RE: Carrying gear to the water
I'll use the quick reply box.
Russell, I agree wide boards seem to be easier to carry using the near side front strap. You don't have to lift the whole thing as high to clear the rail off the ground which seems to put a lot less stress on my lower back. The only snag is keeping my 70cm fin off the ground :-).
It also seems to make the whole thing more locked together which makes it easier to control in the wind.