Morning people, here is a report from a friend who borrowed my 2014 Ultrasonic at the weekend which I thought relevant to post here:
"Martin very kindly let me have a go on his Ultrasonic on Sunday; the set up was a 2014 US with a 58cm R2R drake carbon fin and his brand new 2014 Severne Overdrive 9.5m. My personal biggest sail is a 7.8 but I am far happier on sails of 5.7 and smaller with sub 100l boards so before even taking the kit out I was concerned that it would be very heavy and cumbersome. First thoughts; the board was unbelievably light and the Overdrive rigged on a severne enigma 490cm mast and a technolimits carbon boom felt really really nice. I am around 75kg and an intermediate, on very flat water and pretty light wind around 8knts with gusts of 11knts with nobody else even close to planning. First run picked up a bit of a gust and bearing away with some pumping I was away and then stayed planning for the next km or so until i gybed. My thoughts: this board and sail combo definitely does plane very early but more than that it just stays on the plane through the lulls like nothing I have sailed before. I have average early planning skills but even so it was fairly easy to pump up onto the plane even with a fairly full on race race. Pumping seemed most effective stood a little further back than I would on other boards which I guess meant i could sheet in a little more and work the fin. Once up and going it felt pretty quick and very smooth. Around the corners it again felt super smooth although quite directional, maybe with more wind I could have cranked it through the gybes a bit more but in light wind it had quite a fixed radius. I couldn't carve tack with any pace partly due to how directional the board / fin was (and partly due to my lack of technique).
Overall, I found the US extremely easy to sail, its was very smooth and very forgiving. It certainly planned early, for me the difference was how, once it was going, it would just go through the lulls and could stay planning that was unique. So who's it for? I would say if you sail somewhere where its often 8-10 kts with little gusts then this is the board for you, if you are someone who wants to get planning in lightish winds without some serious pumping then again its a great board, or if you are someone who doesn't get to sail that often and needs to make the most of the conditions then get one! Personally, I would love one BUT I live by the coast and can get out more or less when I want on a forecast. As a result the amount of times owning a US would extend my sailing would be small because I would be on something smaller by the time there was a steady 12kts, Steve.
2011 Neil Pryde Atlas 4.2 & 4.7, 2012 Firefly 5.3, 5.7 & 6.1, 2015 Ryde 7.5 & 6.5, 2014 Severne Overdrives 7.0, 7.8, 8.6 & 9.5
2015 Starboard Kode 86L Freewave, 2013 Fanatic Skate 109L, 2014 Starboard isonic 110, 2014 Starboard AtomIQ 110 & 2014 Starboard Ultrasonic 147