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Old 12th January 2008, 06:24 AM   #11
Ian Fox
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[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
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Old 12th January 2008, 02:31 PM   #12
qldsalty
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Sounds very similar to the Hypersonic theories.

When we test we will both use the 34 cm out of the Hypersonic. Also both use 2007 RSR 6.7 on X6 460 mast. Both have X9 carbon booms( The only difference is my boom is 200-250) Maxi has the smaller one. We will line up side by side with GPS on and see what happens. Then swap the boards only and see what happens then. I hope that should give a pretty good real world indication which is quicker if there is any difference at all. I doubt there will be anything truly outstanding.

The best part about doing the above is it will be fun. Adds a great element of competition and fun to an ordinary day.
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Old 13th January 2008, 11:22 PM   #13
van
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Ian

Thanks for clarifying all that up for us. Another truly very professional analyses of why and how from a guy who obviously knows his stuff. You have taken a weight off my mind as I am expecting delivery of a Futura 93 which unfortunatly is about 2 months long overdue. Now I can wait.
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Old 14th January 2008, 11:14 AM   #14
Maximus
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Ian

Thanks for the reply.

Once again very excellent imformation, and obviously one of the reasons Starboard stays at the forefront of sailboard technology.

My board has now arrived and I am waiting for a day with wind to sail it! Having looked at the board very closely it defineately looks smaller than the Stype and may well out perform it in high wind. I guess proof is in the pudding. However as the OLD Salty said, its almost more fun just trying these things out against your mate.

I'm not sure if everyone else is like me, but it takes somewhere between 10-20 sails to get a board really running sweet and after 3 solid years on my Hypersonic I'm still getting small improvements. These are coming through refining technique, new sail technology and offcourse fin selection. I would never have dreamt 3 years ago of going 30 knots with a 8.4 and Hypersonic in less than ideal conditions.

So therefor it is sometimes unrealistic to get a new board and expect to smoke your mates with the first couple of outings. I can say that my sailing has improved by sticking with the same board (hypersonic) and now I can add to it, with confidence.

The Futura for me is all about speed and safety, being a father and weekend racer, I dont want to many spectacular crashes at 35 knots +.

So hopefully I will reporting back here again soon on the Futura 93 in relation to Ians coments above
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Old 15th January 2008, 05:44 PM   #15
Ian Fox
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Hi Maximus,

You've raised a very important perspective that I had neatly side-stepped in the above discussion (hey, it was windy and sunny and I wanted to sail..).

Quite often it does take a certain amount of time (or familiarity or understanding) to find and dial in to get the best out of a new piece of equipment - and the casual "jump on at the beach and go for one blast" test does not always show the true potential of the equipment (new or old) under test. The HyperSonic example is probably one of the best in recent memory.

( a more current - and relevant - example could be seen in the DFC, where the old straight rockerlines benefited from sliding the whole board onto the plane and being sailed relatively flat [longitudinally] ; the DFC tends to be better with a bit of a kick and then weighting back onto the tail. Old flat rocker guys (the rocker, not the guys, Salty sit down..) may initially not relate or not prefer the slightly "wave board" feel of the DFC in marginal planing. But (on the other hand ) a "DFC familiar" guy will be comfortable with the planing technique, really dialled on how to get the best top end from the DFC ride and also (then) feel that the front of a (older) flat rocker (non DFC) board isn't riding so free (at least not as readily) as what you can on a DFC. These are minor differences, but the difference in the ride is clear enough for any experienced rider to notice - either actively or even subconsciously. At least after a couple of sessions.)

Obviously boards like FU93 vs ST93 are significantly closer to each other, and as such the differences are more subtle, and in turn fully "dialling" in on these to extract the new "best" (both by style/technique and tuning) often is in turn a more protracted, subtle process than switching between radically different boards (or sails or fins etc etc) where a quantum difference smacks you right in the face - and forces at least a fundamental change on the spot..

Varying usage conditions too, can highlight a variation and make a difference clearer (or alternately cloud it, if not complimentary to the new design)

The real test is indeed after a few good sessions and suitable dial in/familiarity time: at that time, do you wish for your old favourite, previous "comfort zone" back again ?? .. Or are you satisfied (even against your own beliefs) that the new option really is better - and despite previous "vows", you then really don't see yourself going back.. Sure, the old gear still works (and some of it super good, eh ?) but there is progress too, and even if all of it is not everyone's dream, the average for the sport is pretty clear over the years..

And for a lot of guys, chasing and understanding and comparing and mastering these subtle changes is a vital and interesting, even compelling aspect of their windsurfing. No, it's not for all. But quite a few!.

Enjoy smoking Salty, but watch out he doesn't smoke you.
He might be old and the ST93 likewise, but it's a rocket in it's own right,
and driven the right way, still good to keep FU93 owners honest )

Should be a great shoot out. Keep us posted. Send pics !

Cheers~ Ian

Last edited by Ian Fox; 15th January 2008 at 05:53 PM. Reason: added some detail to DFC example..
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Old 3rd February 2008, 05:13 PM   #16
Maximus
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Hey Ian

Thanks for the input once again, I have been waiting to respond with a test of the FU93, however as we all know when you buy a new board, the wind seems to disappear!

Hopefully sometime before the new 2009 model arrives, I will have sailed the FU93.

