Re: Buying a shortboard as my first board.
I dont mean this to be a rude question, but I am always a little bit puzzled by people wanting to go straight to shortboards, so to assuage my curiosity - why do you want go straight to a shortboard? Is there something wrong with longer boards?
- yes, its possible to learn on a shortboard, but it will probably take a lot longer and by longer I mean longer than 48 hours of surfing (it will probably take longer even with a long board). At 6ft/75kg you arent the smallest guy (I say that as a 6ft3/85kg person), so you will feel the effects of the shorter board more than many. For example, I'm not sure you could surf the whitewater even with the board you suggest and, as kooky as it might sound, surfing the white water/small shore break is the way just about everyone starts. Until you have the basics of popping up, trying to catch bigger waves is very very difficult (for most).
- why buy a new board? There are usually plenty of 2nd hand shortboards around. If you buy a 2nd hand one then later think you made a mistake (either in taking up surfing or in trying a shortboard), you arent out of pocket by as much. I presume you are in Australia or NZ (Christmas holidays arent surf time in the USA) and every surf shop has 2nd hand shortboards.
But you are young, you have the entire school holidays to give it a go and if it doesnt work, then you have next year to get a more suitable board. Time is on your side.