Hi freaky_welsh_chick - welcome to Surfing Waves
Good to have another surfer hungry for the best way to improve. Looks like you have been posting elsewhere on the forum - good on ya!
Ok, back to the matter at hand.
i learnt to surf on those huge foam boards, and got frustrated with them
Foam boards are a great way to learn for this reason - but once you have been aut a handful of times on them and you are getting up regularly then it's time for a change.
i even managed a bottom turn
It is a milestone for any learning surfer - congrats (you really are ready to move on!)
buy the right board? cos its shorter than whats recommended normally for beginners, but i am progressing well
There are a few posts dotted around this forum already about surf boards for beginners, but if you are progressing well then it looks like your choice of board was pretty good for you.
Get out into the lineup ASAP!
what do i work on next. ive nearly mastered the white water, so should i move on to the green water, out to line up, or should i practise turns on the white for a bit more
- no point in hanging around in the whitewater - there is nothing to learn there now. You have duck diving to master, and this can be a long process (especially on a Bic - those babies can be hard to sink!) Check out duck diving information here - http://www.surfing-waves.com/surfing_lesson_three.htm
Look at your next milestone as getting your first shoulder ride. If you think you enjoy surfing now wait until you catch an unbroken wave. Check out the rest of the surfing lessons on the main site to get some tips about getting into the lineup.
im quite unfit too
If you truly want to improve your surfing quickly you have to sort this out. You need to be as fit as possible to get the best from you surfing - at the least being fit means that you can spend much more time in the water without having to leave good waves because you are tired.
what stage do you need to be at, before downsizing my board, and then what kind of board do i get
It's totally down to an individual basis. As you progress, the need for changing your board will become apparent. As to what board, that's your choice. If you have surfing friends, take their boards out and see what you like.
do you think my progress sounds alright
Sounds good. You can stand - you have made a bottom turn. This pretty much makes you a surfer. Maybe not a good surfer but we all start somewhere.
My advice from here. Get in as often as possible and when you are not surfing work on your fitness
Righto, that's about it - Let's now hear from everyone else!