RE: choosing beginner equipment
Hi Big Tupper,
For your weight, the Start Large (actually the Rio L if you buy a new board) is by far the best.
Your smaller children will need some small 2.5-3.3 m2 rigs, and for you and your larger children a 5.0 Retro Ripper 3 would be very good.
When will you be up near Lake Placid?
I'll be in that area just after the 4th of July (at Plattsburgh, NY) doing a big learn to windsurf evernt (A Taste of Windsurfing) with the Adirondak Boardsailing Club, and the Montreal Boardsailing Club on July 7th and 8th.
If you could come by this event, we could get all of you going and you could try some different size boards and rigs to determine what you need to buy.
Hope this helps,