RE: Starsurfer Medium
Thanks, great explanation of requirements for "first times out" and later for "after they get the basics down".
I know what you mean, my wife got the hang of it last year on the Start M, and cursed me when I sold it and replaced it with the more "tippy" Viper 80. But she already had the basics down and was able to hone her skills for the narrower board. Had I tried to start her from scratch on the Viper, it may have been a different story.
I almost lost that window of opportunity you speak about above with my 10-year-old earlier this year, took her out in the Viper in too rough of conditions, and the water was still very cold, and I had to tow her back in. Luckily she gave it another try with a lesson in Hatteras in June and is now continuing to give it a try and is improving each time out. I will be getting both of them more lessons.
For my wife (~140 pounds, 5'9") and now 11-year-old (100-110 pounds) for a second board, do you think the Rio S or the Phantom would be a better choice, given our other board is a Viper 80? I know you haven't seen or sailed the Phantom, but I would imagine you can guess by the stats, 300 x 80, 220L. The Phantom is very similar to the Viper, same width, 20 cm longer, 30L more float, whereas the Rio S is way shorter (235 versus 280) but a bit wider, and likely has a much smaller centerboard. Another potential choice would be to get the 85 cm Viper, which I believe is 280 x 85 and 220L.
The main purpose for the second recreational board is so that the wife and daughter could both sail at the same time.
(BTW, I took the Rio M off my list as I can't get anything wider than 85 cm without significant reconfiguration to my trailer!...)