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Old 7th September 2006, 03:02 PM   #1
Marko
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Default For Ian Fox: Sonic100 vs iSonic101/94

Hi Ian,

I have my Sonic 100 for the third season now, and the board is just fantastic.
However, I am thinking about making a one step forward. As I race quite often (national level), I am thinking about getting a decent fin (deboichet sl2) and a new board.

I find my Sonic100 just perfect for our racing conditions. We race in variety of conditions, from flatwater to chop to bigger waves. Figure of 8 most of time, but sometimes also downwind slalom. Also, we have a windlimit of 15 knots, so I find my Neutron 7.0 (for my weight - 80kg) the perfect choice for 90% of the races. It would be nice to have 7.6 and 6.3 sometimes, but not really often. If it is really nuking, I can go out with my Poison 5.4 which I find pretty fast and controllable for a wave sail.

The question is, which 2007 iSonic would be the perfect replacement for Sonic100 (7.0 conditions)?

I am afraid that iSonic94 would be to small in volume. I have been racing with small volume boards before (AHD d58, cca.90liters) and while it planned very soon, I had big troubles after a bad gybe in crowded space. I really really like having those extra 10 liters in my sonic 100. Also, this will be my biggest board so I would like to be able to float in light winds. Sometimes I have to float a little bit to reach the good wind. Im afraid that 93 liter iSonic is just to small for that.

On the other side, iSonic101 is completely different board, and I am afraid that it will not be as good as Sonic100 in decent wind and chop/waves. I am not afraid of iS101 beeing hard to control. I am used to formula boards also, so I know these wide boards are not hard to control at all, but I am afraid that it will be slower than Sonic100 in steep chop and similar conditions. I remember formula boards beeing really really fast in flat water but in choppy conditions, it was another story. Also, there are a lot of racers (my friends) who changed their old narrow boards for new widestyle boards (tabou, F2, fanatic...) and I think they are not as fast as they used to be. In fact, the fastest guy in our fleet is still using old Mistral RTX from 2000 or something.

So the question is, how fast is iSonic101 in comparison with Sonic100? 7.0 powered to overpowered conditions, 80kg weight?

Best regards,
Marko
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Old 7th September 2006, 05:39 PM   #2
Ian Fox
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Default RE: For Ian Fox: Sonic100 vs iSonic101/94

Hi Marko,

Right now, in the 2007 range, the iS101 is more aligned as the "100Lt slalom allrounder" (as was S100 ).

This is an interesting discussion, because although the Sonic 100 lost volume to become the Sonic95 (2006) and then some more to eveolve into iS94, almost all the volume (removed) has come from the upper front deck area (iS94 losing just a little more in the rear strap area than S95) ; all of which means in (most, above wind min) circumstances, the S95 and now iS94 aren't sailing a lot "smaller" than the S100 before it.

On the other hand, the iS101 is a particularly verstatile and fast board against the S100/S95/S94, and in test it gets a lot closer to the "smaller" brother than expected ; we really tested a lot with S95 vs iS105 in 2006 and here the results were very close; even on the short rough the iS could be competitive against S95 when iS was sailed with tuning that allowed the rider to keep constantly "ON" the power across chop ; if the sail was lifting (standing up) the rider a lot, the iS was getting a bit more flighty earlier, but if the rig/tuning was open in the head, the power/drive could be kept full on on the iS and it was very fast (against S95) - with the added advantage of better bottom end, increased power handling thru (and out of) jibe and faster recovery to top speed. On super vertical chop (where you are forced to basically "jump" the wave, the tail area of the iS was a bit more of a challenge, but on short to medium, especially stutter chop, the iS101 (105) has a very good flat trim (once familiar with it) that really allows a "power on" style in a more radical way than the (more traditional) S95 /or iS94. The fact you can hammer so hard on the (wider) iS101 really covers the theory disadvantage that it must be "slow".

