I just went through the same decision. I was looking for a board inbetween my FType 158 and 115ltr freeride board. Something in the 8.5 sail range. I just purchased the ISonic 122. My feeling was I wanted the same compact feeling of the Ftype and not a tone-down freeride board in that range. The water conditions in that range where I sail are not too choppy, so the handling is not that critical. I go along with your thinking of if you have the budget and space to try to be on the smallest gear possible for the given conditions.