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Old 7th May 2010, 10:26 PM   #2
Ken
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 799
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Dennis,

It's always a little difficult to make a one board recommendations to beginners because there are so many variables.

In Vermont your season is pretty short, so you will not likely get a lot of time on a board. This also begs the question, how committed are you? If you get out at least twice a week, then you may progress pretty fast. If it is 2-4 times a month, progress will be slow. Lessons will cut your learning curve significantly.

I see four options. The higher the number, the better the board will meet your needs if you are the agressive type.

1. A longboard with a centerboard for light to moderate wind cruising/sailing
2. The Rio, but it will not cruise as well as a longboard, but will do better in moderate winds, and will offer better planing than a longboard.
3. The Go, but it will not cruise in light winds and will be a little difficult to keep upwind as you learn. I will be a pretty nice planing board in moderate winds.
4. A Hybrid like the Phantom Race, it does everything pretty well, but nothing exceptionally well. It will plane and cruise as well as or better than the Go and Rio, but not as well as other higher performance boards.

In my terms, "cruise" means slicing through the water, capable of pointing high and running deep without plowing through the water or sliding downwind (no dagger board).

For the most part, everything above is designed to work best in winds under 18 knots.

Knowing what your typical wind conditions will be will help with the decision, and if you are compelled to push yourself to be challenged by stronger and stronger winds. What board were you on for your one experience and how easy or difficult was it?

Hopefully, Roger will jump in and provide some additional advice. He is an expert at this sort of thing, and if you go the Phantom route, he can give you the differences between the 320 and 380. I am thinking that this may be your best option at this time.

I hope this gets the ball rolling.
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