RE: Board Selection - Totally Confused
How much do you weigh.....?
A ballpark figure is OK here, but if you weigh =< 150 lbs/68 Kg you would need one size board.
If you weigh between 150 lbs/68 Kg. and 180 lbs/81.6 Kg. then a larger wider board is more suitable.
If you weigh => 200 lbs/ 90 Kg. then you could be looking at a "big boys board" with even greater volume and width.
How tall you are is far less important as youi can move your boom up/down and lenghten/shorten your harness lines to accomadate different heights.
Unfortunately it's not just aobut how much you weigh either.
What size rig you can afford or wish to sail can affect the board choice quite a bit.
Bigger wider boards need larger and more powerful sails, but you can't just stick a 12.0 m2 race sail on a GO 170 and expect to get the same performance you might with a 10.5 Free Race rig that has more low end power, but less stability.
So, tell me your weight and what size rig you think you might want to get (remembering that going from a 6.3 m2 HiFly "package" rig with very heavy components and not much performance) to a full performance free race rig in the 8.5-10.5 m2 range you are going to spend as much for the rig (mast/ boom/sail) as you would for a new board ....perhaps even more if you get the high carbon light weight components).
You can of course, buy a used rig and same some money, but do you have enough information/knowledge to "piece together" used components to result in a rig that gives you the full performance of all the components?
Question #1 As I said above, it's not quite this simple.
Gotta have your weight, and an approximate sail size to decide between the GO 170/185.
Question #2 I think the GO is a little more performance oriented than the Nova. Either one will work, but the Nova is basically the entry level board from BIC. The Start/Rio are the Staboard entry level boards, and the GO boards are the next level above.
The will plne at about the same time, due to similar widths, the Nova probably costs less so that can be a factor.
Question #3 The next level (above your beginner/progressing early intermediate skill level..... i.e. uphauling, tacking, non-planing flare jibes) would be when you learn to beachstart, waterstart, plane all the time hooked in an in the footstraps and start working on planing carve jibes.
Only problem is you don't have enough wind to realistically (at 25 k/h 13.5 knots) do fully planing jibes/waterstarts unless you have a big (8.5 m2 or larger here) sail, and having a big sail makes learning all of these new skills signifcantly more difficult.
Hope this helps,