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Fast
16th August 2008, 05:47 AM
I was expecting to see carbon Isonics, would be super..

nonopr
16th August 2008, 08:54 AM
I was expecting to see carbon Isonics, would be super..

Yeah, that is one thing I ever wonder why there are no carbon isonics. Since this is the ultimate slalom and speed machines why not full carbon. Is it the price or is it the durability.
I would love to have a super light weight iSonic in my gun rack 6.5 kilos is too heavy still. The light weight will give the iSonic less swing weight and will be more quicker to react to gust.

Ola_H
16th August 2008, 02:03 PM
From what I heard, the carbon protos of the iSonics didn't get lighter than the wood versions, so it was decided to stay with wood.

geo
16th August 2008, 05:25 PM
???
Similar volume Kodes, that are supposed to be more jump-worthy than iSonics, show nice lighter weights and about 700 gms. weight advantage for wood carbon: iSonic94 is stated at 6.2 (which is a nice weight for a production slalom board in my view, supposed it's for real), Kode94 woodcarbon at 5.7, Kode94 wood at 6.45. Which leaves one thinking a wood carbon iS94 would be about 5.5. Must be more complicated than just that.

560
16th August 2008, 10:12 PM
Hi Ola H,

After test fiSonic in carbon who was ligther, we didn't notice any avantage on water. Carbon is event less confortable and you can't finaly go fast as wood.

Any way the iSonics 2009 will be ligther than the 2008

Unregistered
17th August 2008, 02:09 AM
carbon holds its shape for too long

frigobox
17th August 2008, 01:24 PM
Maybe *board keeps a tech surprise for us....? I say this because real slalom boards are the ones that need the most high-tech and light construction...

geo
17th August 2008, 02:48 PM
In my view, too much can be too much. Super stiff, super light slalom boards can be excessively demanding to ride for common people.
That said, in my view and experience at least, Starboard slalom boards are a bit behind that line dividing a fast yet comfortable ride from a bone shattering one. As I said, 6.2 (supposed it's for real) is a "nice" weight for a 94 lts. slalom board, but still falls far from the best figures from the competition. My slalom board in that volume range is 5.6 (for real: measured on a scale, actual weight, not a +/- 6% figure), and rides unreproachably comfortable and controllable. Reasons given so far for not introducing lighter woodcarbon iSonics still sound fake.

LK
17th August 2008, 04:54 PM
Stupid discussions over and over again. As “560” stated above, there were tested lighter “carbon” iSonics and conclusion was, wood was still faster.
Why not discuss why these stupid other brands can’t figure out that wood construction and a bit more weight in the right parts of a slalom board make the best board.
The board is winning everything for years but it’s not good enough for you Einstein’s.
Last proof, Bjorn in Alacati !!!
“THE BEST FOR THE BEST”, AND “THE BEST FOR THE REST” , is not good enough for you !! ????
Never thought about, that the final result could be a product of INTERACTIONS of the different parameters.

Cheers

geo
17th August 2008, 08:17 PM
Stupid discussions over and over again.
LK,
it seems I need to make my message more clear.
As “560” stated above, there were tested lighter “carbon” iSonics and conclusion was, wood was still faster.
560 said that, but this does not mean it is true, expecially if, as it seems (had opportunity to test protos and take part in decision making) 560 is somehow related to the brand. What 560 said seems to me a perfect typical statement from a brand representative.
Why not discuss why these stupid other brands can’t figure out that wood construction and a bit more weight in the right parts of a slalom board make the best board.
Personally, I rode sandwich slalom boards made in different ways: custom, glass, carbon (more and less), nomex, wood... So far in my experience my wood Sonic95 had a nice stiffness but excessive weight (6.6) when compared to about 100 lts. RRD281 (5.6), RRD278 (5.7), old Drops276 in full carbon (5.8) and Nomex (5.3), and today's "brand X" (5.6). In my view and feel, performance of my Sonic95 was affected by excessive weight.
As a consequence, I don't think any extra weight in the right places makes a better board in absolute terms. I think that "right" weight makes a better board, that "right" does not mean necessarily "as low as possible" (my old Drops276 in full carbon rode better than its Nomex version), nor "a bit more is better", and that what is right for AA or BD is not necessarily the best for me and you.
The board is winning everything for years but it’s not good enough for you Einstein’s.
Starboard is winning everything since long, but this may depend as well by boards' performances or by financial power to afford the best riders. By the way, I refuse to believe that the iSonic I can buy from the shop is just like the ones that KP and AA ride.
Last proof, Bjorn in Alacati !!!
Bjorn in Alacati won for many reasons, probably some of which are to be found in AA's mistakes.
“THE BEST FOR THE BEST”, AND “THE BEST FOR THE REST” , is not good enough for you !! ????
Again, AA winning everything on Starboard does not mean the same board is the best for me.
Never thought about, that the final result could be a product of INTERACTIONS of the different parameters.
Right, I do agree 100%. Always thought about.

