Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Luckily I had 5 weeks off over Christmas and spent it at the Sunshine Coast so went almost everyday. Great winds up there, though the 6.2m Charge was challenging in 25kts. Plenty and negative learning and sore back and arms later, I'm finally getting comfortable.... and loving it.!
I'll definitely wait till I get planing faster next time before trying to get into the straps and I'll use the "front foot first" method. Thanks for the tips Ken. I've practiced getting into the straps on land. Front foot I can usually find ok, and have to "swivel" the back foot in by rotating on the heel, but I'll practice some more. I'll concentrate on planing technique before trying the foot straps again.
Thanks for the Canberra tips too Phillip. I've only been here a short while and bitterly disappointed with the Jan/Feb winds here. I came from Newcastle on the coast and the wind was fantastic everyday - pitty I didn't take up the sport when I was there. Looking forward to the good breezes but not the bitterly cold water and air temp. 2 Days ago I was planing (not too fast) quite nicely and thought I was the king until the wind went from a nice steady 15kts to 0kts in an instant. I fell backwards into the water and then it took about 10mins to get to shore. Good chance to practice self rescue though.
I have ordered the 7.0m 2009 Natural with a 460 Silver mast (thanks to our PM KRudd for a handy $950 pay out). Can't wait to get out and try it.