Your old Mistral is long and narrow, and may be as tippy (or tippier) than the K-122.
Look for a school that uses wide boards like the Starboard Start/Rio, Bic Nova, or Exocet Cruiser.
These very wide boards (85-100 cm wide) will make learning to balance, and the basic skills much easier and will accelerate your learning curve dramatically.
Once you can balance, sail out, tack, and sail back to where you left from, THEN you may want to give the K-122 a try.
The larger wide boards will have some sort of centerboard or center fin, which will help you to sail upwind and stay upwind if you sail in side offshore or offshore winds (not so good for learning).
Look for side onshore or sideshore winds as the best conditions to learn in.
You will need to make the transition from a board with a centerboard to the KT-122 but when you get to that point, we can suggest how to make that transition as easy and painless as possible.
The new mast, sail, boom and mast base should work on your older Mistral but you may need some sort of adapter pin to mate your mast base to the Mistral track system.
As far as wind speed, 8 knots will be fine for learning, and when the winter winds arrive you should be ready for them.
This is when the K-122 will begin to shine.
In 15 knots of wind, the K-122 with 63 Kg. Issy on board and a 4.5 m2 rig you may even start to plane.
That's when the fun begins, but again, pick your conditions, look for places to sail with side shore winds, and do not become discouraged is you have a bad day due to too much wind. You will soon learn to crave higher wind speeds.
If you have any sort of problems or issues, we are always here to give you some guidance.
And, yes, I think the dealer really wanted to sell that board......sorry, but dealers are mostly in business to make money and sometimes what they have on hand is not what a particular customer really needs.
Hope to hear that Issy and the KT-122 are out there blasting all around very soon.
Last edited by Roger; 21st September 2009 at 08:08 AM.