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Thread: Starboard Ultrasonic Review
3rd March 2015, 04:52 PM #71
3rd March 2015, 08:37 PM #72
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
The overall trend now ( at least within the Starboard range) seems to be to go wider at the front straps but narrower at the tail. This all started with the IS 110 as a replacement for the 122/121 I think albeit that also saw a reduction in volume. The theory is that the extra width aids earlier planing whilst the narrower tail improves speed and control once planing and makes gybing better. If the 110 is a guide it does however mean using a smaller fin than you might think and not using a sailing style that relies on volume in the tail. I think there is also a limit to how far you go with this design theory before you throw the baby out with the bath water. My best guess is that the additional width at the straps will benefit heavier riders most.
I have covered some of this ground before, but to repeat the salient part, I have the IS 107 at 68.5 wide and the IS 110 at 75 wide ( the replacement for the more standard 120l /75cm wide predecessors). The IS 107 is an absolute dream in almost any conditions and relatively easy to tune, but the IS 110 has taken me virtually a complete season to get to grips with. Mast foot position is even more critical than my other slalom boards, as is fin profile and sail set up. Get it right and the design brief does work.....i.e. same early planing and floatability as a board with much more volume but with the speed and control and gybing of a board much smaller.
3rd March 2015, 10:50 PM #73
10th May 2015, 07:46 AM #74
Its all a bit dead on the forum so I thought it was time to do a comparison between the ultrasonic and the isonic 130. I imagine the same finding could apply to other brands as well.
A few things have been said recently about other early planning boards and people not liking them - You must view the board and rig as a complete package. There is little to be gained by having one of the early planing boards and sticking a 7.5 on it. Yes it will plain earlyish but those boards have so much lift that a 7.5 rig won't pin it down so control becomes a major issue and although counter intuitive when loosing control you are sometimes better off with a larger rather than smaller sail. Anyway onto comparison.
Early planing - Not a lot in it, you have to be more active on the isonic due to it being quite a bit shorter. If you had or could quantify it then maybe the isonic needs half a kt more wind and you need to take it further off the wind to get the release in light winds. So when do they plane? About 8 to 9 kts with a good 9.5 sail.
keeping planing - again very little in it. probably the US keeps going through a lull a touch longer but I think the difference could be down to its bigger fin. With the same fin they would be the same as the isonic will generally be going a kt or two quicker when it enters the lull. Both boards can go through a 6 or 7 kt hole in the wind.
Speed - the isonic is quicker, no surprise there.
Top end - isonic, again its a race boards and you are securely locked onto the rail.
Summery - The US is easier to plane early, you can be more heavy footed with it, but with more effort and skill the isonic can just about match it. Once going the the isonic is the better ride.
NB. this type of sailing the boards will only be as good as the rig lets them.
10th May 2015, 09:16 AM #75
- Join Date
- Jan 2014
I agree, a large iS when worked hard is great fun. For me it is much more fun than the big early planers such as the US. I just find them dull, that planing at low speed feeling is somehow very lifeless. I felt the same when I was a lot lighter and playing on big freestyle boards. Having said that on the big freestyle boards at least I could have some fun on them falling in trying to do silly twisty moves that my body usually regretted. So for me, I could have more fun either on a large slalom board such as the iS130 or on a longboard.
10th May 2015, 01:21 PM #76
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Useful review. I have the IS 127 rather than 130 but not much difference I think. I agree your comments on the light wind and glide capability of the IS and that can be further enhanced by using a race rather than slalom fin in a slightly longer size but you pay the penalty if the wind picks up...........extreme rear leg burn to get the board to do anything but charge upwind is the usual outcome, so I stick with a 47cm slalom fin.
One area you did not comment on was the ability of both boards to cope with stronger winds and rough water. In that respect I have been amazed by the IS 127 in winds much stronger than you want typically want to be on a board of that size and that capability appears to have improved compared to my previous model ( IS133). It is also possible to use the IS 127 with pretty small sails and get good trim. I have used 7m RAM with it on days when the wind has been patchy and even with that still use a mast foot position rear of centre with no uncontrolled nose lift.
10th May 2015, 05:48 PM #77
Maybe I should have expanded my "locked onto the rail" comment for top end. Yes the isonic is better as you would expect. I think the 2015 isonics are better as there is actually very little behind you back foot. It is like a small extension sticking out the back of the board to take the fin.
The US feels like a "magic carpet" it sort of hovers over the water, doing its thing but not giving you a lot of feed back. The isonic is a much more direct feeling board. I don't like talking about sail range as it is quite a personal thing but one way to look at it would be - the isonic 130 is PWA competitive with 8.6 to 9.6 it will take smaller sails but you wouldn't win a top level race on it with a smaller sail. But that is probably not important to most users (including me).
I think the best way to decide which board suits you best for early planing would be if you are honestly going to stay dry for 90+% of your gybes the isonic is the better board other wise the US is the way to go, it is still a very good board and also opens up the option of 10+m sails but I can't comment on that.