At your local store and at the beach you sooner or later will come a cross technical terms as rocker, channels, and outline. As a windsurfer and consumer, it´s quite difficult to evaluate the effect of different board constructions and designs.
Every type of board is a golden compromise
Every board type is a golden compromise to achieve certain characteristics and all brands have their own success stories and convictions when it comes to board construction and design.
Starboard Futura, for example, have both been loved and hated for it´s very special design, but there is no doubt that the Starboard Futura is a very good compromise. A speedy board that offers you slalom performance but is still very user friendly.
Avarage speed can out perform top speed
If you look at the freeride segment, a board such as Tabou Rocket can win races against freeride competitors like Fanatic Hawk and Starboard Carve despite the fact that the Tabou Rocket has a slightly lower top speed. This is thanks to that the Tabou Rocket has a high average speed and great top end control. However, if you are skilled enough the top end control is not that crucial and you will most certainly be able to squeeze the extra speed out of the Starboard Carve and the Fanatic Hawk.
Speed is mentioned as an example in the text above, of course the fun factor and board feel is really important as well.