RE: GO or Carve? From 129 to 170?
I asked Roger to come and bring some more GO planing threshold/experience/advice in the discussion.
Of the boards you listed GO155/170 and Phantom, only Phantom will give any acceptable performance in Bft2, GO's becoming OK in upper Bft3 and then good in Bft4.
just a few kts difference in windspeed over this range (2Bft-4Bft) is making a huge difference in the avaiable wind power, and according what works (properly) - vs what does not - will also change significantly over what seems just a (numerically) small differnce of windspeed.
The upper limit of all of these selections will be significantly influenced by the water/wave conditions. Higher wind and flatter water will lift the upper limit a lot, onshore winds or open water will get very choppy and push the upper limits lower, especially for an intermedite rider (or one looking for "pleasure" rather than the "survival" overpower ride often endured in Formula racing on similar sized boards !
Except in the worst chop, they will all be OK to around Bft4+ ( 15kts/30KpH) but above that, the practical/pleasure limit really would be subject to water state - and in most conditions wouldn't extend above 5Bft (15-20kts) - Which is about the time I emerge from the bunker to play.
Anyway, please keep asking until you got it resolved. It's important to make sure you make the most informed decision - get the most fun from the new toy !
Cheers ~ Ian