RE: Long and Short Board suggestions
Hi Sam, and Julian,
First, for Julian,
I don't thnk the Exocet Kona and the new Starboard SUP boards are anything alike at all.
The Kona is very much like an old style longboard (Mistal Equipe, Superlight, F2 Lightning Race, etc.) in that it features a very large retractable centerboard.
Granted the Kona does have the "step tail" bottom, and I've found the Kona to be faster and easier to sail fast in "shortboard" (centerboard retracted) mode than the older longboards mentioned, but the basic concept is still most similar to the older longboards.
The closest equivalent, and much better in shortboard planing mode, available from Starboard would be the new Phantom.
The Starboard SUP boards are far more like surfing "longboards" and while they do feature a mast attachment fitting in the deck, they are not anything like the Kona or traditional windsurfing "longboards".
You can get the optional Tuttle box in the bottom, but for wave sailing and maybe for Stand UP Paddling the center fin would not be advantageous as it prevents the board from being real "turny" in waves.
For freestyle, and light wind sailing the center fin would be useful, but not as good a a large retractable centerboard.
The SUP boards I think would bore you to death in your lightwind, no waves conditions.
If you want a "sailboard" for light winds, look at the Serenity.
It's much faster and better for "sailing" around in light winds than any of the other boards discussed here.
If you want to give SUP a try, you can do that on your FF 198 with a Kayak paddle and if you don't get too tired and bored, then think about looking into a dedicated SUP board.
If you are looking for a modern longboard, the Kona is the best example, but the Phantom is far better if you want to plane early with your big sails.
No one is paying much attention to the new Phantom, but it's really the best "compromise" ever between a big planing shortboard and a traditional longboard.
It's exactly what the RSX and the BIC 293 OD were supposed to be.
If it gets a little further development, (like a larger centerboard) it could be the perfect "does everything pretty well" board.
Hope this helps,