The iSonics are fast racing machines designed for the highest top speeds, the highest average speeds, the quickest accelerations with powerful overtaking abilities throughout a wide wind range.
For 2015, the iSonic 90 and iSonic 97 are wider between the footstraps for more stability, but not wider overall since they were already in the compact shape concept. Slightly narrower planing surface behind the back straps. The double concave is replaced with flat Vee in the 90. The iSonic 97 keeps its concaves for added lift in medium winds.
The following test was featured in the 2015 Special Test edition of WIND Magazine.
Length: 231 cm
Width: 65.5 cm
Tail Width: 43.8 cm
Thickness: 11.1 cm
Weight: 5.75 kg (naked) / 6.45 kg (fitted)
Volume: 97 liters
Sail range: 5.6m² – 8.2m²
Available Sizes: 80, 87, 90, 97, 107, 110, 120 and 130 liters
The iSonic 97 Carbon we tested, along with the iSonic 107, makes up Starboard’s medium wind slalom range. This year, the iSonic 97 is slightly wider between the footstraps but also slightly narrower in the tail, behind the back straps, for less wet surface and ultimately, drag. However, it keeps its proven bottom shape with a flat Vee going into a double concave.
It comes in Wood and Carbon versions.
On the Water:
Although the Starboard iSonic looks and feels smaller than it is, it offers great glide in light winds, with a very competitive early planing. Once it gets up and going, the iSonic 97 is very securing as you can push on the legs all you want and transmit the sail’s energy to the board with confidence and comfort.
The iSonic 97 simply offers exceptional overall efficiency. It goes fast without much effort and in all points of sailing: downwind runs as well as on the beam and upwind reaches. Nothing scares it. And the cherry on top: it goes extremely well in stronger winds and rougher sea conditions with a lateral and longitudinal stability that is unique to the iSonics, allowing the rider to keep on accelerating with the permanent sensation of control.
It also works well on flat waters, producing a lot of power without the associated burning thigh sensation. The deck ergonomics allow for good foot support. It works well in choppy conditions, providing comfort and confidence despite the stiff Carbon construction, which logically translates to speed.
In the jibe, there is nothing to point out: it’s clean and efficient with a powerful exit.
Quite similar to the 2014 model, the 2015 Starboard iSonic 97 Carbon comes across as extremely lively and nervous but at the same time, very accessible and easy to control. Thanks to its excellent ergonomics, it boosts confidence in the rider and brings together excellent control, exceptional performances and huge wind range. It’s the safe bet in this test for those who want to go fast in medium winds. Definitely the testers’ choice.