View Full Version : Question for Ian. Isonic 101 or 87?
10th January 2007, 04:53 AM
I have a question for Ian Fox regarding the Isonic 101 and 87. I presently own (and plan to keep ) an Isonic 115 and love it. I want something smaller for higher wind. I have access to flat water in gusty conditions and I am looking for a board that is fast and points well (to get me up and out to the better sailing spots for speed runs). For most of the sailing year i am stuck with weed fins, but hey that's life. I could swing getting both, but there might be too much overlap - don't know? Anyway, any help would be appreciated. I weigh in at about 84 kilos.
10th January 2007, 10:44 AM
In general slalom blasting and free speed runs, you should have plenty of range in the iS115 + iS87 to go from one to the other with reasonable but not excessive overlap. (without the need for an additional intermediate board, no matter how sweet that may be..) Can you please give a more detailed description of the sail size /hi wind range you want the board/s to cover ??, that will make hitting the optimal board size choice (range) more accurate from our side.
Thanks and Cheers ~ Ian
10th January 2007, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the reply. The sail range i am looking at will be in the 4.5 sq. meter to maybe 6.5 sq. meter range. I am hoping for 18 knots to plus 30 knots (maybe 35 knots). I am no longer interested in sailing in nuclear conditions (40+ knots). What i am looking for is a board that is controllable in that 25 to 35 knot range and can be pushed hard for speed in flat to small chop conditions and has descent upwind abilities.
Reading between the lines you really seem to like the Isonic 101. Too much overlap i am guessing. What's it wind range for someone my weight in flatish conditions?
10th January 2007, 06:24 PM
4.5m is pretty small for even the iS87, and a solid 25-35kts can be a real lot of wind for "comfortable" (as opposed to "serious") use of a slalom board. Which confirms for sure that the iS101 (sweet though it is) is not the ideal board for this spec. You would find a serious overlap everything but the lightest wind range of the iS115 and the 101 won't give you such an "easy" job of it in the 25-35kts semi/sub nuke end of your target range either. For 80kg sport rider, the 101 range is around 12/13kts to 25++, but the sweetspot 15-22+ or around 6.5 to 7.5m in race sail sizing (+/- the usual variables for rider/condition variables etc). On flat water you can extend the wind range in terms of easy control, but in turn if you are going for top end (broad angle) drag race or GPS speed in these higher wind/flatter water conditions, then something like the iS87 will (at that point) have an easier top end advantage over the iS101.
The 101 is a really fast, versatile mid wind slalom board, but in this case we really look like discussing a hi wind slalom, which is not the ideal (or easy ride) for the 101.
Hope this clarifies it all, but don't hesiate to ask away for more info either :)
Cheers ~ Ian
Cheers ~ Ian
10th January 2007, 09:31 PM
Thanks Ian. This gives me a good idea of what i should be looking for. One last question. Just what is it about the Isonic 101 that you like so much? Both you and Kevin P. rave about this board.
11th January 2007, 10:31 AM
you mean in comparison to other iSonics ? ( a more specific answer)
in comparison to other slalom boards in general ? (more general answer)
Cheers ~ Ian
12th January 2007, 06:31 AM
Hi Ian. Thanks for the replies. With respect to my last question I am intrigued about your favortism towards the Isonic 101. I guess I would like to know how the 101 compares to other current similar (size) slalom boards in general. There's something about this particular board you like - something(s) it must do better than other boards in its class (I suspect you test your boards against what's out there, including your bvoards from last year, to get a feel for how your designs match up).
12th January 2007, 08:28 AM
That could be a long answer - so I'll try for the concise version,
with the option for you to ask more specifics as required.. ;)
The one keyword is written in a reply above : versatility.
I'm a narrow, technical board guy from way back, well used to taking the good (top end potential) with the bad (compromise on just about everything else), so it's really positive to have some development like iS that (in general) maintains the performance of more demanding designs but reduces the % of compromise on all the other factors.
Expand the sweetspot.
It's fair to say across the 2006 slalom range the iS really (for most circumstances) went a step ahead of most of the other options out there ~ and the 2007 iS's are a definite second generation improvement. (Not to imply other brands are off the pace, but having shown the way in 2006, obviously there is some advantage to being a bit further down the development road - and let the results and market feedback speak for that).
With iS range being first tested against the (well proven) Sonics, there was obviously some scepticism (more from the die hards) that a wider tailed design would not (could not !) go or turn as well as the benchmark/s (Sonics 100/95 etc). Well, making the long story short, the 105 wasn't nearly as "embarressed" in head to head with the 100/95 as expected, and in fact even early showed some additional promise in certain areas (range/accel/lulls/windward/carrying power thru jibes) - and with some minor rider technique retuning(most notably trim at high speed across chop), the "match" to S95 started to turn to "advantage" iS105.
(sidebar here : I guess the ~100Lt / 6.5 to 7.5m sweetspot range is also about the ideal "size" for broadranged open water slalom racing/blasting/drag racing with most experienced riders. With moderate input, a really good and well tuned ~100Lt /7.5m slalom can be planing and very effectively (open water) fast in quite light winds, while still (~6.5m) be great fun & on the pace when most open water conditions start to get too choppy or lumpy for real fast boards to be a general advantage. For most, it's the workhorse, one size fits all size - so having a design in that size that delivers enhanced ride (hi speed trim) and range (versatility) with minimal (or no) compromise in other factors over other boards in that range is a pretty compelling recipe.)
In testing out some smaller, wider tailed protos for the (never built) iS90, the benefit of the range and trim at high speed became really obvious, but compromise loomed in the high speed control/jibe area. When Per told me he hit on a super proto for the 105 replacement with a wider tail (so enhanced iS planshape !) that jibed much better and had same or better light wind speed than 105 (in critical terms), well I was a bit "yeah, I'd like to see that.." but he was (as usual) right on the money and the thing was for sure a better, more reactive and easier (almost freeridish) ride than the 105. Enter the new 101.
For me, the 101 hits the peak of the curve ; the smallers IS's can still be faster (in the right but increasing narrow band of conditions) and the larger iS's are for sure also deceptively fast - but get overshaddowed and harder work once sailed into the 101's very wide & accessible sweetspot.
Nope, one size doesn't fit all, (rider or occasion) but (at least for me) if there had to be a one size choice it would for sure be 1-0-one.
Cheers ~ Ian
(ok, it went a bit long..)
12th January 2007, 10:05 AM
Nice reply Ian. Thanks! Your enthusiasm for the 101 has me very interested, especially since I like the 115 so much - it was love at first ride!
Here's what I hope the Isonic 87 will do: 1) control in big gusts; 2) high speed with the confidence to really push it; 3) enough planability to be pumping it onto a plane in 16 or 17 knots; 4) nice glide through minor lulls; 5) reasonable gybing and last, but not least 6) good upwind ability when powered. Give me those things and I'll be one happy camper (I suspect the 101 is a standout in all those areas, but in a broader wind range, but not quite in the top end of the wind range where the best speeds on flat water are possible).
I appreciate your help with this and thanks for your time.
12th January 2007, 10:49 AM
Ian, a very well presented argument for the iS101 above. I have been reading your input on the iS101, iS94 and iS87 boards recently, and you've presented a number of important points that categorize and promote the different boards very well. Folks have the opportunity to test their requirements and realistically decide their fate. Very pragmatic overall. Well done.
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