I've been sailing my FType 158 for a couple of seasons and love it with my 10.6 V8. I'm looking for a next step down, something in the 7.0 - 8.5 range that will plane early and offer that same hi-tech feeling of the FType. I have a chance to pick up an '07 ISonic 122 at a very reasonable price. I was considering a performance freeride model in the 120 ltr range but wouldn't really use it in sub 7.0 conditions. For 5.5 - 7.0, I would go with my freemove board.
I had a lot of tweener days in the 8.0/8.5 range where I would like to get on something smaller than the FType and wasn't windy enough for my Freemove.
Am I correct in going for the ISonic? Will this plane faster than a comparable Futura/Jp super sport?
80kg Advanced Rider, who's first priority is early planing then top speed.
You know, I'm glad that you raised the question, only because I would like to offer something a bit more unorthodox on the view of things. Really, I only offer this because it often better represents my own view of things.
I'm of the opinion that a full on slalom board can be tempered by the use of less powered sails (rather than high end cambered types). Yet, still focusing on high aspect fins, and even using some more trick weedfins. This is what I do in many situations.
I like the precision of a top of line slalom board with the balanced speed oriented rockline. Even if you're not pressing the envelope like a racing pro, believe me, you can capture much of the gusto a slalom board can offer in contrast to a freeride design.
One crucial point though, the slalom board has to be able to move through some tough water, and I'm not just talking about chop, as swell is in the mix too, and certainly some jumping has to be contended with. Onshore is easier, but start moving wind a little sideoff or more, things do get spirited. Still the horsepower and drive a maneuverable slalom board can offer, the result is quite interesting, and often very rewarding. Maybe, even a wave or two coming in. Of course stiff, but at some venues, it's really only the cream off the top.
I guess its how forgiving you want things to be. An interesting intersection, for sure, because some of us like a bit of spirit to spice things up.
Slalom and the comparable freeride are different when it comes to early planing. For a start, a freeride would have much higher volume (for the same width) to be able to carry the same sail. Some people find they plane EASIER (therefore earlier for them), going from slogging to planing gradually and without much sailor input. On a slalom, it's important where you put your weight, how you pump, and it is more off/on feeling when it starts to plane.
It would be good for you to try a few boards, the differences will be obvious immediately.
Some sailors prefer easier/more comfortable/playful ride, while others like it "edgier"/more demanding, it can get hairy as Steve says. You say you're advanced, I believe you'll like the slalom, especially in this wind range (8.50 sail).
I'm used to the on/off planing performance with the FType as well as the proper pumping technique to unstick the board in marginal conditions. I get the picture that the shortness of the Isonic will require the same technique to unstick the board to get it to plane. I don't really like the idea of a big freeride board in this wind range as handling won't be an issue, but early planing and top speed. Where I am, 85% of my sailing is done with sails 7.2 and larger and water conditions of light to medium chop and light ocean swells. I love the shortness of the FType, and want the same short ride in the medium wind range. I realize it will take more effort to get planing, but I believe the ride will be exhilirating and therefore well worth it.
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