RE: Long and Short Board suggestions
Hi again Sam
Just some thoughts on the Kona if you do consider it.
After all my Starboards, and I have owned a whole lot of them, I was initially dissapointed with the Kona.
Once the daggerboard, fin and straps are fitted the weight is getting up there. It's heavy to load onto a roof rack and carry to the water. On the water this translates to being initially sedate in marginal conditions. However, I think with the right technique it's early planing abilities are acceptable but it does take time to "go through the gears" to reach top speed, (although in well powered conditions it planes off as easily as any other board).
I was out once with a couple of mates who were on medium wide freerace boards and they generally planed off earlier and built to top speed faster. This left me quite frustrated initially, so if drag racing is your thing, don't use the Kona.
Having said that, once powered, the Kona is surprisingly fast. A couple of guys on speedsailing-gps.com have recorded over 34 knots!
The thing that wins you over in the end is the boards versatility. It's very good in nearly all conditions.
Finally, in your location with your sails, my recommendation would be to trade the FF198 for the Phantom.