My First Impressions Is133, Is110 and Is101
Been a busy 2 weeks, and managed to test my new (to me) 2009 IS133, 2009 IS101 and 2013 IS110. Tested with my new 2013 North WARPs 6.3, 7.0, 7.8, 8.6 and 9.6
First Test Is133 with 9.6, wind 12 to 17 kts. Board feels incredibly short, compared with my Mistral 123. Technique to get it going is completely different … stand well back to stop the nose digging in. Initially it feels a little “sticky”, I feel that a little more practice is required getting it going, however, I was pretty well powered up so not an issue on the day.
Gybing is another area where I need to learn a new technique – I managed a few brilliant gybes and came out full planning, straight into the straps, however, many times the board luffed up severely. I think that it is better to flip the rig earlier and come out pointing downwind a little more. Also it is not necessary to get your weight forward as this just force the nose underwater. The board requires a lot of foot pressure to get it to turn, but once turning it seems to go round very well
In terms of speed, no complaints – I did not take the GPS out, however, I was pretty much the fastest on the water that day. The board feels very planted and “easy”, chop was not an issue.
The standard 52cm fin was way too big. I switched for my 47cm Select S12, which was a little small, however, I feel that it will be excellent on the 8.6. I have now got a 49cm to use with the 9.6m but not tested it yet
Last weekend was the first of the winter slalom series in Weymouth. 5 of the the UK’s top 10 slalom sailors were present, so the standard was pretty high
Next Test the IS110. The wind started out pretty light – by the time I was rigged, the wind was increasing to 20 kts, which was a little too much for the 8.6 for anything other than speed sailing. I was very please how well the board handled the 8.6, the rig definitely did not feel too big for the board.
From the very first gybe, the board felt right. Like the 133, it needs a lot of foot pressure on the gybe, even compared to my Mistral 123, which is also the same width – I put this down to how strong the directional stability is on this board. My 43cm Select S12 felt good, if anything, it may have been a little too big
After a few runs, I decided to change for the 7.8…… just in time for the first slalom race. A very quick in and out was all the time I had to tune up my new board and sail (not ideal), and I made the mistake of leaving the 43cm fin in place. The Mistral 123 was perfectly happy sailing maxed out on an 8.0 with the 43cm fin…. Not the Isonic 110; to be fair, it still sailed well and gybed well, however, I could not sail a max speed as the fin was lifting too much. In the second race, I was in second place, before catapulting on the final run down to the line, so it couldn’t be a terribly bad setup
I sailed with the 7.8m as the wind slowly climbed, all morning – even with a too big fin, I managed some half decent results, and most importantly I did not miss a single gybe.
By now the wind was gusting 25kts, and my strength was failing so I changed down to the 7.0 and put my Deboichet SL3 40cm on. Here was the real test of my board purchase, I wanted a board that would be my mainstay for 7.0, 7.8 and 8.6, I was really hoping that he Is110 would be comfortable with the 7.0 and I was not disappointed. I would never have dreamed that a 75cm wide board would be so nice to sail with a maxed out 7.0. With the SL3 I was really able to exploit the speed of the Is110. Even though we were sailing a figure of 8, one leg was very broad, the other very tight. Sailing Broad, the Is110 was just about as fast as anything out there, including the Is107’s a number of other competitors were using. The Is110 is so adjustable in the gybes, on several occasions, I was able to pick up places when competitors fell in from of me, and I was able to adjust the arc to go round them, while sailors behind had to bail out.
Where I was a little disappointed was sailing the tight leg, the Is110 was not a quick as some boards, however, this may be down to the fin or my technique on a new board, apparently the SL3 is a great downwind fin, but lousy upwind. I think that I need to experiment with some other fins – I have in my collection a 2009 Drake 38cm and 40cm, so will try the Is110 with these before deciding whether to order a new fin.
Much later, after all the racing was complete (and the wind was blowing 25 to 35 kts) I went out on the IS110 with a 7.0 to see how fast I could get it to go. I was so shattered that I managed just one run, but even then I had a VMax of 32.94kts (61.0kph) – if I was less tired and had a smaller fin, I am pretty sure that I could go quite a bit quicker. In comparison, I never managed to get the Mistral above 32kts.