LK
17th August 2008, 09:20 PM
Dear Geo, most content in your post #8, is in line with my post, so is a good part of your last post. So whats the problem you actually agree in almost everything I write.

"As a consequence, I don't think any extra weight in the right places makes a better board in absolute terms. I think that "right" weight makes a better board, that "right" does not mean necessarily "as low as possible"

This is just what I say. If the actual weight distribution and total weight is the best, so why change it.
If someone wants to buy a lighter carbon board which sails worth than a heavyer iSonic so let them do it.

I have spoken with testriders personally, so I know "560" is spot on.



Cheers
:-))

Ola_H
18th August 2008, 02:19 AM
Well, I think Björns recent results on iSonics and maybe even more the fact that he choose to race on iSonics instead of his sponsor brands board says a lot. Together with Antoines results and what KP is doing I think we can safely say the boards are very very fast. Fast enough to win. And if prototype testing shows carbon boards are not faster, why would anyone want to pay more for a non-upgrade in performance?

steveC
18th August 2008, 09:53 AM
Just curious, are the carbon iSonics full carbon layups top and bottom, or are they a combination of partial carbon fabrics and wood integrated together? Often the amount of carbon used in boards in years past has been a long way from full carbon layups, and as a result, claims could literally be considered to be almost false advertising. Full carbon layups top and bottom, to include practical carbon re-enforcements, are arguably the stiffest/lightest construction available, and that doesn't necessarily mean that the ride is unfriendly and rough. I'm not inferring that Starboard is offering less than the real thing, but I'm thinking that the the carbon thing needs to be properly characterized and referenced to have real meaning.

Unregistered
18th August 2008, 11:14 AM
I own a Carbon board(well thats what it's marketed as) and have also spent some time on a *board isonic86.
The 86 is a great board "but" i like the crispness of my carbon board it feels lighter under foot in saying that when the conditions get really rough the 86 gave a more forgiving ride.

Starboard should market a complete wood setup...Board...teak boom...teak mast....and wooden fin

geo
18th August 2008, 02:07 PM
LK,
it's not strange that we agree on obvious concepts.
Where our views differ is in your faith in Starboard proposing the best possible construction; despite the obvious facts that the competition proposes lighter boards with larger use of carbon laminates and wood technology being readily available to them by the very same manufacturing facility.
My view insted is that Starboard's slalom boards are .5 - 1 kg heavier than optimal, or at least those available to common customers are.
Please, please, please, open your eyes, what top heavyweight pro riders like AA or BD successfully ride in competition means just nothing to us common mortals! They will use their 'given size' boards and sails in conditions that are at least 5 or 10 knots more than those we would be riding a similar kit in! They use in 20 or 25 knots the same kit we would be using in 15, and in 30 knots the kit we'd be using in 20! This is the same as saying they are on completely different boards. Even provided the iSonics they ride are actually comparable to those we can actually buy.

Unregistered
18th August 2008, 04:54 PM
...My view insted is that Starboard's slalom boards are .5 - 1 kg heavier than optimal, or at least those available to common customers are...




Debating about performance differences because a board is heavier of 0.5 - 1 kg than another is just a foolishness !!!

viking
18th August 2008, 06:02 PM
"why would anyone want to pay more for a non-upgrade in performance?"

There is something I do not understand. What is the purpose of this carbon line if you admit that it does not bring any upgarde in performance?

Anyway, the answer to your question is easy: it is called marketing!

geo
18th August 2008, 06:12 PM
Debating about performance differences because a board is heavier of 0.5 - 1 kg than another is just a foolishness !!!

Tell this to the brands offering those 0.7 kg lighter WoodCarbon boards...

ACE
18th August 2008, 07:57 PM
Ive looked at some of the other brands that use full Carbon Sandwich construction and dont really see much difference in weight compare to the Isonics ,at most it was 0.4 difference which is bugger all really, some brands are actually heavier eg Exocet even with there new full carbon range boards. I perfer having a board that is 0.4 heavier than replacing a board every season IMO.

Ola_H
18th August 2008, 08:32 PM
"why would anyone want to pay more for a non-upgrade in performance?"

There is something I do not understand. What is the purpose of this carbon line if you admit that it does not bring any upgarde in performance?

Anyway, the answer to your question is easy: it is called marketing!

