View Full Version : Q for Ian: Which iS special

10th August 2010, 06:18 PM
I am looking to buy a iS special for speed sailing at Walvis Bay, Namibia. Winds 25 - 35+ knots; sails that I have available are full race sails in 5.0, 5.9 and 6.6. I expect the 5.0 and 5.9 will be the ones mostly used. My weight = 102 kg (mostly muscle of course). My smallest current iS is a iS76 2009. Absolute love the board. Easy to plain up and fast. Please advise the best iS special for the conditions, weight and sail sizes. Goal is to reach 40+knots.Thanks.

Erik Loots
11th August 2010, 01:42 PM
I have both the iS W44 and W49. I think the W44 will be faster, but it is low volume and the smaller nose makes it a bit harder to start compared to the W49. The W49 is almost as fast and much easier to start, yesterday again in 18-20kn had a good session with the W49, OK my weight is 85kg, but in your windrange 25-35+ kn it should be OK.

On choppy courses I prefer using the W49 at this moment, on flat almost square courses I prefer the W44.

I have no doubt both board reach 40kn easy :)


11th August 2010, 09:27 PM
Erik Thanks for the feedback.

To other readers; I will appreciate feedback from sailors of similar weight.

mark h
12th August 2010, 10:46 PM
Hi Hanekom, not the SB team but sure they wont mind.

I'm nearly the same weight as you (105kg). Been using the W44 and W53 since they first came out. Like Erik says, the W44 will be fastest fore sure (Erik had a dream session on his W44 a couple of weeks ago), The W49 not be far behind and could prove to be the better "all rounder" for Namibia this year.

If you do not want to get two boards, I would definetly go with the middle sized board, the W49. In the right hands and on the right day/conditions, it will do 45k for sure. So you will get your 40k at Walvis:)

I normally use the W44 in 25kn winds and above, and use a 6.3m as the biggest sail on it. I tried my old 6.8m as well, it seemed to be good so your 6.6m should be OK. If I'm struggling to get going on the W44 or the if the winds to light to get decent speeds, I switch to the W53. The W53 works 6.3m, 7m & 8m. The 8m is not perfect but it does work OK.

The iS76 is a treat to sail in rough open waters, but not as quick as the Speed Specials. You will easily gain 3 or 4 knots in speed simply by switching boards on the speed course, with more to come:)

Good luck with the 40k

Ian Fox
13th August 2010, 02:41 PM
Hi Hanekom,

Erik and Mark are right on the money; the best allround choice (one -size) for your weight/sail/wind range (as described) will be the W49. There's no doubt that in the very right (super flat/extreme wind, for big/ger guys) conditions the W44 has faster potential, but in more typical speedcomp conditions the W49 delivers a better allround speed and is fully cabable of blitzing past 40 kts.

As a bigger rider, you will also find the point at which the bigger W49 starts to get "too big" board wise is even further up the wind range than typical. As conditions get windier, typically rolling chop becomes more of a problem at the business end of broad angle speed courses - and in that mode a slightly larger board (even if windier conditions) can often remain a good choice, allowing a strong rider to bash thru (over) rolling chop with more agression (and potentially faster results) than the more precise care required with a smaller but lower drag board.

Take the time and trouble to dial in a good 2-3 speed fin quiver for the new board
~ and you'll be flying past 40 and looking for more.

Cheers ~ Ian