Re: Good second board? There's a catch
What are the restrictions in Bondi - that is, what is a 'soft board'? There are some softboards that are essentially PU (traditional) or most commonly EPS (epoxy) boards with a rubber (or whatever it is they use) top; then there are foam boards with a hard bottom and then there are the boards that are more or less very big bodyboards - foam all the way through.
Some of the ones in the first category arent bad boards, although they tend to be heavier than a PU only board due to their covering. The other problem can be their thick rails which makes turning harder and usually they come with soft fins (another problem with 'all foam' is that the fins wobble because there is no solid base). The other categories of boards really arent much good apart from the first few lessons.
So the surftech softops have a EPS core so are quite solid, but from memory weigh a ton (they may have changed). Land and sea and the el nino get good reviews as more 'normal' type surfboards and, as you have an el nino, you will know what they are like (I presume these are allowed at Sth Bondi).
A smaller board will be more manouverable just because its smaller. Thus as long as its a good quality 'softboard', that could be the answer in your case - perhaps not 'purist' or perfect, but if it helps you enjoy surfing then thats better than a custom made board that you can't enjoy.
Your other option is to rent (or 'trial') a normal board - say an 8ft one that is similar to your current board - and see whether it feels better. Because I guarantee that at some stage in your surfing career you are going to want a non-softtop, the question is whether you get it now or in 12 months time. I'm with DrowningBbyB here - it could be the answer now but it wont be the final answer.
Plus anyone who surfs at Bondi has to just accept its going to by full of poor surfers; if they dont like it then they can go to the northern beaches. At least you will know the rules and how to be safe and wont be one of the problems (I'm assuming...)
For what its worth, I was looking at the 7S Fish and the Firewire Addvance, which are fairly similar boards - however ended up going with a custom built 'mini mal'. It did cost about $300 more than the 7S ($100 more than the FW) - but I got to pick the colours! Its not finished yet but the spray job will knock your socks off...as the board flies toward your face after I fall off yet again.