Thanks for the apology, I don't worry about it, from Australia I don't know the Pensacola area at all ( I do know mushville potential when I see it though) but I googled heaps of surf shops so there is a market for boards.
If you are starting out ( we still don't know that, but reading between the lines????) and having mushy waves look at longboards not something 6ft. You are right you need flotation, short boards are designed to be more functional in surf with power and shape!
Have a read through all the board advice and see. Often longboards are available cheaply, two things don't buy a cheap softboard if you are struggling with money, because you will out grow the board rapidly in skill.
Look to buy a secondhand long board 8ft or 9ft for starters.
Look to see the glass is intact and little or no yellowing of foam as possible. At this stage self repairing would be a nightmare.
Check that it has all fins or fin boxes/plugs go round the surf shops have a look at what they have on offer you don't have to buy but you might begin to understand what you are looking at and what realistic costs are.
Look at Craigs list and Ebay or what ever the sites are where you live, but if you can get a hands on look see at a board even better.
If you see something that you think might be the deal post pictures top, bottom rails and fins the crew here will soon let you know if it is a good deal.
Often a good thing to do is to take some lessons, with a local surf school and they quite often have a non soft longboard or two to sell check out the schools too.
take a little more time be prepared to spend some money to get something that won't frustrate you.
Surfing is a lifetime in mastering Truly.
Like the inner world of archery it is a Zen art
I've taken up troll hunting just for fun, instead of a rifle I'll just use a pun!