So, in all literal senses, the way to further describe an item's purpose is to pair it with the action being done with/upon it. ( i.e. une planche à voile = a [ plank ] to be flown [ surf ] upon ) That is odd to say the least, but French grammar seems to be very similar to archaic English grammar. I suppose the Norman invasion is to blame for that, n'est-ce pas? When the aristocracy speak one language, and the peasants speak another, I suppose they found a nice halfway point between the two, which then evolved into modern English, a confusing tangle of rules, exceptions, and counterrules, all presided over by 5+ official institutions.
French is much nicer. The rules are odd, but fairly consistent. It is managed by the Àcadémie Française , and no other, has considerably less mixing, and is only truly messed up in Créole French [ The pitiful excuse for French the people of Louisiana speak ]. So even if I had to traverse the entire french-speaking world, I would find little more than dialect ( i.e. Quebècoise, Guiyanaise, Walloon, Langues d'Occitan et d'Oeil . ) Bíen faites, francophones!