PhillB wrote:For my size, experience and interests, I am considering a board in the 145 to 150 cm length and mid-40 cm and slightly above width.
Generally speaking you will see the more effective lightwind boards with either a "door" shape or a fairly wide board with a boxy outline, and fairly flat rocker (unless you want to start talking about directional race boards), but since you specify TT I'll stick with that.
The "door" shape will IMO be more efficient upwind in light air, whereas other boards might have a more versatile feel. In my experience boards over 44cm are a bit awkward for riders of your weight. For heavier riders with larger feet a wider board might feel more natural. I weigh 160# so that's a pretty close point of reference for you. I've been doing this for a few years and have ridden virtually every shape of board out there.
My personal lightwind weapon is a 139x40 Spleene "Session 39" and I'd pit this board against any other TT in light wind. The Spleene 54 Door (154x42) is a cushier ride and obviously slightly longer and wider ( + 5.9" x .79") and is extremley efficient in light wind. The key to the Door shapes efficiency is quick planing and quick generation of apparent wind because they can point so well. With your 11m you could probably go upwind in 13 kts or so. In any case light wind technique will play a big part in the performance you can ultimately produce with any board.
I am sure some people are going to say they can go upwind in all sorts of light wind with this kite and board or that...but I honestly feel that anything under 10 kts starts becoming rather pointless, even with a big Flysurfer kite. I usually lose my interest when it goes under 12kts and I have a very efficient 15m kite and access to efficient boards...so you can paint your own picture of "light wind" reality as you wish...if you want to (try to) kite in under 10 kts more power to you. Going upwind on any board in 7 kts seems a bit unrealistic unless it's a race board - but I'd like to see it done anyway.
I was first exposed to the Spleene boards when I was teaching in SPI about 6 or 7 years ago. The guy I worked for at Air Padre was riding the 59 Door all the time and he always had a kite that was 3-4m smaller than everyone else and he weighed 185#. He was boosting airs and doing all sorts of tricks with it and this was certainly against all the convention down there at the time. I started to use the various Spleene Doors for teaching and they were a smashing success for people.
While you can "trick" with a Door it does require some extra finesse. I ride my Doors with a single middle fin at each end which make the ride a lot nicer. The dynamic flex pattern of the board allows it to absorb chop and power when loaded up. A more conventionally shaped board is obviously easier to land tricks with but then there is also some sacrifice in lightwind performance.
If you want to try the 54 Door (which is for sale) you are welcome to do so. You can also compare it to the 39 Session (which I have decided not to sell). I am over in Muskegon Michigan. Send me a PM with your contact info and we can set something up.