View Full Version : iSonic 111 or 121 - when the going gets tough

21st July 2010, 06:32 PM
Hello guys,

Imagine the conditions of 13-15 knots with gusts to 20, sometimes to 25 knots (we had 30 knot gust this spring which is record breaking in the area where I live).

Which size? The 111 liter looks perfect, is not it?

But what if going out is difficult? You have to go out along a narrow 150 meter bay, with high banks so full of wind holes. I hope tacking is still possible without support from the sail?

My weight is 183 lb (83 kg). The water is fresh. I'd like to use North Ram F10 or a similar sail size 7.0-7.6 m.

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks!

22nd July 2010, 01:55 AM

The iS 111 would probably be best in the winds you describe. 13 knots may be just enough to get you planing with a 7.6 and some pumping. The 111 will float and slog OK at your weight, but it could be a little tricky. I weigh 77 kg and have no problem. I bought the 111 because it had enough float for me to slog out to the wind line where I sail.

Tacking will be another issue. Planing tacks are doable if you are use to tacking quickly on small boards. Slogging and tacking my be pretty hard. I have never tried it. The nose sinks quickly so you must go from one side to the other in one very quick movement.

The board works best with a 7.5. An 8.5 is good with steady winds, but slogging becomes more tricky. A 6.5 is also good in higher winds. I use all cambered race sails, which are a little heavy, but great when powered.

If 80-90% of your winds are below 20 knots, with a few gusts over 20, then the 121 may be a better choice.

I hope this helps. Let's see what some others have to say.........

22nd July 2010, 03:50 AM
Thanks Ken!

Well, 11-12 knots is considered to be a good day so most guys have bigger boards and sails (me, too). But when the wind picks up to 13-15 knots (which is more often in spring and autumn), the gusts strangely reach the STEADY 20+ knots, more in some places - along bays and creeks leading into our artificial lake, and they just keep hammering on you. At these moments less experienced guys with bigger equipment take a swim while the more experienced get exhausted and crawl out - not fun for both groups :)

Let me just add that:
1. I have a bigger board (JP Slalom IV, 84cm - buying which was a mistake, it's too big!). But keeping it at the station would cost me extra, so, one board would be a better choice.
2. I can definitely tack in little wind on a 70cm freeride board, but that was in salt water and its volume was 120 liters. Hence the doubts!


22nd July 2010, 04:35 AM
Why is a 134 liter JP Slalom IV 84 too big for 11-15 knots? With improved skill, you should be able to manage it in up to 20 knots with something like a 6.5. If you are looking to replace the JP and only have one board, then the 121 would be the call.

The iSonic 121 at 75cm wide is not much smaller than the JP. If you plan to keep two boards, then I think I would go for the 111 and spend more time on the JP learning to manage it in the gusty winds, then use the 111 when the wind picks up. It has a very short nose and it WILL sink immediately if you put your weight on the nose. Even keeping both feet at the mast base will sink the nose as well. It will be very difficult to tack in light winds. Up-hauling will be a little challenging too, but not too difficult unless there are waves.

Good luck,

22nd July 2010, 12:32 PM
I meant ~unnecessarily~ big. And there are no problems in light wind, of course. There are problems in moderate wind, not controlling the board, but controlling a big sail. I don't have anything smaller than 8.5m at the moment (which is OK for 80% of windsurfing here but I want to use the remaining 20%!).
I think I'll go for the 111 and keep the bigger board. Thanks! I'll call the store today.

Just one more thing please? North RAM F10 does not come in 7.6, only in 7.0m. Will it feel good? Or should I buy a 7.5m Gaastar GTX (2010) (3 cam)? As you say 7.5m matches the 111 best but RAM will probably be better for a slalom board.

Why not a full on race sale? Well, the difficult to rotate cambers are an issue for me, for example you have to kick the lower one on a big size TR-4 after flipping the rig. Maybe it is a matter of skill thou :)

22nd July 2010, 09:14 PM
On your JP a 6.5 is a bit small for a a 83kg sailor. I was just suggesting that big boards and even big sails can be managed in windy conditions with the right fin and a race sail (lots of leach twist).

At your weight, a 7.5-8.0 sail would be the best fit for the 111. A 7.0 will work fine, but you will need at least 13-15 knots of wind to get going. I use a 6.6 on my 111 quite often when the wind is 15-20 knots.

I have two TR-4's (6.6 and 7.6) and neither need any kicking to rotate the cambers. If the wind is light after a jibe or tack, I may have to punch the camber above the boom to get it to go, but with some wind, they pop around with a little jerk on the boom. I have a new TR-6 9.2 and two older TR3's (8.4 & 11.0) and they all rotate the same as the 4's. If you have the right mast and downhaul properly, they work great.

Have fun with the 111. It is a different type of board and takes some dedication to get used to the short nose, and outboard foot straps. You will need a good fin as well to get the most out of the board. There are plenty of threads on this forum about fins for iS boards, just do some searching. If you go for only one fin, something around 42 cm will be best. The old iS 111's came with two fins, 38 and 44, but they weren't very good and were prone to lots of spin out so most people bought custom fins.

23rd July 2010, 01:08 AM
Thank you sir!

I'll probably write about how it all worked out in a couple of weeks. Maybe some reader are following this.


PS By the way, this was the windiest day this year. The blue graph shows wind in meter/sec (multiply by 2 to get the knots approximately). We think that the weather station failed to record wind gusts above 15 m/s. I think a 7.0-7.5m 3-cam sail should be more than enough on such a day. A freeride no-cam 7.0m sail was too much for sure. Thanks again, Ken!