Thank you for a great reply Roger. While still not 100% sure what to do, thanks to you I am at least beginning to understand a few most basing things I should be probably looking for. To answer your question, I am 186 cm tall (ca. 6'-2") and really want to be able to start planning. As far as performance/handling on the water it is really a secondary issue right now. I live in Ontario, near the great lakes, and occcassionally I do get higher winds. However, they typically go along with bigger waves. Being a beginner, I still have major problems with these and often go on smaller lakes which do not develop high waves. Besides, in the warm summer months, the winds are typically not as strong, especially when I happen to go sailing
If I understand you correctly, these are the highlights I should keep in mind:
- A wider board will help me start planning faster
- Both the Starboard GO and BIC Nova are probably a good choice for what I am looking for
- I will need a fairly big sail, on the order of 8.5 m2 or greater to start planning in light-moderate winds.
A few more final naive questions..
(1) What volume would you recommend ? A 185L GO will probably have a bigger surface area and therefore should start planning faster than a 170 L GO. Why would I then go with a 170 L board ?
(2) Which one of the two, GO or NOVA is in your opinion better ? (Or is it not a fair question considering the venue ?
(3) Finally, a philosophical one .. You said "You could skip to the next level above the GO/Nova and get a large Carve..." . Maybe it sounds silly, but what is this next level ?
What is a typical progression? Right now I feel i would be quite happy planning. Once I get there, what will I want ?