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SpeedChaser 3rd January 2007 05:35 AM

Replacing a 105L Hyper
I'm looking at replacing my 2003 105L hypersonic, and I need some help. There's so much great info on these forums, and I've read a lot of posts about the hyper, the isonic, the sonic, s-type, etc. It's a little overwhelming. So I'd like some advice. I'm about 6'1" and 150lbs, pretty experienced. I want to replace it with a board to use primarily with my 7.6 and 6.6 in choppy water, 13-25knts. I don't mind, and actually enjoy, a technical ride. I do a lot of GPS sailing with those two sails so I'm looking for a very fast board that could also be used for slalom racing. might be obvious that the iSonic 101 would be the best choice, but I'd like an experienced opinion.


SpeedChaser 3rd January 2007 05:41 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
Just to add, I'd like a 2 board quiver. The board that's replacing my Hyper will be my largest board. At the moment I also have a 2005 95L Kombat but it's just too big for me as my smallest board. So I'll probably be switching to a smaller board around 74L. With that board I'll be using a 3.7, 4.5, and 5.3 in 20-35knots.

So I'd like a quiver like that:
small board around 74L
large board around 100L


steveC 3rd January 2007 08:18 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
Hi Speedchaser,

Even though I'm not with the Starboard team, I think you're right on target. While I'm not near as tall as you at 5'8", and I'm a tad heavier at about 154lbs, it's hard to criticize your focus here. The only thing that you need to discern is whether you want to go EVO or Pure Acid on your smaller board. Really, you need to decide if waves or B&J are your best focus. Also, a good secondary focus would be fins, to appropriately extend your range at bit with the two boards.

SpeedChaser 3rd January 2007 09:08 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
Right now I'm more focused on the board that will replace the hyper. I can't afford to buy 2 new boards, so the smaller board will have to be bought used, therefore price and availability will be the most influential factors in that decision. For the most part I'll be sailing on Lakes and rivers with both boards, so the 74L will mostly be in big swell and the occasional wave session on Lake Ontario.

geo 3rd January 2007 01:53 PM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper

one year ago I was exactly in your same position. Well, almost. I am 6'3" and 185 lbs.; I also decided to focus more on more usual 5.0 - 5.8 range for the small board.
In the end I bought a Sonic 95 and an Evo 83, replacing an Hypersonic 111, an RRD Avantslalom 278 and an RRD Wavecult 260 ('99).
After one year, and after reading a lot of posts about iS 101 vs. "narrower" slalom boards, here are my thoughts.
1) The Sonic 95 (iS94) easily rides on a 7.6 in order to maximize low end range; nevertheless, wider boards will have big advantages at the low end of a 7.6 range.
2) Modern sails are so much powerful that my guess for next season is that I can do (better) with 7.0 and 6.3, instead of 7.6 and 6.6; and 7.0 will be right the perfect sweet spot sail size for the S95, ensuring optimal balance and therefore probably approaching much the 7.6 low end performance on that board.
3) With a two board quiver, the smallest one should be a wave oriented board; so if one does not like to renounce to slalom performance in high winds, IMHO a bigger slalom board than a Sonic 95 (or iS94) is not advisable as "one-board-do-it-all" slalom choice in the wind range you described.
4) Moving everything "one size down", expecially at your (lighter) weight, it should be a perfect match to choose an Evo 74/75 as the smaller board and it should be as much nice with 5.3 as my 83 is with the 5.8, ensuring at the same time better high wind range.
5) Probably, after last year sailing experience, I would do the same choice I am advising to you (Sonic100/95/iSonic94 + Evo 74/75) even at my higher weight, since the Evo 83 will have a lot of overlap (wind strength wise) with the Sonic 95 + 6.3, while it is not the right board for the occasional high wind (30+) good day.
6) I like the Evo for general "coastal" sailing; but who knows better says that between Evo and Acid it is a matter of taste. Anyhow, if you have any doubts, the Evo doubles nicely as a bump and jump board, althought not much fast. Probably a '06 Acid 80 would do even better as a bump and jump board, due to its higher speed; but I fear it is not as well behaved as an Evo in higher winds (check with Ola).
7) All of the above can be useful in the assumption that you, like me, prefer to optimize the high wind "fun" side of slalom performance, say 18+ knots. Of course, if you rather prefer to optimize the "be first at the windward mark in 13 knots" side, then everybody will tell the 101/105 (or bigger) is preferable to the 94/95/100.

steveC 4th January 2007 12:42 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
Hi Speedchaser,

geo has opened an interesting door in suggesting the iS94, especially since it would support your 6.6 and 7.6 sails. However, you did indicate that one of your goals was to slalom race. There has been some interesting discussion in recent thread where geo was one of the participants, and the iS94 and iS101 were both at the core of that conversation. Width (narrow versus wide) was a key point in the discussion. I tend to think more like geo, with a preference for a narrower design, but much of this is because of my lighter weight and my focus on "fun" free sailing. Still though, Starboard's Ian Fox was a strong proponent for the iS101 because it offered a strong straight line performance through rougher waters, yet it had a bit more width to allow it to excel through and out of the transitions. Of course, he's a bigger guy, so I can understand why he might find it a better all round choice.