Antoine has been pretty fast to prove that.
(yes, there is ultimately a rider style/technique influence in this; a more "glide" style guy will probably be more relaxed and confident on the iS94; the one who can "animal" the iS101 without fear will also find great results. No guess which one is A2)

Right now I would probably prefer iS101 + iS87 (iS105+ S85),
but if it was one board only allowed for both those boards range,
well I'd be thinking hard about the iS94 as the one board..

Hopefully you've some chance to demo one of these new options, if iS101/105, take the time to find the tuning and technique to get the most from it; no, it's doesn't take too long, and no, it's not so like HS, but for sure there are a lot of guys with iS101/105 who find even MORE after 2-3 good sessions once they learn to extract the most from the flat trim (and realise they won't die in doing it ! )

Cheers ~ Ian
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Old 7th September 2006, 07:22 PM   #3
Marko
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Default RE: For Ian Fox: Sonic100 vs iSonic101/94

Thanks Ian,

when you say "but if it was one board only allowed for both those boards range,
well I'd be thinking hard about the iS94 as the one board..", what do you mean? Would you choose 94 or 101? Maybe I do not understand well because of my bad english...and yes, we have a slalom 21 format, only 1 board allowed and 2 sails.

If I understood you well how to be fast on wide boards (is101), you have to open the top of your sail enough so that it does not push the front of the board into the water. Does that mean that you would have to use a bigger sail size with more downhaul than on sonic100/94 in given conditions? 7.6 instead of 7.0?

One last question...
In my eyes, the most important part of any slalom race (above 15knots) is perfect start and great downwind speed to the first mark. Which of those boards are the fastest in that scenario (choppy water, constant wind)? How big are the margins?

If I would be 5% slower on iS101 than Sonic 100, I would stay with my 100.
If new iS94 is 5% faster than S100, I would go for it.

How competitive do you think Sonic 100 is against 2007 designs? If newer designs are only more controlable, then I would probably stay with sonic100 beacuse I find that board GREAT for control. But, if speed is improved, then its another story...

Thanks once again,
Marko
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Old 8th September 2006, 02:04 AM   #4
Adrian
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Default RE: For Ian Fox: Sonic100 vs iSonic101/94

Hi Ian (and question to Ian on the subject of 94 v 101)

During your comparison testing between the isonic 105 and sonic 95 did you have any sub 75kg sailors involved with the testing? Did they find the same results as the 90Kg testers?

I'm asking this because owning both the 95 and the 105 (and sailing the 115 quite a lot too), and weighing 73kg, I found it hard to get the 105 up to the speed of the 95 in standard beam reaching conditions with SSRs 6.6 and 7.6 in Port Phillip chop. I have found, as you mentioned earlier in this thread, the 105 really needs to be sailed "power on", but with a lot of concentration to get it to fly, wheras the 95 is easy to sail very fast without too much "grunt" or effort. I also found the shoulders of the 95 seem to sail higher and stop the board less when the chop/swell comes at different awkward angles to the board.

However, the 105 is far easier to sail out of the gybe at speed and at my weight is very quick with 8.6 SSR in the UK chop I now sail. I also found the 105 more docile on the limit than the 95 despite it's greater width, with less tendancy then the 95 for the nose to rear up in a gust when sailing overpowered.

I would be very interested to know whether the short and high rocker of the 95 has been kept the same for the new 94, or has it the lower rise of the 105/115 and sonic 85?

Thanks for your time, and would also like to add that your responses to technical questions on performance boards are the most informative of those available on the net.

Cheers,

Adrian.
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Old 8th September 2006, 02:40 PM   #5
Ian Fox
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Default RE: For Ian Fox: Sonic100 vs iSonic101/94

Hi Marko,

Realistically, it would be inaccurate to claim simply one board is faster than the other,
especially by X%.

