I'd like to ask u about your US experiences. I weigh about 75 kg and bought a FAnatic RAy 145 LTD last year [model 2011] I sail it with a maui Titan 9.0m and the standard 50cm + a 52 cm fin. Although I plane pretty early I have the feeling I can do better it's just that when the picks up the ray is hard to control it gets big quickly. Of course this board is for light wind conditions I have a futura 111 and some vapors as well when it gets windy.
The question is , is the US more controllable [although it is wider than the ray's 81 cm] and I guess it will allow me to plane even earlier due to it's width.
I just wonder if it will make a big difference and is it quite controllable in choppy conditions. I surf most of the times on lakes like het Veerse Meer in the netherlands :-)