RE: 2003 Sonic 85?
Ok got to use the S85 on a 6.0 and 30cm goldwing. Today was probably the best condtitions to try a board. 5.5/6.0/6.5 was the call. Very gusty on the inside sometimes with no wind and super windy on the outside at Kanaha, with rough chop in most places except for a smooth nuking section near uppers between head high breakers, with lots of wavesailors to run into, with some doing forwards going out while you're coming in maxed out. In short, conditions were terrible. +++ I found what Ian said to be spot on. The board feels fast although I didn't have my gps to confirm it, which I'll bring next time. I think it's about the same volume as my ML board based on it sinking to the same point as the ML in no wind. Although I guess differences in volume distrubution play a part and so the volume may not be the same. At speed, the 85 feels bigger than the ML but paradoxically, the ML feels bigger than the 85 in marginal wind. STeveC I doubt you'll be disappointed with your new ML board. I find it to be better than the S85 in all respects, which is to be expected as the ML has three more years of deveolpment behind it. THe ML appears to have better top end control and speed, low end planing ability and better gybing and is just easier to sail fast or slow. The 85 feels fast, gybes well enough and appears to be solidly built. It was a rental and appears to have had good usage judging from cosmetic wear but has no soft spots at all and aced the old coin test on the bottom. Pads on a slalom board take some getting used to vs my and maybe your ML board with no pads. I found myself moving the track almost all the way to the front to keep the nose down. On the ML I usually have it around 3/5 of the way to the front plus or minus. All together, a great testing day. If you're a car guy, the 03 s85 is like the late 80s M3 and the 06 ML is like today's M3. More raw vs more refined. +++ My previous ML finally delaminated around the mast track beyond repair. It earlier had some delam in the footstrap area but that was fixable. I also had a footstrap insert rip out of it twice. Same insert. Once during a race. The underside never failed. I was surprised at how long it lasted considering I bought it used from a pro and seriously hammered it another few years. The s85 looks to be very solid as well. Time will tell. I'm sure it will feel better as I get used to it. Overall it's a good daily board because it looks like it can take a pounding and maybe even because it's more technical to sail than the ML; if you can master a technical board in tough weather then maybe you'll be on fire on the easier race board come race day. Somewhat like the distance runner who trains with a couple of bricks in a backpack.+++ '06 iSonic vs '06 ML?