Final test was the IS101. For the final 5 races, I changed down to 6.3, the wind was now blowing 22 to 33 kts, and I was too tired to hang onto the 7.0, even though the top sailors were still sailing with 7.0 I changed board for the IS101 and my select S12 37cm fin. It felt much looser than the IS110, however, by this time, I was so shattered that my sailing was falling apart, In one race I dropped every gybe, having not fallen on a single gybe in the previous 10 races.
The next day the wind was gusting 40+kts; luckily there was no slalom racing, so a good time to tune my Is101. I rigged a 6.3 and Chocco fireblade 3 34cm fin, and from the first gybe, I knew that this was going to be a good day. The Is101 is an amazing board in windy, choppy condition. I was well powered up on the 6.3 – the Fireblade 3 suits this board and sail combination brilliantly, I don’t remember spinning out at all.
There are 2 main strengths to the Is101 – firstly, its ability to gybe, it is really easy to initiate the turn, even when sailing fast and broad on chop, this was always an issue on my 2008 Falcon 105. Once turning, the board is really easy to control, even in chop. I found that I needed to “hold” the board on the rail longer then I was used to, however, once I got the technique right I was blasting out of every gybe, straight into the straps – some of this is probably down to the 2013 North WARP’s, these sails power up so fast (compared to my 2010 North RAMs)
In terms of speed, it is difficult to say – Conditions were very choppy, so sailing really fast was difficult, I was easily able to do 31 – 32 kts, but this was slower than the single run on the Is110 the previous day. It did feel slower than my Falcon 105 in similar conditions, however, the Falcon may just give the impression of more speed as it was always verging on being out of control when well powered up on chop. The Is101 is so controllable and “easy” that it may be faster than it appears.
Overall, I am really pleased with the Is101 (I would love to try the IS97 to see how they could have improved it!). The 110 has great potential and clearly will be really competitive with sails from 8.6 to 7.0 in winds from 15 to 27kts. While both the Is110 and Is101 felt completely natural, the 133 needs some development of my technique, I also need to give it a good test in lighter winds – When I tested it, I should probably been on the Is110 and 8.6 (but I was waiting for the Is110 to arrive)
I would love to hear other peoples' views about these boards to see if they align with my first impression
Good review Matt.
Yes, about the IS101 (mine is also from 2009) I have the same feeling. Damn good.
The best board I've ever been on. And I compare with other boards like the Falcon and the JP slalom.
I always feel the fastest on the water with it. I have the same feeling about my IS87.
I can't say the same about my IS122 (2008). It feels stickier on the water. Perhaps I'm not using the correct fins with it.
I use a choco 43 with the 7.8 and a 46 with my 8.8 sail. Anyway, much better than the red drake fins that came along with it.
When I put my mast foot far to the back to get more lift, it helps.
My expectations of the IS110 as a replacement are therefore very high.
I have the impression that you use the IS110 with rather small fins, which could indeed explain the issues with pointing.
It's a pity that you can't compare the IS110 with the older IS122.
Matt, may I ask how much you wheigh ?
I have the Isonic 127 (2011) 110 (2013) 97(2011) All in carbon
I like them all, the 110 and 127 feels quite similar. And the 97 feels more like a classic slalom board. Since i just got the 110 i have only sailed it once. but it felt superfast with 7.9
I live in south of sweden where there is is alot of weed so i almost always need a weed fin. which is a disaster for big board and sails, since you get very little lift with a weed fin. So sailing underpowerd is not fun, because it makes the board stick to the water.
Since i had a crossover with 7.9 from 127 to 97 i got the 110. The 97 is not good with 7.9 and weed fin, But its really amazing with 6.7. the board is super-controllable in chop and easy to jibe. I´m selling the 97 and getting a Is90 2014 to have less overlap from the 110.
The 127 is really fast for being such a wide board. It has done 30knots for me on open water with a 9.5 and felt like i wanted a lot more, but i dont have the weight or strength to do it. (83kg) It´s easy to get on the fin by moving the mastfoot back 2cm from the mid point. Further back and i start to loose control.
The key to make them go is the fin and the trim.. as all other boards i guess.
Yes, I've never put a lot of effort in trying different fins on my IS122. I should have.
6.7 is also my preferred sail on the IS101(97). I sometimes use a 7.8 on it when the water state gets too rough for my IS122, but the 7.8 only works well on the IS101 with a lot of wind. I need so much wind that often the 6.7 also goes. On a speed strip, the IS101 is perfect with the 7.8.
