RE: Problems going upwind
I had the same eye opening experience two days ago... I would wait until my Go was fully planing before going for the straps, but now, I realized that getting a wider board with a big fin planing is all about pressure "across" the board and not just standing on it. Now if I know there is enough wind, bare off, feet in straps quickly and im planing faster and going WAY faster.
I love what roger says above... Especialy when overpowered! I was out well powered to overpowered on a 7.6 and was amazed how fun it was. I was blasting around, my friend only 2-3 feet away, keeping pace to each other and than we both would hit the same chop and jump (or in my case try to clear the massive 48 cm fin). THat is one of the most fun things to do. That and being so comfertable that you just let the front or back hand drag in the water. Its a bit showing off, but feels amazing.