RE: entry level board for kids
I use the start small for teaching kids with a 1.5m sail it works great but I do use a cut down fin of 15cm.
I also use the same board in none planning conditions for teaching modern freestyle. I have the straps in the middle position and the back strap on the diagonal so you can get your back foot in the center.
With the short fin you only have to get presure on the nose and the tail will slide. So if you have the centerboard down the board will rotate around it. This is great for working out where to put the sail,body in slow motion.
This board has helped me work out a lot of new moves.