I am sure we can make a true test prove iS94 5% faster than S100
(but in what conditions ? Basically, the faster the conditions, the more the iS94 will shine,
the more it's marginal, the more the S100 close the gap again))

Also I'm sure that with the right rider, good tuning (for iS101) we can beat the S100 with iS101.
(but in what conditions ? Basically, the faster the conditions, the more the S100 will shine,
the more it's "marginal 100Lt slalom", the more the iS101will dominate in raw speed, but also in slalom racing the "result" is often a combination of top speed plus jibe speed and re-acceleration after jibe ; when considered in this "race speed" mode rather than pure top speed the iS101 is more competitive in most conditions)

With the iS101 the rider has more potential to deal with overpower than the S94,
but this is also relative as the iS101 will start to overpower earlier in the wind / conditions range,
BUT as it has more capable overpower performance (relative) to the iS94 then the rider can "hang on" to the iS101 until close to the same max as the iS94.

The result of this means more bottom and mid range (wider sweetspot) for similar top end: the requirements to make use of the iS101 upper top end (to ?match? iS94 )being the rider has a strong (so called "animal" ) style (rather than a gentle gliding style), and that the sail tuning is OK on the iS101 to minimise the rig "standing up" the rider (and thus causing him/her to come off the power a lot, disrupting both the trim and the power delivery at the critical top end range ( most often when things are getting rather critical). It does take a couple of sessions on the iS to really become familiar with the limits/trim of the iS101 (and similar) but once you got it the results are pretty addictive.

Hi Adrian, (nice to hear from you in a UK summer )

"During your comparison testing between the isonic 105 and sonic 95 did you have any sub 75kg sailors involved with the testing? Did they find the same results as the 90Kg testers?"
IF : Yes, for sure. Significant input from Tiesda and Per (both mid to low 6x kg) and a certain Norwegian guy doesn't let us get too far away without having a go himself, he's around 75kg without weight and also tests on occasion with weight ~+8kg to gain a "heavy" perspective. However, as you can imagine, mostly the aim is to develop the fastest board for the fastest guys, which usually focuses more on bigger/heavier style guys.

"I'm asking this because owning both the 95 and the 105 (and sailing the 115 quite a lot too), and weighing 73kg, I found it hard to get the 105 up to the speed of the 95 in standard beam reaching conditions with SSRs 6.6 and 7.6 in Port Phillip chop. I have found, as you mentioned earlier in this thread, the 105 really needs to be sailed "power on", but with a lot of concentration to get it to fly, wheras the 95 is easy to sail very fast without too much "grunt" or effort. I also found the shoulders of the 95 seem to sail higher and stop the board less when the chop/swell comes at different awkward angles to the board."
IF : Well as you know well, the PPB chop (in powered 100Lt range) is often about as ugly as it gets, and yes, in those conditions the iS94 would be an "earlier" choice in the range than normal, especially for a light to mid weight rider. Even in PPB I know bigger (90-95kg) riders took a couple of sessions to dial in on the optimum iS101 style/technique, to "power" flat across the top of the chop ( c/w previous boards they used S100/S95) - The temptation to sheet out is high, but keeping on the power is the key.

"However, the 105 is far easier to sail out of the gybe at speed and at my weight is very quick with 8.6 SSR in the UK chop I now sail. I also found the 105 more docile on the limit than the 95 despite it's greater width, with less tendancy then the 95 for the nose to rear up in a gust when sailing overpowered."
IF : Right- and there is the iS character really showing.

"I would be very interested to know whether the short and high rocker of the 95 has been kept the same for the new 94, or has it the lower rise of the 105/115 and sonic 85?"
IF : The iS94 has a slightly lower rise than the S95 (06), but it?s a relatively minor change (about -5mm @240cm), more a fine tune in line with optimizing the overall board trim angle (iS94 also having thinner tail thickness).
In a macro sense, the iS94 should be regarded as a similar ride to S95 (06) as c/w iS101/105.

Cheers ~ Ian
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