My sail last week on the Is101 was one of those days that everything goes right. I love sailing powered up on a 6.3m which is a great start. My gybing is pretty good, but I have been missing that final little bit…. Until Sunday, my gybing was almost perfect, in fact I could put the sail wherever I wanted, laying it down so low that the mast tip was in the water, then coming out of the gybe at full speed.
I have been thinking about what the difference is, undoubtedly a lot is due to my new 2013 North WARP: it rotates so well and generates so much power out of the gybe and is so controllable and stable, even when maxed out. The other factor is the board, this is what I think:
I am comparing Gybing the Is101 with the 2008 Fanatic Falcon 105 (The Is101 is actually 97L, so a fair bit smaller than the Falcon). The Is101 is really adjustable in the gybe, changing the arc is natural, unlike the falcon which once turning seems to maintain the same radius (not sure that this makes sense). With the Falcon, timing need to be absolutely perfect, flip the rig a fraction of a second too early or too late and you will compromise the exit speed, on the Isonic, if you get the timing a little wrong you seem to be able to adjust the arc to compensate and have far less impact on the exit speed.
The fin was another differentiating factor. The Is101 was really comfortable on my Choco Fireblade 3 34cm. I cannot sail the Fanatic on this fin as it spins out all the time – Is this due to the narrower width of the Isonic (64cm Vs 66cm), or is the Isonic a little more forgiving on the fin than the Fanatic?
Regarding comments about the fin for my Is110, I think that I have a bit of a gap here, My 43cm Select S12 was too big and my Deboichet SL3 40cm was a little small. I think that I need a 41 or 42cm fin with a little bit of a finer profile than the Select, but more powerful than the SL3. I may hold onto the SL3 for downwind slalom and speed.
Well, personally I can confirm your story about the choco fin on the Fanatics, although my experience is with bigger fin sizes.
I've used a choco 43 both on a Ray and a Falcon, a couple of years ago. Spin out all the time. Especially with the Ray.
The same fin on my Isonic122 and NEVER spin out. It could also be my style of slalom surfing. I like to put a lot of pressure on the fin.
I tend to sail on a big fin on my previous boards, On all of my Isonics, I seem to be using a fin about 2 or 3cm smaller than I am used to - does this indicate that Isonics use their fins more efficiently than other brands?
The Falcon was always very fin sensitive. The main reason for this was the deep mono concave in the tail.
An interesting comparisson with Is101 and Is133
Boxing day was sunny, with light winds 10 to 15kts so a good day to try the Is133 in light winds with the 9.6m sail
The Is133 seems to have no "intermediate" planning stage, it is either non planing or full on in the straps planing, with nothing in between, this does give the impression that it is slow onto the plane.... that it is until you notice that no other windsurfers are moving and the kites are really struggling, so maybe it is not too bad. The other interesting feature is the speed - When I got home, I was sailing at over 25kts on every broad run, with a peak spead of almost 27kts - this is using a 9.6 on an 85 cm wide board and 49cm fin in very little wind.
I was really impressed with my new Select Vmax 49cm, this suits the board brilliantly.
Gybing is still difficult to maintain good speed, although I am getting better
Next day, what a contrast, wind was constant 35kts gusting 52kts, flat water in Portland, however, wind was at 90 degrees to the beach. Played around on the Is101 and JP Slalom 3 69L using a maxed out North RAM 5.7 - in these conditions the Is101 was faster as the JP does not like sailing tight
Despite the stonking wind, I was only able to get speeds up to 33 kts, even though there were some pretty good speed sailors out, no one was getting over 35 kts. I think that this really shows how impressive the performance of the 133 with 9.6m was the previous day
I have changed my 2009 133 for a 2013 127....hoping it is just as good. Your observations are interesting. Yes the 52 fin is much too big. I use a 49 select most of the time changing to a 46 Choco with smaller sails. Re early planning.....there is a very specific technique on this board. It has 2 planing flats and you can use the first to get going then raise it up on the fin/rear flat. To do this you have to point a long way down wind and keep the board totally flat rail to rail ( even if the board looks flat to you, chances are you are weighting the windward rail!). Then one or two pumps wil make the board pop...as you say there is then no intermediate gear....so you need to get in the straps quick! The most amazing thing about this board is that it naturally flies upwind as its preferred course but if you push it off the wind the acceleration is amazing. Re gybing, it needs lots of power to do a complete planning exit...and you are right, you need to focus on only turning 90 degrees or you will stall/backwind......the remainder of the gybe is bringing the board back from a very broad reach.
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