2009 iSonics - My Thoughts So Far
Earlier this year, I received my new iSonic boards – iS122, iS101, iS86, iSW49 + iSW44.
In the last couple of months I haven’t had as much time on the water as I would have liked, but I have still had a few chances to sail all but one of them. I have been using my 2008 KA Koncepts on these boards with C3 Venom fins predominantly, but also with the odd KA symmetrical, and Tectonics Falcon and Goldwing thrown in. I hover around 95kg, am 6’2” and mainly sail on flat to extremely flat water. So flat sometimes, that it makes Sandy Point look like Hookipa.
This board replaces my Exocet WS73, and has been all that I hoped for and more. I need a board that would get me going in around 10 knots with my 7.5 Koncept, and C3 Venom 42cm. It does. Not only does it get planing, but once planing, it accelerates well, and has a very comfortable ride. It gybes exceptionally well for a board that is 75cm wide and rockets upwind, downwind and across the wind with ease. I have an 8.5 Koncept coming from the 2009 range, and can’t wait to try it on this board and fin combo. The footstraps are super comfortable, and the whole package just feels great. I noticed Dave Morehead’s 300+km effort last weekend on his 2009 iS122 and thought ‘wow’ on an iS122? But then when I really thought about it, I can see how right this board would be for this kind of long distance comfort sailing. It truly is a remarkable board. I can recommend this board to anyone looking for a light – medium wind fast slalom board or cruiser. It’s up to you how fast you want it to go, and it will do it all with the utmost comfort. I’m looking forward to the lighter summer sea breezes on this board with both 7.5m and 8.5m Koncepts – should be great fun.
I chose the iS101 to replace my Exocet WS67. This is the board that is the ever reliable ride. It will float me but still crank out a 35+knot peak, possibly more. I can cruise on it all day with 6.6m and 7.5m sails with my C3 Venom 34cm with comfort and speed, yet when the wind picks up, or the water flattens out, it will point off the wind with confidence and crank. The nose rides low, but you can still race over the back of the chop happily, and once again it gybes with ease. I will use this board from 18 knots to 25 knots with 7.5m and 6.6m sails. I haven’t had a huge amount of time on this board, but the rides I have had, show me the qualities that this board has. I look forward to a solid day of 18-23 knots on this board with a 6.6m and C3 Venom 34cm.
Rocket ship! This replaces my Exocet WS62 and is all and more than I thought. It will take 6.6m down to my 5.0m. With my weight, I can get this board going in around18 knots (6.6m) and I’m immediately powered. With a C3 Venom 30cm it absoultely cranks. My first day sailing this at the Goolwa Alpha Channel in chop (bank not yet exposed) and not used to the board, it managed a 41.6 knot 2 sec peak. I was stoked. It is the longest of all the boards I’ve got, and it rides beautifully. This extra length make it gybe like it’s on rails. You can feel the board steer you around the corner from the front third of the rail. It bites, and grips, then as you lean the board over it just rips you around the bend – awesome. Can I also say that it is fantastic in the air? Heading back up wind at the Alpha Channel, it can get a bit lumpy, but you’re still going fast. If you launch off one of these ramps the board just floats with great control – but obviously is more suited to staying on the water, and that is where the manufacturer would prefer that you keep it. On those days that are not ideal for the speed boards, but still farking windy, this is the board to be on. It has control and comfort, but also has the ability to crank out 40+ knot runs in less than ideal conditions. A keeper.
This board replaces my Exocet Warp Speed. I loved my Warp Speed. I really did. I wasn’t really sure how I’d go on a ‘new speed board’. Would I like it? Would it be fast? Would I be able to sail it like a high wind slalom board as I could the Exocet? My first day out on this board very quickly answered these questions. My posting from that session on GPS Speedsurfing went like this: “Awesome session today at the Goolwa Alpha Channel. First time out my new Starboard iSW49 speed board. Rigged the Koncept 5.0m, and used the trusty KA/Lockwood 23cm sym fin. The first run was a 40, next one a 41.1, next one a 42.2, next one a 43.7, next one a 45+……The most amazing thing for me, was that I have also got the iSW44, and I didn't even use this board as the wind was quite square, and was up and down a bit. So the 'big board' did just fine. Wind was around 25 - 40 knots and the water was superbly flat. Great session.” A PB on my first outing – amazing. This board is very comfortable and just too damn easy to go fast on. Starboard also make a larger version, the iSW53 – this would be great for the marginal wind speed sailor. For my weight, the iSW49 takes my weight and that of the 6.6m Koncept and will happily cruise all day. It reaches well, is great upwind and will hold speed through the lulls - and then when the times comes to point it off the wind, it just takes your breath away. It is a standout speed board, and for the record, I have so far achieved a 45.06 knot 2sec doppler peak on this board. I just know it will do more.
This is the board I haven’t used yet, still waiting for the day. I just look at it and wonder. 47? 48? Who knows?
