Thanks for the comprehensive feedback tautologies!
If you don't mind more brain-picking, do you have an opinion about 2012 versus 2011, if possible the medium model?
Well, I rode the 2011 with two different fin options. I think the 2011 is a fun fast ride. On the stock fins it goes on a reach super fast, however it feels more out of control. I do think this might have something to do with the fins, which I think they nailed better on the medium 2012. It is way harder to ride the 2011 completely flat and the new 2012 goes quite a bit better upwind..even with large fins on the 2011. My buddy is riding that, and every time he thinks he have found out how to ride it he calls for a challenge, and every time I end up way upwind of him. I've ridden mine more than him though...
The 2012 is both smoother and sits better on the water and overall makes the ride much easier.
After i got the big board, he has not even tried.
In terms of rides...My GPS has given me I think about 33-35 mph on a reach for both the boards...but when you go that fast on the 2011 you are almost shaken to pieces...it is a way crazier ride, which in many ways is fun, but the out of control going fast is only fun when noone else is around you...when you race it is scary...or well I think so...bumping kites and not feel like you own the board is not ideal
I do think I could squeeze a little more out of the big one.
So if you want to go with performance racing the new board is better. If you main idea is to go in super light wind, if you get custom fins, the 2011 will almost be there..but the width on the new board really makes it easier to ride. The problem IMO with custom fins on the 2011 is that then you might as well get the new 2012 price wise. The new fins are that much better. The fin boxes are smoother and tighter. The strap placement on the new board is better. On the 2011 I ended up putting my foot out on the rail to push down the opposite rail. Personally I would go with the 2012.
That said, take into consideration I am no pro. My level is that I can tack, and nail most of the tacks one way...but they are way too slow. Goal is to learn this before the summer races are on.
If you are around here you are welcome to have a go on mine.