We have had fantastic wind for the bigger sails recently and over the weekend I was able to hold off most of the guys with my Ram 7.8/Falcon104/Select37. Yesterday the wind was slightly less so I screwed in a Select RS7-41 and was able to hang with Pit on his Isonic 111/Pryde Race 8.6. I also took the 8.6 for a spin on my Falcon and have to say it is one fine sail. Rotation is effortless, the sail is fast and handles gusts with absolute ease. I was surprised at how well the Falcon carried such a big sail.
We were discussing board lengths over the weekend. The move to shorter lengths in the bigger board sizes has been of some concern to a few of us. The theory is that a bigger board uses its width to get planing and so doesn't need the length. My feeling is that a bit of length gives stability, helps with early planing and is easier to pump. I also feel that a slightly longer board is better at planing through the chop in the gybe.
In 2009 the Isonic 133 was 223cm in length. I remember thinking that this was far too short. What do we find in 2011? - The 2011 Isonic 137 is now 231cm long. Much better! My feeling is that 235 to 240 is where the length should be - even for wider boards.
If I were in the market for a 130ish slalom board and was considering a few options, I would favor the longer lighter option every time.