I can only get three rebounds when I flick the strikers hard. I am using potato starch as my powder. My first question is, will buying a heavier striker make the gameplay faster or will.the cheaper boards not handle a heavy striker well? Also do the boards get faster the more they are used?
Three rebounds is not bad. I'm not sure if I remember correctly but I think that the good boards get you 3,5-4 rebounds. I would recommend buying powder specific for carrom - we also at first used potato starch but playing on real powder is more enjoyable (and it's possible you'll get half a rebound more ). What striker do you have? Most people like to play with the heaviest 15 gram strikers. If you have a lighter one than 12 gram you should buy a new one, if not than it's not essential. There won't be a problem that a heavier striker will not interact with your board well. And yes, the board should get a bit faster after being used.
Is it harder to play on the faster better boards as a beginner? Are the cheap boards marketed as beginner boards simply because they cost less or is it also because the game is harder on the better faster boards?
There are different opinions on this but for me from the beginning the faster the board was the easier it was to play (except a strange experience when playing on a board that gave 6-7 rebounds)