RE: Can you freestyle with a Carve?
I also agree with Gem and Lampi, for a typical sailir progressing kind of typically, a Carve is indeed the perfect board to progress on. It has been optimized for easy planing, good speed, easy jibing, stability etc.
If you're really dedicated you can ski "the Carve stage" though and go directly on a more "performance" type board like a Kombat or even Flare. The Flare may look a bit strange with its odd rails and they may in the beginning feel weird to step on too but it is in fact an easy board to sail (inboard and pretty well forward straps, efficient rocker etc. You might want to trick it out with a significantly bigger fin in the beginning. Even with such a fin, it's NOT as easy as a Carve but if you're really determined to go into freestyle it should work. I've seen people get good in freestyle extremely fast and today people learn forward loops and spocks before they master a carving jibe...
A Kombat is still better at freestyle than a Carve, but not really a dedicated freestyle board like the Flare. I would also say that the Kombat is slightly less easy to get going, but ist better jibing and generally a good board fo classic freemove sailing. Good in waves too and compared to a Flare it has the benefit of a freeride mode (straps back and out) if you decide you like that type of sailing. The Kombat is maybe a bit of an outsider if you know freestyle is gonna be your thing.
But again, the Carve is the natural choice - just not the only choice.