I just felt I wanted to let others know how these boards have performed, and the performance I have had from them in sometimes average and sometimes epic conditions. The problem with five boards, is which one to choose? (I know that’s not really a ‘problem’), but I do sometimes find myself fitting fins and uni’s to at least three boards to try them all out with a given sail size. Yes, there is a big overlay between the boards, but this allows me to stay on a particular board longer. I generally won’t change down a board until control becomes a real issue. These boards are designed so well that sometimes I find myself still out there in very solid wind, but not fighting for control. I often end up changing down just because I want to ride one of the other boards.
If you are after a new slalom board, or have considered a speed board, then you honestly cannot go past the 2009 Starboard iSonic range. Great boards, great value (2 fins with some of them) and great re-sale. The only reason you would sell, would be to get on one of the 2010 models.
Great report, for those who haven't sailed the iSonics yet. I am not a slalom racer, and I'd second your thoughts with regard to iS122 as a good cruising board. In steady 10-11 (or more) I have easily and comfortably covered some stupidly long distances on it. As for a top end, a few times I've survived hair-raising situations (for a non-pro, that is. 25+ knots in large chop, with a 7.3), that went far better than expected. As long as you have the nerve/balls to stay on the gas, it will steam through. And on top of it, you can really whip it round a gybe, something I wasn't expecting of such a wide square "plank". I'd like to add that my 122 (2008) definitely has less volume than quoted, you feel it when in zero knots with a big rig, but that's fine with me.
The only thing that puzzles me a bit in your report, is your 10 kts planing threshold with only a 7.5 (95 kg?). From my experience that's more like 8.5-9.0 sail conditions.
Hi chris and all,
Just three weeks ago I´ve received my new toys (IS 133/111/86), so in order to complete Chris detailed report I would like to share my first impressions with all.
IS 111: Is my flagship since 2007 (I had 2007 and 2008 models). The 2009 model seems to be a real evolution of this all terrain speed monster. Rigged with a RSR 7.8 have a wider and very impressive wind range for my weight ( 12 to 25 knots), the board flies over the chopp at insane speeds but the feeling is that you are totally under control. As usual a key factor is the fin choice¨, after discarding the supplied Drake fins (no matter the conditions, you will spin out permanently as you apply back foot pressure) I tried different fins - Debs, MFC, etc, choosing the Deb SL2 42 for light wind and an old Tectonics Spitfire 38 for heavier conditions (believe or not, this good old design proved to me to be the best tool to match the package).
Gybing is a dream , you only must lean a litlle forward compared with the 2008 model, I guess beacuse of the double wingers.
The speed difference is noticeable, I hope to have some GPS data in the next week.
As usual the board is very easy to ride, even for intermediate riders.
I tried the Code Reds 9.0 and 6.7 but not enought time, the first impression is that both sails fit the board (with different fins) so well.
The tunning is very easy , I rigg the sail with little negative outhaul with the boom in the highest position, with 12 knots I begin with the boom on that position and the mast track just at the back extreme position too. As the wind increases I gradually put the boom in a lower setting and the mast track gradually forward, I never touch the outhaul, the new sail designs allow flatten the profile by only lowering the boom.
With this configuration the board really flies .
I hope to have more time tomorrow in order to share some comments as regards the 133 and 86.
Good winds for all
I'm pretty impressed that my 09 IS 111 seems to handle a 9m sail so well. I was determined not to go bigger than a 7.8m in my quiver but after trying the 9m I'm going to break my rule.
i sonic 111
Hi Guys!!! This is the first time i will write in the forum althogh i read you guys a lot. I want to share my expierence with my new i sonic 111 2009. I tried Carlos D's board a couple weeks ago and seemd so easy to sail with my 8mts sail (i weight 62 kgs and that's the biggest sail I plan to use), even for me that I am pretty new in this sport.
I decided to buy it and could not be happier!!!
It goes planning with almost no wind (11 knts) with 8.0 NP V6 and its very confortable and feels very safe. I find the straps pretty hard and unconfortable, but that's not important you can always change them. Very easy to gybe (I am learning, but get most of them with out faling) and I can even tack. I had no problems spinning out with the 44 cm fin but had so with the 36 one. I never sailed so fast with that much control. I am not planning to go on competitions or anything like that, I just sail for fun, I am a freerider. One of the guys that owns the windsurf school of my club who races slalom and formula was surprised, he told me, so you bought a real race board? Are you planning to race or something?, and I told him that I just want to have fun sailing, and i think this board is very easy to ride and for someone intermediate like me that could buy a futura or something similar I would hardly recommend this board, is simply as easy to sail as the futura but much much faster!!! and fells safe.
Today I had a great 2 1/2 hr planning with 7.0 and 12-14 knts.
Thank you Pipo!!! (Carlos D).
The last message about the i sonic 111 was written by me. I am Maria From Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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