Because in slalom racing, its largely about measurable performance. If tests show carbon is not faster, then it isn't better either, despite that light always _feel_ nice.

But in wave and freestyle boards some other things come into play. Also here, to some degree have the deceiving feel that it must be better if it feels lighter. But you also move the board around much, much more in off the lips, cutbacks, some jumps and in most freestyle tricks. Here board weight will matter more, but it is not measurable as easily. And even in manoeuvres, some of the difference will inevitably be psychological.

Ian Fox
19th August 2008, 07:51 AM
And as most of the informed writers in this discussion know,
we actually built and head-to-head tested a lot of 2009 proto
full carbon /carbon hybrid iSonics...
And guess what??

We really wanted to know if there was a performance edge we could deliver..
And guess what ??

And when a carbon/carbon hybrid (etc) iSonic can outperform current versions,
guess what??

Call it what you like... I'd call it logic.

Not much guess work.

Cheers ~ Ian

davide
19th August 2008, 08:34 AM
Because in slalom racing, its largely about measurable performance. If tests show carbon is not faster, then it isn't better either, despite that light always _feel_ nice.

But in wave and freestyle boards some other things come into play. Also here, to some degree have the deceiving feel that it must be better if it feels lighter. But you also move the board around much, much more in off the lips, cutbacks, some jumps and in most freestyle tricks. Here board weight will matter more, but it is not measurable as easily. And even in manoeuvres, some of the difference will inevitably be psychological.

I am sorry but this really starts to feel a bit corporate. Happy to believe that construction gives no performance advantage to pro-level sailors in a slalom situation using huge (100-120L) slalom boards, but then wood/glass vs wood/carbon somehow gives a performance advantage to recreational sailors on much smaller (70-90L) boards? But this advantage is unmeasurable? so we can forget any rational discussion?

The only independent test I have seen on boards weights (UK boards magazine July) shows that, as expected, weight makes no difference for recreational sailors ESPECIALLY in small boards (sub-85/90). It is easy for everybody to test this: just put 1Kg to the mast box of your board and check the non-existent difference in performance.

Water floats guys and girls :) and gravitational de-acelleration is not a function of weight (for the jumpers out there)

Ola_H
19th August 2008, 01:43 PM
Yeah, water floats and gravity is gravity. But in the end there is the physics on one hand and the performance on the other hand. I never wrote there will be a distinct advantage for recreational sailors, but from a physics point of view it is easy. Everything else equal a lighter board will easier to move around. A quick cutback is a very fast rotational move as far as the board is concerned. If the board is 20% lighter, you will need 20% less energy to make this move. And if you really put a good experimental physicist on it, of course you could measure it in practice too. I'm the first to say weight is not THAT important in a wave board, but when you sail the same shape in two different constructions you will feel a certain difference after all. But the beauty of it is that any customer has the choice. Nobody is forced to buy a more expensive carbon board. Wood and technora works great.

In slalom, a lighter board would be theoretically better because the board is continuously accelerated up and down by the chop this soaks energy from the forward motion. But this is theory and in practice things like comfort plays a huge role and if test show a carbon board is not faster, then theory will not matter. Even in moto racing the suspension is not tuned for maximum power transfer but for a compromise of power transfer and control/comfort.

geo
19th August 2008, 01:59 PM
I am sorry but this really starts to feel a bit corporate.
...

Just a very very very little tiny bit...

By the way, phisics is phisics. For some mysterious reason, my personal experience agrees 100% with phisics, Starboard test team's does not.
Over time I used quite a few medium wind slalom boards of about 100 lts. volume; and lighter meant nicer to use (I am a recreational sailor with a taste for speed, so nice to use means a good deal to me), always but in one single case where I went too far (5.3 kg, Nomex construction).

Light weight means low inertia and the boards' ability to follow the water surface with less sticking in and (unwanted) taking off. In my view and experience this is an advantage until one is able to rule and tame the board's ride. A pro rider, plenty heavy strong and fit, will love light weight to a much farther extent than a recreational sailor, whose legs and ankles will be fatigued pretty soon and loose the ability to keep the board on track. So for recreational sailors "lighter is better" is not 100% true, but rather there is an "optimum" point of balance. That point, in my view, for medium wind slalom boards of about 100 lts. (what I ride) falls somewhere between 5.5 and 6.0 kg, which is lower than Starboard's offerings (iS94 and iS101) in that class, even not considering the +/-6% tolerance that in my experience hopelessly reads "+" for people buying their kit in shop.
Well one could say 6.2 is not that far from 6.0; but 6.2 + some% is very far from 5.5!

