I'm an intermediate sea sailor, 70kg with 77l and 102l freestyle wave boards (fanatic and RRD), so my sailing is limited to planing in medium to stonger winds. I feel I would benefit from a larger board for primarily skills training (tacks, gybes, helocopter tacks etc) in lighter winds, but with a 7.5m sail, could also have a blast. I have read your 120 freeride test since the Fanatic Eagle 126 was one of the contenders, but would it feel too small in comparison with say the Shark 130 or the Tabou rocket 135 and JP x-cite ride 130. Do you have any advice about the general size, or any board in particular. Much appreciate your help.
Well, I'm not a clone (maybe a clown) but I weigh the same as you, and I certainly have my opinions. Firstly, the Eagle 126 is plenty big enough for you. Planing is more about hull shape, width and weight than volume, and anything with about 110 liters or more should be able to float you and a 7.5 just fine. I'd be looking for something between 65 cm wide on the low end and 70 cm (which could easily become a handful) on the high end. If you go to the Fanatic website you will notice that for 2010 they have dropped the Eagle. Also, like most brands, they keep changing their "build technology" from year to year. I like wood sandwich for a good combination of weight, strength, stiffness, flexibility (comfort) and price. I'd stay away from the heavy HRS, and the carbon construction might be a little pricey (and stiff.) You might consider the 2008-09 Hawk 123 or the 2010 Hawk 120 in wood sandwich. My own "big" board is a 2004 JP X-Cite Ride 105 FWS, which I use with a 6.0. I have used and abused it for six seasons, and it was a Vela board before that! Still not a ding in it. If I had to replace it right now, I would go for an X-Cite Ride 110 or a Hawk 110, either one in wood sandwich construction, for just a little bit earlier planing than my 105 (they are wider.)