View Full Version : Ultimate light wind speed machine

23rd September 2007, 06:24 PM

I need some advice concerning light wind sailing. The maximum sail size that I currently use is a NP RS6 9.0m on my iSonic 135 (2006). However I also want to sail in 11.0m conditions, so for next year I'm planning to buy the Gaastra Vapor 11.0m. My iSonic 135 will probably be too small for 11.0m sails. Therefore the plan is to replace the iSonic 135 with a bigger board that will handle the 9.0m and 11.0m race sails bettter. My weight is 90 kg. The board will not be used in competitions but I like to go very, very, very fast!! Which light wind 2008 iSonic would you recommend? Or should I try the Formula 162?

Thanks in advance, good sailing,


24th September 2007, 10:23 PM
I need the same advice!
Maybe Remi can help?

All the best, DWA

24th September 2007, 11:57 PM
I'm not an expert, but I have sailed formula, and I think a formula board or the 93 cm wide iSonic would be the best for handling an 11.0. You'll not only be able to go fast, but you'll be able to travel great distances upwind and downwind in no time.

26th September 2007, 04:31 AM
Thank you James for your quick reply.
I also think that the choice will probably be between the two boards that you mentioned. But maybe the iSonic 144 can also do the job.
I've read your interesting post on longboard windsurfing. About a month ago in very light winds I sailed with my iSonic 135 and a NP RS6 9.0m sail and was not able to keep up with a (lighter) windsurfer on a NP RSX with a 9.0 RSX sail. When the wind got somewhat stronger I was able to just keep up with him. In lulls he just sailed away from me. This makes me wonder if boards like the Phantom, Kona or RSX are good alternatives for the new very large slalom boards or formula boads.
I'm not looking for a comfortable planing board in light winds, I just want to go as fast as possible in those conditions. However if the difference in speed between those three longer boards and the iSonic or formula is very small but the comfort difference is very big then maybe I should reconsider.


26th September 2007, 04:36 AM

iSonic 144 is a slalom board for heavy weight which can handle a 11.0 sail OK.
iSonic 150 is a free formula that planes a bit earlier than iSonic 144.
F162 is a pure formula that beats all of the above for early planing in light wind.
Apollo is the ultimate early planing machine in light wind.

For max speed in light wind, you need first to get on planing, which for your 90 kg weight means earliest planing : Apollo > F162 > iS150 > iS144. This is a different story than max speed in overpowered conditions with an 11 m2 sail, for which the slalom iS144 would be faster for a heavy weight.

With my 65 kg weight, I'm enjoying a NP RX2 10.6 sail and a 54 cm fin on either a HS105 or an iSonic 133 : I can start the planing as of 7 knots and can be as fast as a Formula (buddie's weight : 65-105 kg) in the wind range 7-12 knots. Now, I use a Code Red 2 11.0 m2 on my HS105 + Select RS7 55 cm fin with great pleasure. Sorry, I cannot comment about iSonic 133 + CR2 11 m2 as not tested yet.

Cheers !


26th September 2007, 12:02 PM
Hi again LD,

You wrote, "This makes me wonder if boards like the Phantom, Kona or RSX are good alternatives for the new very large slalom boards or formula boads."

Well, yes, I definitely think that the new longboards are a good choice for light winds. While they may not be quite as lively as a shortboard in fully-planing conditions, they give the guarantee that you can have a good time even in non-planing conditions, which occur a lot in most places. Perhaps instead of getting a new shortboard and a bigger sail, you could keep your iSonic 135 and 9.0, but buy a Phantom or Serenity for high performance in marginal winds. I've ridden the Serenity and I have to say, that thing is amazing. :) It's ridiculously expensive, but perhaps not more so than an 11.0 rig and a new formula board.

26th September 2007, 04:59 PM
Agree with James about max speed in light winds: in 1-6 knots wind, a Serenity with a CR2 11.0 sail beats anything in non-planing conditions (a bit faster than a Hobbie Cat 18). In 6/7 knots wind, Apollo is king in planing conditions, especially for a heavy weight. The Phantom 380 fits in the middle by being a good allrounder between non-planing and planing conditions.

Cheers !


27th September 2007, 09:49 AM
I've ridden the Serenity and I have to say, that thing is amazing. :) It's ridiculously expensive, but perhaps not more so than an 11.0 rig and a new formula board.
Do you have experience in sailing Div2 boards (such as Olympic Lechner)? If you do, can you compare the ride/handling? I ask this beacause I expect that fixed "daggerboard" to give at least some problems on deep downwind course or in stronger wind.
Wrt price, you say that it's more than 2500-3000 EUR (a new Formula + full carbon rig)? That's sounds ridiculous for sure, maybe justified by complex hull shape.


Sorry for hijacking the thread. I believe your choice depends of the wind quality on your light sessions. No matter how early a Formula can plane, it's not going to work at its best if the wind is very gusty, with a lot of lulls. Here a longboard (or a Serenity) will work better.

28th September 2007, 01:07 PM
Just to add my two cents regarding the Serenity - it exceeds all my expectations and changes my view on what conditions I can go fast and have fun. The amazing thing is that you don't have to rig a huge sail (ie, 10 or 11). With just a 7.5 in 5-7 mph winds it's glide is superb and it develops apparent wind so easily, you just feel it accelerate. But what I really find fun is taking it out with the 7.5 in 12 - 14 mph winds with the 41 cm fin. It is just so lively and responds so well to foot steering. In these higher winds it just rips, with the bow wave spraying over your shins. It almost feels like it's planing even though I know it's not and it just slices through the chop. Without footstraps you are free to find the optimul position for your feet and control how much of the bow is in or out of the water. With the added power in higher winds it can just fly upwind. What fun! The only downside is that it's not as maneuverable in tacking or jibing but I can live with that given all the fun you can have in winds that never used to be exciting. The really interesting thing is that with other boards, if you sail where the wind changes quite a bit or where there is a wind line you often find yourself either over or under rigged (ie, slogging with a sail too small to get out to a windline or overpowered if the wind picks up). Instead, with a 7.5 sail on the serenity, if there's a wind line that little sail will effortlessly get you out to more wind beyond the windline; and if you start out in very light wind and it builds you just keep sailing without going in to rig down (although admittedly I haven't yet gone above about 14 mph and yes, there is a point where it would just make sense to go to a shortboard). The best part is that instead of wondering what to rig and/or waiting around on the beach for the wind to build (I'm talking summer thermal winds on lakes which typically don't go above maybe 15 mph, not gorge winds here) you can just rig a 7.5, head out, and have fun over a wide wind range.

1st October 2007, 01:00 AM
Dear all,

Fully agree with Jay : Serenity can be a great joy without a jumbo sail as well.

However, check out what Rémi has to say about maximum speed in 5, 7 or 10 knots of wind between a Serenity, a Phantom Race and an Apollo : http://www.star-board.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2306

Cheers !


1st October 2007, 02:25 AM
Hi LD,

I suppose you will use this board in Long Distance Race, so with no rules. In this case I will recomand you the F162 who will be the faster one on the reach with 11m˛ from 7 to 13 knots, after the iSonic 144 or 133 can start to be faster.

All the best

1st October 2007, 04:02 AM
Thank you Remi for your reply.
It's great to get advice from people who are deeply involved in the development of the iSonics and Formula boards! It gives me more confidence which board to choose for fast sailing in light winds next season.

All the best,