[Van] >> Yes the Futura has a bigger range span but can it be faster in windy conditions??
For 2 boards so similar (in "footprint" - as Van said..) there are a lot of differences that come together - and it's the combination of these factors that allow the overall performance of the FU93 to be lifted above the previous ST93. And by the way, improving ST93 wasn't so easy because the ST93 was pretty good - and became a "favorite" with many people, not just because it was a good board, but because it was a good board in a good conditions range. So a lot of people have a lot of fun on ST93. The forte of the ST93 was (is) rough water speed, the ability to push on in choppy, powered conditions - where absolute race boards become more demanding (technical) to ride. So how can the FU93 be better against ST93 in these challenging conditions ?
FU93 presents a wider, higher aspect planing surface than the narrower tailed ST93, clearly verified during iSonic development to further improve overall performance (speed as well as ability to carry power into and thru a jibe, as well as re-acceleration. The general increase in width also offers improvement in early planing / bottom end range - and interstingly a potentially "easier" platform to deal with overpower in top end situations. However, increasing width alone can also increase control problems during jibing and at top end thru chop (something the ST93 was pretty good at... and we would not want to lose out on FU93). So how can that be better at top end?? Well, you all read the stuff about "Impossible Engineering", but what does it really mean in this case ??
The answer : In the new FU93 you will find double concaves under the nose/entry/mast sections (improve lift at marginal speeds and soften entry /chop impact at speed) vs panel V on ST93, significant overall V increase on FU93 ( 8.5mm midpoint/6.00 straps vs ST93=3.5mm/4.00 at straps) , plus Dual Flat Concept (faster rocker rise rate forward of rocker flat + subtle tail kick ) and tail cutouts which both aid release and control and overall top end speed. A further significant factor is the thickness : FU93 is nearly 2cm thinner around the mid/mast track area overall than the ST93, which significantly lowers the centre of drive, reducing roll (a big issue at top speed thru chop). FU93 also offers a wider strap position option/stance - and noting the option of 3 (centre plus 7cm and 13cm outboard widths) on the rear strap- allowing the use of a more leveraged outboard (semi slalom) stance - or a narrower "control" stance for use in wild water conditions. ST93 rear option is centre plus 9cm only.
The actual final volume of FU93 is 94Lt when measured against ST93 at 99Lt (using same method & varying method can easily produce +/- 1Lt at least). So on volume alone the FU93 could be considered to be a "higher wind" model, but with potentially less bottom end/range. As detailed above, any potential "compromise" on the FU93 bottom end by reduced actual volume is well covered by the increase in width/planing surface- but with significant other variances to ensure improvement in top end speed/control. Better. Overall.
Quickness and speed should in theory never be subjective, but in real world practice often is. The maximise accuracy, the majority of our testing and evaluation of designs (which includes significant rejection of ideas that should work - but don't..) is done by man-on-man, on-water cross-testing protos against existing benchmarks (either a current model or an intermediate proto) using very experienced control test riders and isolating as many variables as possible (control weights(!!) /fins/rigs/conditions etc to ensure we are testing variances only in the board itself). A range of rider weights 60-90kg) are used, and (significantly) the boards are tested/rated across their intended sailing mode/wind/sail/water condition range. At the completion of the board testing cycle, a similar cycle is followed to evaluate fin options (type/construction/size) for the final selected version of each board.
While we make extensive use of GPS (a very useful technology), using GPS data in isolation (of cross testing etc) can be deceptive.
Cheers ~ Ian