View Full Version : 2003 Sonic 85?

6th January 2007, 12:21 AM
Can anyone tell me anything about this board? There may be one available in my area and I could use a second board as a daily use board to save my race board for race day. I'm 80kg and will be using 5.5-6.5 sails in choppy water and good wind.

Ian Fox
6th January 2007, 05:57 AM
Hi 909,

Considering that you will pick this board up for a bargain price, it will turnout to be a very good buy for 80kg/Maui/5.5-6.5m fille din conditions, especially in the role of a daily workhorse (or dare we say "hack") board.

In summary, the 03 S85 can be very fast (it's tested very well against the fastest boards we had at the time from KP/PMcG etc ) and it is easy to ride (bulletproof) in chop with a bevel rail forward. The ride is slightly harsh (but, hey, it's a no compromise race design, so....) and to get the very best out of the board some people might consider it a bit technical (esp at hi speed in choppy conditions) by today's standards (which won't bother an experienced or dedicated racer).

As per that other discussion, while the overall width of 03 S85 is not that narrow, the general ride is slightly longer/narrower than the newer designs of similar overall width/volume. No big deal, but easily noticed.

Enjoy it.

Cheers ~ Ian

6th January 2007, 06:51 AM
Hey Ian thanks for the input. Its windy today, hope to be able to test it. Its looking about 5.5/6.0 right now.
Anyone else who knows anything about the board feel free to chime in.

6th January 2007, 09:29 AM
Hi SIN909,

Just curious if you buy this board. As a fellow ML sailor, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the Starboard 85.

Regarding saving your race board, did your earlier ML delaminate? My 1993 board got soft on the bottom under the foot strap area, but all others have done very well on the bottom surface. However, a couple of them delaminated on the deck a bit just forward of the rear footstraps, but Mike was able to sustain them with a small injection of epoxy from the deck. A quick easy fix that worked out fairly well to support continued use.

6th January 2007, 04:23 PM
I like this board a lot, it is a bit traditional in shape, narrow and "gunny", compared to the latest broader and shorter designs. It feels very fast on a broad reach (I've done 33 knots in choppy conditions) and jibes well. I'm a bit lighter than you (69kg) and for me it gets going quite early even with a 5.6 and has a very good release. For anyone who likes to go fast I can recommend this board.

7th January 2007, 06:56 PM
Ok got to use the S85 on a 6.0 and 30cm goldwing. Today was probably the best condtitions to try a board. 5.5/6.0/6.5 was the call. Very gusty on the inside sometimes with no wind and super windy on the outside at Kanaha, with rough chop in most places except for a smooth nuking section near uppers between head high breakers, with lots of wavesailors to run into, with some doing forwards going out while you're coming in maxed out. In short, conditions were terrible. +++ I found what Ian said to be spot on. The board feels fast although I didn't have my gps to confirm it, which I'll bring next time. I think it's about the same volume as my ML board based on it sinking to the same point as the ML in no wind. Although I guess differences in volume distrubution play a part and so the volume may not be the same. At speed, the 85 feels bigger than the ML but paradoxically, the ML feels bigger than the 85 in marginal wind. STeveC I doubt you'll be disappointed with your new ML board. I find it to be better than the S85 in all respects, which is to be expected as the ML has three more years of deveolpment behind it. THe ML appears to have better top end control and speed, low end planing ability and better gybing and is just easier to sail fast or slow. The 85 feels fast, gybes well enough and appears to be solidly built. It was a rental and appears to have had good usage judging from cosmetic wear but has no soft spots at all and aced the old coin test on the bottom. Pads on a slalom board take some getting used to vs my and maybe your ML board with no pads. I found myself moving the track almost all the way to the front to keep the nose down. On the ML I usually have it around 3/5 of the way to the front plus or minus. All together, a great testing day. If you're a car guy, the 03 s85 is like the late 80s M3 and the 06 ML is like today's M3. More raw vs more refined. +++ My previous ML finally delaminated around the mast track beyond repair. It earlier had some delam in the footstrap area but that was fixable. I also had a footstrap insert rip out of it twice. Same insert. Once during a race. The underside never failed. I was surprised at how long it lasted considering I bought it used from a pro and seriously hammered it another few years. The s85 looks to be very solid as well. Time will tell. I'm sure it will feel better as I get used to it. Overall it's a good daily board because it looks like it can take a pounding and maybe even because it's more technical to sail than the ML; if you can master a technical board in tough weather then maybe you'll be on fire on the easier race board come race day. Somewhat like the distance runner who trains with a couple of bricks in a backpack.+++ '06 iSonic vs '06 ML?

8th January 2007, 02:11 AM
Thanks SIN909 for your comments concerning both the MLs and the Sonic 85. Sounds like the 85 will be a practical workhorse to train on. The fact that it's a bit more technical in its ride should keenly focus your style and make you tougher overall. Really, an interesting plan. However, you must have a pretty good reserve of willpower to be able monitor your use of the ML. I know that I would hard pressed to conserve and meter my usage. Yet, I'm still toying with keeping the old ML slalom in the van for those days when the surf is on the nasty side. Also, surprisingly, the old board does pretty well wave riding some of the less critical breaks in my locale, especially when conditions are on the light side. Even though I usually like to zip about on the outside, its great to snag an occassional down the line wave just for fun of it.

I should point out that I'm like you in sailing the MLs without pads, as it offers a more direct feel and I find that my joints aren't that sensitive to the action. I do use booties though to protect my feet.

Again, thanks for offering your thoughts, and good luck for the 2007 season.

22nd January 2007, 02:49 PM
I can add that the s85 is pretty impressive in light winds. Today looked more like big formula conditions but I took out the 85 with a 6.5 sail and 34 goldwing. I wasn't expecting to plane but was nicely surprised. Ended out staying out an hour or two and having a great time.