For this reason, I thought the intoduction of carbon wood versions was the occasion for Starboard to introduce lighter slalom boards; and for this reasons those "corporate" answers "trust me, I tested it and despite everything this is what we found" sound fake to me. Maybe I am wrong but, honestly, this all drives me another step back from entering that shop and order an iSonic. Was I able to sort a really "-6%" sample from the production lot, it could be different.

By the way. Ola: there is no way vertical accelleration induced by chop may soak energy from forward motion: the directions of that accelleration and that motion are 90° from each other. It is true that extra weight will make the board react slower because of inertia, so there will be more "sticking in" before lift will free the hull from a piece of chop, and more "air time" from any piece of chop before one is able to push the board down and apply drive again.

davide
19th August 2008, 02:20 PM
From a physics point of view
Oh my! A bit of order:

* If the board is 20% lighter (which cannot be, you cannot gain 1Kg out of a 80L sandwich board just because you use 4oz Carbon instead of 4-6oz fiberglass) you still get at most a 1% difference in TOTAL weight (board + rig + sailor). (Won't even enter a discussion about rotional weight, because then you realize that the supposed 20% weight difference is distributed over the length of the board and most of it has no influence whatsever in quick changes of direction).

* Water floats indeed: and any weight difference is cut at least in half because you are ... sailing on water ... not dragging your rig on mother earth.

* you say "comfort plays a huge role" in slalom but apparently this reverses in B&J and Wave? Do we have to conclude that Starboard "tests" demonstrate that a carbon construction is not as fast and less comfortable in a slalom board but actually is faster and more comfortable in a Wave board ....?

* By the way any discussion about carbon vs glass vs aramid is quite nonsensical. What matters in a sandwich construction is the core, and the fibers, and the # of layers, and the orientations used ( and the resin and and curing too). You can easily build a carbon board that is flexier then a glass board. Just discuss fibers is useless.

Some examples of constructions?

*** I ride Carbon Art boards that happen to be the most comfortable slalom boards I ever rode: I wonder how they manage to do that since they are 100% carbon.

*** AS far as I know, Mike's Lab builds everything in carbon but NOT the small sizes, where S-glass is the choice, for slalom too, because Carbon is simply an overkill in his opinion ...

Ola_H
19th August 2008, 05:13 PM
Davide:

When I say carbon (or woodcarbon) in this case, I'm talking of the construction as a whole relative to the wood or technora construction. I agree the fiber per se is not interesting. But there is a difference in both feel and weight in between the respective constructions. Throw in the proto hollow boards that were experimented with a few years ago you have something different again (and here the you can really start to talk about flex characteristics). Interestingly, when you look at the pros that use custom wave boards, they might even have their personal favourite construction. Some (most) like a bit of give but some (like Polakow) like a stiff double vacuumed all carbon construction.

As for the physics: 20% is maybe an overestimation, but if you look at the EVOs wood is somewhere around 12-15% heavier than woodcarbon. And if we're talking percentages and assume the weigh difference is evenly distributed, the increase in inertia will in fact be by the same percentage. And in real life more of the weight loss is in the (more important) front part of the board so you will get a bigger effect than this.

And the whole point (which I tried to make with bikes earlier) is that you cant add all weights together and expect that to be the end of the story. Again, in a cutback, the board is doing a super quick rotation while the rider moves only very little and much slower. When doing such a move, you will notice more (15%) weight. But is it important in the big picture? Is it worth the extra money? Maybe for some. Maybe for some more if you factor in the psychological feel good associated with a light board. Maybe not for most. That's why there is still the tried and true wood construction.

Geo: Yes, that is a better formulation of what I meant. The board is kind of suspending the rider form the chop, effectively meaning you push less energy into the chop. Kind of similar to MX or MTB, in a way. A interesting question if you choose to believe in the proto iS tests (wood as fast as woodcarbon) is WHY this is so? You refer to the riders being super strong and sailing super powered up. But maybe some of the explanation also comes from the shapes. I'm not a slalom expert, but what strikes when riding for example the iS101 is that it hits chop in a surprisingly smooth way, maybe because of the rather flat scoop line and the rest of the nose shape. I very seldom get that feeling of smacking into something on the iSonics, they seem to fly over most and take the rest of the hits very gracefully. Maybe this is what makes board weight a less important factor?

