Ok, so just to be clear, i wrote PFD cos i cba to write lifejacket.
Just to clear things up: I'm in bulgaria, which is generally quite hot, the sea is also really nice during the summer (pretty warm as well, so i generally ws without a wetsuit) and the wind here isn't really that strong...
I'll practice my beach start when there's more wind and less people in the water. So far i'm still getting used to footsteering, windsurfing faster and moving back on the board.
The lifejacket or PFD or whatever is a mixed issue, but so far i've been advised not to use a lifejacket at this stage because i don't have to and it might just get in my way. anyways, i never get separated from the board even when i fall and for the paddling issue the first 2 times with a shortboard (this IS the first shortboard i've used) i paddled back to land. The wind is 95% of the time onshore (sideshore sometimes, and offshore only when there's not any wind =3) so getting back to land isn't a problem.
My parents DO want me to use a lifejacket tho, but unless i borrow my brother's one to practice waterstarting, i really don't want to buy one... xD