RE: new vs. old slalom shapes
While I can honestly say that I come up short on the technical science of things (although I like the input and perspective), from a practical point of view, I think the balance point between wide and narrow tail board performance has a lot to do with overall length of the board too. With the shorter lengths in modern designs, the lever action that can be associated with the front section of the board (a lessening of the possible flyaway factor), contributes greatly to control in tough conditions. Matched with the magic of how a shorter rocker flat in wider tail concepts will ride high, and also facilitate jibing ease and planing power through transitions, it doesn't surprise me that folks are more enthusiastic with more current designs.
Thanks SIN909 for your very useful comments concerning fins. Living in California, I have to admit that my conditions fall quite a bit short of those in Maui. As a result, I've tended to go with larger fins (I used 34 and 36ccm Goldwings) on my older slalom board, with the 34 being my favorite. I think that I might be able to successfully continue on these fins, and maybe the 36 will gain more favor. Still though, I would like to have a fin for higher winds, and I'm thinking that a 32cm Falcon would be the right pick. For speed-type conditions, I also have a couple of Wolfgang Lessacher's 27cm Hyper Duo and Le Wo Duo asymmetrical carbon fins to experiment with.
However, being an older guy, I doubt any really super stellar results. Still, it feels great to push the margins a bit, and I love being powered up and moving. Mike's boards really excel under pressure. Once I get the Falcon and play with it a bit, I'll offer my thoughts.