RE: Best Board for Young Beginner
I have the 2005 Start S. Which is the same as the Rio S.
It is a great board. I use this board in none planning conditions with a very light 4m sail. It is great for old school freestyle and learning sail and body positions for the modern freestyle.
There are 3 groups of positions for the footstraps. I would recomend the middle group. You do not realy plane in this position but it is the best for learning. Also the realationship is the same as for a short board.
The kids on the beach love this board. when I come in for a rest they all want to use it. So it is on the water all day.
The most important thing is to have the correct sails. When they are to big the learning curve for children is very slow. The correct size it is amazing how fast they learn.
Remember with children there are no rules, the only thing they must learn is to come back where they started. Children have invented most of the new freestyle by playing.
Foot straps or harness first. If you put footstraps on the board and give them a harness they will use them when they want.
If you can sail where there are other children sailing they will learn by themselves. One works out something new the others copy, so they learn much faster. They watch the good guys and copy, it is interesting to see what they see.
There are a group of us who love to do light wind freestyle so when we are out there is also a group of kids with us trying to copy.
It is getting near the end of the season so get him on the water as much as you can. Remember he needs light winds.