geo
19th August 2008, 07:17 PM
Ola,
I was referring to pro riders, I don't know if all of Starboard's testers are so or else.
From the measurements done by PlancheMag it seems the slalom board I am riding now has an even flatter scoop line than iSonic101, in its '08 version at least. I know very well that sensation of flying smoothly over chop, never smacking into it. Nevertheless, I believe much of the crispness of that board's ride comes from its ability to comply with water surface and quickly follow my feet's orders. Heavier, would be different; and not for better in my view. Plus, of course, given any board still has to react to chop in order not to smack into it, my reasoning still applies to iSonics.
Thinking better, I would be curious to see how a really light iSonic would be like, given its super smooth ride would probably take away most of the problems common mortals have to face when riding super light slalom boards.

davide
19th August 2008, 10:38 PM
Davide:

When I say carbon (or woodcarbon) in this case, I'm talking of the construction as a whole relative to the wood or technora construction. I agree the fiber per se is not interesting. But there is a difference in both feel and weight in between the respective constructions. Throw in the proto hollow boards that were experimented with a few years ago you have something different again (and here the you can really start to talk about flex characteristics). Interestingly, when you look at the pros that use custom wave boards, they might even have their personal favourite construction. Some (most) like a bit of give but some (like Polakow) like a stiff double vacuumed all carbon construction.

Exactly my point: weight and fiber have little to do with the ride characteristics one likes. You can be pretty sure that to be stiffer Polakow's boards are at least as heavy as the competition, they probably add extra (partial) layers and use carbon to keep weight down. (PS Hollow boards were built throughout the late 80s early 90s and you could actually buy them, still can: http://www.airinside.ch/)

As for the physics: 20% is maybe an overestimation, but if you look at the EVOs wood is somewhere around 12-15% heavier than woodcarbon. And if we're talking percentages and assume the weigh difference is evenly distributed, the increase in inertia will in fact be by the same percentage. And in real life more of the weight loss is in the (more important) front part of the board so you will get a bigger effect than this.
Nice to play with % but you are talking about grams and frankly other things being equal I do not believe that you can achieve a 10% weight reduction just by going from glass to carbon on a wood-sandwich board (just do the math, I should dig out the weights from long gone times of building boards, but roughly the fiber is no more than 1/3 to 1/4 of the weight of the board, and fiber cloth weight is typically 5-9oz/sq yrd for BOTH S-glass and carbon and aramid). But forget % and do us a favour: tie 1/2 pound to the tip of your board (which is optimistic), and report back if you can tell any difference (again find a way to do it blind!).



And the whole point (which I tried to make with bikes earlier) is that you cant add all weights together and expect that to be the end of the story. Again, in a cutback, the board is doing a super quick rotation while the rider moves only very little and much slower. When doing such a move, you will notice more (15%) weight. But is it important in the big picture? Is it worth the extra money?

No, it is not (but it still nice to have for chi chi). The 15% is at most 7% at the periphery of the board, and the rest of the weight (under your feet) has no influence at all in chop or turns or cutbacks. There is way more change in weight under your feet when you switch from a 2mm shorty to a 4mm full wetsuit, and frankly I cannot tell any difference in performance!!!! (hei if there was the pros would go naked!)

Ola_H
20th August 2008, 12:41 AM
Davide, check the weights on the product page. They are based on averages from real production. And the difference is not just a fiber layer change, the whole layup is different, hence the 12-15% difference (on EVOs, haven't checked other boards).

I have to go and dig out one of the hollow boards. They had the vent screw in the nose so maybe you could have someone fill the nose up with half a pound of clay. Or not. Then go ride and try to guess which is it.

steveC
20th August 2008, 01:09 AM
Seemingly, the questions that I raised in my post #13 maybe can't be answered directly. Maybe the details are proprietary in nature, so they can't be discussed in a specific way. Still though, under all the paint and attractive appearances, one wonders what's really inside. I guess the +/- 5 to 6% weight fluctuations possible in the product adds even more mystery to ponder.

Ola_H
20th August 2008, 03:16 AM
It looks like there is carbon all over on both sides, the paint has that semi see through quality.

But I don't know the details of the construction. For some info on the general construction, click on tech under "products".

steveC
20th August 2008, 05:04 AM
Not to be difficult Ola, but the wood carbon construction seems to be available on only a limited number of models. I think the focus here was on iSonics, so it's a bit unclear about that construction in that model line. However, maybe I've got things wrong.

The merits of full carbon layups have been mined for some time by many, and I was wondering about the use of carbon in the iSonics. A fair question really. Again, if I'm pushing the proprietary boundaries, I will understand, as Starboard may not not want to reveal such details to their competition. Like I mentioned earlier, I was curious.

Unregistered
20th August 2008, 06:29 AM
Of course wood construction makes perfect sense if you have a 3 year supply of wood veneer purchased in advance.