Tune in next week at the same time, same channel........
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Old 11th February 2008, 04:39 PM   #17
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Hey all who may be interested in the FU 93

I finally had the FU93 yesterday. Just to recap I'm 86kg/188cm, and would be weekend racer, about twice a year actually, which sounds like not many, but there are only 5, 1 per month, and by the time there is no wind for a couple, a birthday or 2, you get the picture.....

Sorry you probably want to hear about the board.

The conditions were really 8.5 weather, if the board hadn't been sitting under the house for 6 weeks, then I would have been on H111/8.4 RSR/45cm fin. It was approx 13-14 knots max, full of holes, with say 30cm chop. I rigged a 6.7 RSR and used the 34cm drake fin out of the Hyper 111, yes that board again. Why the slalom fin? Well I want a slalom board that easy to sail in high wind and turns like a dream, infact in my humble opinion, its way more fun to be hammering the Sh#t out of a board than the other way round.

The 1st thing I noticed when I got it planing, was, that it was planing! Unbelievable. Fact 1, there is no way on gods earth the ST93 would have. The next thing was the accelleration, very impressive. I tested the I86 in similar conditions a few months ago, with a little more wind, same sail, and to be honest, on a reach,nothing in it. This however may well change in a nice 20 knots +, but given the way the board, just kept on wanting to accelerate, with such little effort, suggests that it may well hold its own.

I placed the straps all the way back, front and rear, which is where I like to sail. The ride reminded me of an EVO. Now I bet you weren't expecting that. Obviously its not one, but perhaps its the thin deck, which suggests to me when its wild, that there is only one small fast board to have, the FU93. It brought back memories of the BIC Volocie 278 from about 2000, if anyone sailed one, you know what I mean.

Going over the chop it felt great, infact I distinctly remember saying to myself ' bring it on', which is unusual, as I mainly sail the Hyper, and although the hyper will fly over chop, requires a fair amount of effort. The FU93 requires little effort at all. Yet given the conditions still kept accelerating.

Gybing, sorry to say that I was going upwind most of the time, and did only a couple. So we will have to wait for another day to find out.

When I downloaded the GPS at home, the max speed was 28.5 knots, this was on a slightly upwind run. I remember approaching the beach, going to tack, and couldn't stop, I almost ran some swimmers over, so I was going faster than I thought! This speed is not fast in the grand scheme of things, but given the lack of wind, was outstanding, and I know this because I record all my sessions.

So when the next opportunity arrives to test it again, I'll post some more feedback. Also should be able to line up the old salty on his ST93, shortly, and we'll posty the results of that. Offcouse we'll swap boards as well.

To sum up, I believe so far, that what Ian has commented on above, is quite correct. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 11th February 2008, 06:06 PM   #18
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Thanks for the report I'm really looking forward to read the comparison between FU 93 and ST 93: i got the ST and I love it, just curious to know if they manage to do an even better board!
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Old 18th February 2008, 04:43 AM   #19
Maximus
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Had another session with FU93 & 6.7 RSR. My sail wasn't feeling very good as I broke a batten (again, boom batten went of 8.4 RSR as well), surprising really as NP stuff never breaks. Oh well must have been my poor technique. So for a temp fix replaced it with a stiffer one, the result was the sail was a little flat around the boom, but worked ok.

Wind was approx 18 with gusts to about 20. Top speed was 34.7 with 34cm H111 drake. The runs were quite square, with little room to bear off, I guess they were approx 100 degrees. Had some reaches that were consistantly 31-32 knots, so very impressed with that.

Towards the end the chop was coming up, and even at those speeds, it just sliced through it, with no hint of problems.

Once again very impressed at how easily this board accellerates, handles and turns.

Had a chance to finally test out some gybing, it was better than the old Carve 111 (2004) I had. It turned through the chop, well, just like a wave board. This aspect to me really seals the deal, especially when your reaching at top speed, throwing in a gybe at 30 knots with confidence, increases the level of enjoyment.

Should be able to test against tghe ST93 in the next couple of days
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Old 22nd February 2008, 03:49 PM   #20
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Alexwind I've had a go on Maximus's 93. We haven't got it right where we are both in the one spot set up to go yet. Tomorrow we might get that chance. Owning the ST93 which I love, I now wonder about the Futura. On Maxi's 6.7 ( his set up) I managed to get it really wound up. It motored a lot better than I expected. Super smooth over the chop. I don't think there will be much in the speed but early planning is definately better.
We did a bit of testing today on bigger boards. I just changed my Hyper for a Futura 133. Maxi on the Hyper we had little difference. I was expecting to get slaughtered on the dead flat water we had today. The Futura went well. On one reach I got going a bit quicker ( Something I never have done before when we are both on 8.4 sail) and felt I wasn't going fast enough. I knew Maxi was there on the Hyper and felt the presence. Half way across I stole a look back expecting to be overtaken any second and guess what. No change in distance. The board is so smooth you don't feel the speed. I'll very impressed. Both the 93 and the 133 have the same characteristics. Can't wait to ride both in overpower conditions. In saying that there was a couple of runs where he got me. Usually when there was a lull. Those Hypers carry though like nothing I've ever ridden.
An important note here is that this was the first time I rode the Fut133 with the 8.4. Maxi has been on the Hyper's for years. What will happen when I get it dialed in?

One thing i found really different was the rear foot strap. On my old Hyper and St93 that strap is straight. On the Futura it is slightly tilted toward the back. At first I got my foot stuck but after a few adjustments problem solved. ( this is fully out and middle plug ). I made the strap wider at the back to get in and out easier. Big feet.
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