starboard formula did in its program.The easyness of performance for a social and multicultural use.Both pro sailor and week end people will love the high standard level of performance at relatively low cost of energy.From this point to ahead things get a bit difficult and the gap between pro and w.e. people becomes deeper but still pro sailor will be able to keep out the max also when not motorred by the best size board or trim and w.e. raiders will love the big window of performance of any size.But if they're in trouble probably they'll be in the same situation with any board of any other brand....
So as Ias said earlier for similar condition,maybe,different boards!
In the beginning of 2007 I had to choose my slalom one and was scared about numbers but when finally choosen the 111 I started to sail with in any situation and i can say that if you're enough trained you can go really fast also in 30 kns and 7,8! -as probably many people can do in 101 and 6,8 or 94 and 6,0-
But the question is:what do you really need?
A slalom board for slalom competition or for fast free sailing?Are you familiar with lot of jibes when use it or do you prefer beam reach for couple of miles?Do you use to sail flat or rough water?Do you sail alone or with other people with your same purpose.How do you trim your sails?How many fins are in your quiver?How many times in a week you go sailing slalom?
I think that nobody from starboard can answer to that for you but they tried to make it easy presenting a full house range where any size is not so far from other and,if people is not stupid making a very wrong choice,everybody will be pay back from a big amount of quality peformance by any isonic.

P.S. my 111 is calm but damn fast!!!! Please ask to many f2 riders!