But joking aside, any small slalom board in the range +/- 6Kg is light, in the winds of intended use, whether it’s 5.8kg or 6.2kg, it matters not. The fastest sailor will win irrespective of the minute weight differences, wood, carbon/wood or full carbon construction or surprisingly the colour.

Any one who really thinks that in 20 knots a board that weighs 5.8kg will be faster than the same board that weighs 6.2kg had better stop smoking the happy stuff.

Of course each particular construction has its own feel on the water.

Now if you want to talk construction differences and weights in boards, get real and start talking about the differences for big slalom boards at the marginal end of the wind spectrum, as here weight does make a big difference.

steveC
20th August 2008, 07:24 AM
Frankly, I wasn't really focusing on overall weight, although real light weight can have distinct advantages for lighter weight sailors. My thought was more in line with performance issues, comfort, stiffness of shape, control, and in addition, overall durability.

Still though, big fluctuation in weights (up to a 10-12% difference) aren't necessarily a confidence builder, especially when it becomes to structural integrity or performance issues, because they don't imply that ultimum build construction criteria was met. Shear weight doesn't necessarily mean better.

Also, we're talking tolerances here, and we can't necessarily make liberal assumptions about a given product. From my experience, it's the subtleties of shape, rocker and tuning can have more influence over board weight. Needless to say, we need to think about design integrity too (what are the tolerances there?). Others can disagree to some degree, but overall we need to be practical.

geo
20th August 2008, 02:21 PM
... any small slalom board in the range +/- 6Kg is light, in the winds of intended use, whether it’s 5.8kg or 6.2kg, it matters not.
...
Any one who really thinks that in 20 knots a board that weighs 5.8kg will be faster than the same board that weighs 6.2kg had better stop smoking the happy stuff.

...

Hi unregistered,
just in case you are referring to my posts: I hope it is clear I do agree with you 100%! My point is about the fact that a small/middle sized iSonic bought in shop can be expected to weight up to 6.3 + 6% = just short of 6.7 kg. Usually you can't sort your board out of the production run, but rather you (not a pro rider, I assume) will order in advance and get what will come. Now, you see it's not just 5.8 instead of 6.2. It's rather about handing out the about 1.3K+ € asked in shop for a nice medium wind slalom board, and getting something that may range from about 5 kg (with competition AND if you are lucky) to about 6.7 kg (iS101 at the +6% end). In my view, the latter is unacceptable; this is why I am surprised Starboard didn't introduce wood carbon iS's. Oh well, by the way, I don't think those would be still costing 1.3K+... and wood iSonics already bear a premium price tag compared to competitors... maybe this is the reason.

Still thinking about this (well, free forums are useful for this): in my view the REAL BIG problem is not the stated average weight (I think about 6.0 for an iS94/101 would be OK, if not optimal), but rather the +/- 6% tolerance. If I was Starboard, I would not search for new materials recipes (I think Davide and SteveC are spot on about materials and relative weights), but rather for more accurate manufacturing in order to get tighter tolerances.

Svein Rasmussen
20th August 2008, 03:43 PM
Hi all.

1/ Carbon versus wood.
It’s been a long experimental road and most years we build Race boards in wood and also in carbon to see the potential.
I first tried a wood sandwich board in New Caledonia back in 1986 and have been a fan ever after.
This year again we built from the very same Isonic mold , one board in 160 Gr carbon, one in 80 Gr carbon and one in Honey comb sandwich.
The result came out as in previous years, the carbon boards and the honey comb are lighter but not quite as fast as our wood sandwich boards.
In very light winds the materials provide similar potential, but as soon as we got up to speed , wood was a tiny bit faster.
We will keep on cross checking into the future as well, in case some new future carbon technologies prove to be faster.
In wave jumping and freestyle, its probably not so much about speed , but about the ability to jump and move the board in different positions while airborne, and here weight has been found to be important. We found that when we changed the lay up on race boards from wood to carbon we could save 150-300 grams, whereas in wave and freestyle, the boards were 500-800 grams lighter, this quite likely as the Race boards had less reinforcements to be reduced.
An exciting derivate of the wood usage is the dynamic shape stability, and you can read more about that here:
http://www.star-board.com/2009/pages/products/technology.php

I further think that keeping closer to the shape specifications in the production is a very important goal,
and we have put a couple of new measurement stations in place for that.


2/ Production boards for all riders.
All Starboard riders get boards from normal shipments every time.
Last example was Bjoern. He requested boards a couple of days before he traveled to Turkey
and they were again taken straight from the warehouse at APM in Germany,
no extra checking of rocker lines or such. In the future we would want to see if we somehow
could find a way to select the best production boards for our dream team.
Racing is their job and provides their income, thus they at least should be able to receive boards
that are as identical to the master shape as possible.

