Please don't post the same question on two forums, makes things confusing ;-)
Boom pad won't help you much, since the hyper has such a short nose, a mast will hit it during catapults (the boom head itself will miss it). If you want to protect it, one of those rubber thingies that go around the nose would be better.
One more thing that's not mentioned yet wrt wood boards: wide boards such as hyper or formula can develop soft decks between footstraps, after several seasons of hard use. When buying second hand, I'd be more concerned about this kind of damage than some nose cracks. If a sandwich is separating in this area (where you stand/pump/gybe), it can lead to total failure. So check it when buying because it's invisible (press with your thumbs/palms and lean on it). If it's soft, then ask for 50% price reduction and send it to boardlady ;-)))
Wrt performance, maybe it would be best if you could try/borrow it a bit. It is very different to your narrow sputnik, and hyper is known to be love or hate affair. After a few thousand km on it this is my summary:
1. It has a MASSIVE wind and sail carrying range. There are higher performing boards, but there simply aren't any with a bigger range. You can expect it to carry 6.0-9.0, even larger/smaller if you push it.
2. Up to a point, hyper annihilate chop, just hovering over it (deep double concave)
3. It can carry large rigs but is not an early planer, more effort and better technique required than other 77cm wide boards. But when you get it planing it just never stops, you don't notice the largest lulls
4. Gybing is worse than just about any other board, freeride or slalom :-(
5. It seems to go at it's own pace, it doesn't stop in lulls but it also doesn't accelerate very much in gusts. Here (and in gybing), newer boards such as iS, are much more reactive and exciting.
So there you have it, or you can wade through hundreds of posts on the subject (from 2002-2004) if you're interested ;-)
PS I forgot: hyper can reach almost Formula-like upwind and downwind angles, incomparably better than your gunny slaloms from 90's
Last edited by Screamer; 26th January 2009 at 09:31 PM.