I just took up surfing at age 56 and I'm 5' 11", 150 lbs. and live in San Diego. After some research I bought a imitation Walden shape fun board that is 7' 6", 213/4" wide, 2 1/2" thick and is fiberglass construction. I've been out 4 times so far. First time got careless and let the board tag me in the ribs so thats been a limiting factor to a certain degree. The second outing I got a leason from a friend who has great expertise and helped tremendously with a lot of the basics. The last 2 outings the ribs hurt to point I had to shut it down prematurly. I have managed to paddle, catch waves and stand on a straight ride to the shore (sometimes). One of issues I need to resolve is I'm able to pop up pretty well when my toes are touching the surface of the board but in that position on the board I'll often pearl on the takeoff and if I move back enough to keep from pearling my feet are off the back end of the board and I struggle on the popup. I've practiced popups at home a lot and I'm Kelly Slater in the living room with my toes touching a surface and I've also tryed sliding the rear food sideways and forward first, that seems to help. So I'm thinking to practice that some more to see if that solves my problem but I"m also considering a longer board where my toes would be on the deck without pearling on the takeoff. It will always be fun getting the next board but I would like get this one to work for me. Any ideas would be appreciated. Oh, I used to think of surfing as "whats the big deal". I'm addicted, for sure, after the first ride.