Thanks for your support
Svein

Unregistered
20th August 2008, 04:22 PM
Yes Sven, thanks for the clarification.

However, we as the customer pay the bills for Starboard and we also want to buy boards that are as close to the master as possible and the same as team riders get.

Svein Rasmussen
20th August 2008, 04:56 PM
Hi unregistered,
So far the chances for you and Antoine to get the board that is closest to the master board have been equal, so over the last 14 years we have indeed met your request.
In the future, we want as explained include a few extra QC stations , and that will help our standard improve even further, and that for everyone.

geo
20th August 2008, 05:00 PM
No less than the big boss...

Svein, thank you very much for your direct intervention and clarification. After reading your post, here is what I think.

1) My reserves about "corporate" outings still hold, even more so in your case, of course.
2) I can believe that a wood carbon iSonic would be just 150 - 300 gms. lighter than a standard wood one. Still I am curious to know how much your test protos do really weight. IF they are spot on the "average production" stated weight, or close to, as I already said (i. e.: iS101 6.3 kg) in my view they have a nice weight. Unfortunately I happened to order a Sonic95 in '06. When it arrived I was able to compare its weight with a Falcon90 that was in the shop. Finally I carefully weighted it at 6.6 kg, which is not that much more than the stated 6.3 after all and well within tolerances, but... (I used to purchase RRD's in older times, probably when Cobra was not the undisputed market leader yet, and those were spot on, so I assumed the Sonic would have been spot on too). Be assured nothing the like will happen to me once again.
3) If I was in your shoes I would introduce lighter manufacturing, be it wood carbon or else, at no extra cost for iSonics; eventually, not even claiming it; since now iSonics are about the heaviest slalom boards available AND the most expensive ones.
4) Whatever you say or swear, I will NEVER believe that dream team riders are on boards similar to those I can buy in shop. I am sure that, at very least, they are handed a few selected samples to choose from by direct testing. As for BD, I remember pictures of the Canaries '07 leg with him jumping and showing the bottom of his board; not the usual white painted bottom, but one showing very clearly traces of substantial reshaping/fairing. He didn't even bother to put some fresh white on it. Should I believe he rode Alacati on boards bought blind out of the shop? Not even if he himself tells me.
5) "However, we as the customer pay the bills...": +1. Bad idea to state that intention of yours.

geo
20th August 2008, 05:07 PM
To complete my above post.
I admit that the feel of riding a wood racer is a very nice one. I also trust that adding "geometrical" stability by means of the thick wood veneer adds to the boards' shape stability, and that is a very good thing in my view. And, above all, I would have to be crazy to deny that iSonics are probably the most successfully competitive racers ever (which does not imply their build standard is the best around).

davide
21st August 2008, 01:48 AM
Davide, check the weights on the product page. They are based on averages from real production. And the difference is not just a fiber layer change, the whole layup is different, hence the 12-15% difference (on EVOs, haven't checked other boards).


Yep, but you see, Ola, this is getting much closer to marketing and not substance. To get a 10-15% weight difference you have to build the board differently, not just change from glass to carbon, and then all our discussions are moot ... we are comparing boards that are different NOT because of such a simple thing as carbon vs glass layers ..

Just for reference: If a board of the size of my Acid 74 2007 switched 4 layers (sandwich total) of 6.0z S-glass to 4.5oz Carbon the weight gain would be about 150-180 grams. However you probably would not want to go for such a light carbon to laminate the bottom of the board ... so there is goes 1/4 to 1/2 of your weight gain ...

steveC
21st August 2008, 02:24 AM
Thanks Svein for weighing in with your thoughts here. Outside of the performance merits of different technologies, it's refreshing to see that Starboard is bringing in added quality control functions to better ensure that physical shape specification and tolerances are being maintained. In you master development and design studies, I'm presuming that the boards are being built custom in your in-house manufacturing facility. Once a design has been defined and frozen for production, I was wondering whether your team continues with actual testing contrasting the master with the production models over the year to verify that performance targets are being met by the folks at Cobra.

Ola_H
21st August 2008, 02:27 AM
I don't get it, Davide? Are you suggesting that the "honest" way to do it is to only change glass for carbon? And that if you do other changes to the construction it would be in some way dishonest (=only marketing)?

To me that would be very foolish of the constructors and I think the sound way to do it is to consider the construction as a whole. Glass or carbon needs to be optimized in different ways, and as you know even different types of carbon will work very differently in the board and require the rest of the construction to be different to. In fact, the smaller "wave type" woodcarbon boards use a different carbon and hence a different construction overall than the bigger boards.

