joe_windsurfer: first let me thank you for sending me this way! i've gotten a lot of info here as well as the other forum. i had one hell of a time trying to find windsurfing forums that had active users to get info from.
i'm in no rush to buy, because like you said, i still have months until the lake thaws! i'd love to head south for a little, but i'm in nursing school right now and my next break isnt until april. i would like to get the board relatively soon, only because i see online stores selling out of them quickly.
there are no w/s shops around pittsburgh... there's simply not a high enough demand around here. i've learned, through my saltwater hobby, that the best place to get information is from hobbists (or in this case windsurfers) who are not looking to get commission on a sale. i could be wrong as far as this sport goes, but so far i've gotten some great information.
i was thinking of considering a 133 if the 144's are sold out. but at my weight ~90kg, my experience level, and the fact that i do most of my sailing in pittsburgh where there isnt tons of wind all the time, i think the 144 would be my best bet. i get the impression it will be big enough for my novice sea-legs, but agile enough for when i am able to throw it around. i guess i have a fear of going too small. considering i am upgrading from a 20 year old 12', 248 L beast, a 144 seems tiny in comparison.