The question that you need to ask yourself is what sail you tend to use more often. A heavy use of the 7.6 will probably point to the iS101 as the optimum choice, particularly if the conditions are somewhat up and down. Fortunately, you've had the Hyper 105, so I'm sure that you're quite familiar handling the extra width and volume. Also, even though your weight is on the light side, you have an advantage with the added leverage possible with your tall stature.

On the other hand, the iS94 still remains a very attractive alternative. It would be arguably faster in the windier and rougher conditions. If the 6.6 sail sees a lot use, the scale could more likely tip in favor of the iS94.

SpeedChaser 4th January 2007 01:05 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
I originally got the hyper because I wanted to get into slalom sailing and I found it at a great price. But I do have a preference for narrow designs, and the iS94 was originally my first choice. The thing is, where I sail most, it's up and down and very gusty, plus the sail ratio is probably about 7.6-60% and 6.6-40%. So I'm thinking ideally the iS101 would suit my sailing better. I'm wondering though, at my weight could I get away with using the iS94 with the 7.6 in say 13 knots (with a 38cm fin).

The other issue is using the board for racing. The iS101 would give me a much better range in the lower end and still allow me to be competitive in the high end. Whereas the iS94 would be at more of a disadvantage in the low end when racing, especially in varying conditions, but really be in the zone with the 6.6 in 20-25knots.

Is my reasoning correct so far?
For racing and more 7.6 use: iS101
For speed sailing with more 6.6 use: iS94

geo 4th January 2007 02:24 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
Considering the review Ian gives of the 101, I think your reasoning is perfect.
I would add that at your weight the 7.6 would be more light wind oriented than at mine, making the 101 even more apt. Nevertheless, I think that I must have been sailing the S95 with a 34 fin and 7.6 in about 12 knots (almost no whitecaps) with ease and fun.
My orientation towards the 95/94 derives from my sailing spot providing 7.0-6.6 conditions more often than 7.6 conditions.

GEM 4th January 2007 08:22 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper

I feel a bit sheepish because I'm not experienced with any of the specific boards you are debating, but forgive me that and just consider theory of board quivers. I live in upstate NY, so am at least familiar with your conditions, and sail a LOT on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway.


Inland great lake sailors are predominantly frontal sailors, with maybe a touch of summer afternoon thermals 1 day in 10. Well, the thermals work more than 1 in 10, but they only make the difference for a windsurfer 1 in 10. Moreover, you're talking fresh water and the boards are built / sized for marine conditions (salt water).

THEREFORE: the vast majority of days will be light to moderate and, given that, anyone who's top of a two-board quiver is designed for anything but 6.0 - 8.0, has made a BIG mistake. The lower your biggest sail is, the MORE LIKELY you are to be sub-planing. Now, I'm no fan of formula or free-formula stuff, but I think you want a board that will do well in marginal to good 8.0 conditions.


Your second board must complement the first. In Lake Ontario, that is going to mean pretty good size swells any time the wind is bigger than 6.0 conditions. So I would probably pick a second board designed for moderate to big, to VERY big swells in the 4.0 - 6.0 range. In fresh water, I think 74 may be a tad small for that, especially in a full 5/4 or dry suit (as it is most likely to be that windy in cold weather / water), but it depends on your efficiency and true weight, the local break, etc. Not having sailed it, but having sailed a sister board, I almost certainly would recommend the Kombat 79 as this board (at your weight I think it'll be a 4.0 to 6.0 probably will be able to squeeze it to 3.5). I don't have an Acid, but I have a similar board and I think it'll leave you with a gap if you size your moderate wind board correctly. A slightly bigger Acid would probably work, but I think a Kombat will be more versatile.

In sum, the problem with inland great lakes sailing is that it's kind-of difficult to do it in a 2-board quiver. It really needs 3 - a 120L+ size, a ~100 L size, and a ~75L size (or smaller). If you really must do two, I'd recommend 100-110L SLALOM style board, and ~80L WAVE / CROSSOVER board.

Good luck!

SpeedChaser 4th January 2007 08:54 AM

RE: Replacing a 105L Hyper
Thanks for the input Geoff. It's nice to hear from someone that sails up North near me (I'm in Ottawa). What you said is very true for the average sailor in our local conditions. However, I'm not looking for the average quiver. I'm more oriented towards high powered speed sailing when I'm out on the 7.6 and 6.6, so I'm definitely not going to get a board over 101L. My goal isn't to be able to plane in the least amount of wind possible. You're correct when you say a three board quiver would be much more ideal, but as I'm sure you know, it's not financially logical, especially when, with a bit of compromise, you can do it with 2.

Another point I must make is that my 6.6 sail is a 2007 KA Koncept. With that and a good slalom board I can sail in up to 25knots, or more. So when I make the switch from my larger board to my smaller board it'll be to a 5.3 and only when the waves/swell get good for wave/swell sailing. So I personally don't think I need a small board that's big enough to take a 6.0.

So I guess I've sort of answered my own question through these posts, with help from geo and steveC. Now I just have to make the choice between the iS94 and the iS101.

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