And at least from my side, the discussion have been about the different constructions and how they are to sail relative each other. Or maybe about how a given weight decrease affects the feel on the water. But not about if changing a given layer in a given board from glass to carbon will mean anything.

And again, the customer can choose if he wishes to pay more for the lighter construction. And at least from my point of view, Starboard has not pushed the woodcarbon in marketing in an kind of outrageous way either. It's an option that is now offered for those who want it.

davide
21st August 2008, 02:40 AM
I don't get it, Davide? Are you suggesting that the "honest" way to do it is to only change glass for carbon? And that if you do other changes to the construction it would be in some way dishonest (=only marketing)?


Nothing to get, really, you are just putting words in my mouth and playing a bit of the outraged card while I only trying to have a discussion based on some facts.

What I am saying is that if you ONLY change from glass to carbon the weight gain would not be 10-15% (or 20% as you claimed just a few threads above) of the board weight: Not even close to that.

Assuming that there are such large differences in weights, other construction factors are into play And all the already extremely vague discussion about the merits/de-merits of carbon vs glass is completely moot.

PS I cannot really imagine what those 'factors', having to do with "optimization" of different materials, are. Can you give specifics? From Ian Fox reply it would appear that the test with the Isonics only involved switching to carbon fiber.

Ola_H
21st August 2008, 03:37 AM
Davide, you can see the basics of the wood and woodcarbon layups on the "technology page", http://www.star-board.com/2009/pages/products/technology.php. You can see that a lot of things are different. The WC board is a "wave" model and the W board a "regular", I think, but the basics are there in both. For example, in the woodcarbon boards, wood is used as reinforcement while in the wood boards it's use all over the board. So we are not trying to fool anybody.

And I'm sorry if I was in some way implying I was discussing glass vs carbon. My understanding was that the discussion was about weight (as a function the particular constructions) relative to riding characteristics, but maybe I was unclear somewhere. If we just talk about how the aforementioned aspects of riding (cutbacks etc) are affacted by a simple fiber change I agree its not a big deal.

Unregistered
21st August 2008, 07:12 AM
It good to hear that i should be able to buy exactly the same board as a dream team rider, since that is what i pay for and expect.

What really worries me and not just with Starboard, out of the dozens of boards that i have purchased over the past few years, i have yet to find a board that is -5 or 6% of the average weight. I think i can say for sure that it is always + of the average weight, usually towards or even higher than the max tolerance.

If the weights stated are average weights from actual production, then by the law of averages i should stand a chance of finding a light board, but i never can.

I trust that the new measures you have put in place can help reduce weight variation.

geo
21st August 2008, 01:28 PM
Well unregistered #47, that is the point, for some reason!
My '97 and '99 RRD's were spot on or close to that, actually: a 281 and a 278 slalom boards, both well below 6.0 kg. I don't think it depended from the brand, maybe I was very lucky, or maybe Cobra was working well back then.
The obvious suspect that comes to mind is that boards erring to the "-" side of that tolerance go to team riders, the heavier ones to me and you. All together, they make that nice average weight.
The other possible parameter, which is less obvious and more difficult to check, and that was discreetly and candidly brought in by Svein, is about rocker line (in)consistency. Performance loose from that can probably be far more serious than that resulting from a "+x%" weight. Better not to think about that...

In the end, one could discover things are far worse now than before the "production boards" rule. Nowadays, theorically team riders must ride the same boards we buy in shop. In reality, their boards "could be" selected ones, with good shape consistency and lighter weights. Plus, "it could be" team riders have access to delicate operations such as bottom re-fairing and rail sharpening. Lesser and recreational riders have to settle with what comes from the shops, and those could turn out to have bad shape consistency and heavish weights: the dogs.
This could even be OK, if shapes were always correct and consistent and weight tolerances were tighter! But "it could be" there are some problems here instead. Instead of using the same boards with same performances team riders use, "it could be" we have now the hugest performance gap ever between what top riders have and what we get in shop; and no hope to fill it thanks to a good shaper living near.

For this reason I strongly hope that Starboard, as the market leader and a company guided with inspiration, will make an effort in this direction. We know that even glass, when properly used, can lead to light strong boards. So I'd love to see less sporting of new complex building recipes, which after all aren't complex at all - it's windsurfing boards not space shuttles!, less use of exotic laminates alongside with plenty of filler, and good shape consistency and the assurance of acceptable weights instead. A very simple idea and a first step could be that of stating "maximum accepted weight" instead of "average production weight +/- tolerances".