Re: Board for a beginner
I saw you asked this on another forum and got a lot of confusing replies. Thought I would mention that regular surfers, no doubt surfing since they were 10, usually surf boards around 6ft and think anything over 6ft6 is huge and, basically, anything between 7ft and 10ft is more or less just not worth talking about. So ignore them - they think 7ft is a beginner board because they think 6ft4 is getting a bit large.
Second thing to keep in mind that a board around 8-9ft will always be useful, even after you have developed skills - good for small surf days, long rolling points or just for handing out to friends who are visiting - or even because longboarding is itself fun. Its a different style of surfing but no less worthwhile. So don't think that buying a 9ft mal is a waste of money because you might not 'need' it after 6 months. Plus you are in the initial enjoyment phase and have only surfed once - its possible you may end up surfing 3-4 times a week for 3 months, but once winter comes that starts dropping back and then in summer the surf is poor etc. So the 100 surfs you plan in the next 6 months might take 12 months... you might find that the few seconds you stood up the first time takes another 3 hours to replicate, and that as soon as the waves get bigger or steeper then its a whole different scenario. Don't make it too hard on yourself by starting too short
I am the same height and weight as you (well, 1cm taller - its important!) and my beginner board was 9ft1. I'm not sure you will notice all that much difference between an 8ft and a 9ft board; by this I mean if you go 9ft there are no significant disadvantages (over an 8ft) but probably some advantages.
So I suggest something 8ft6 +/- x 22inch+ x 2.5inch+, as has everyone else here. Get a second hand board - all surf shops carry second hand boards, although 95% of them are the 6ft pointy nose thrusters, so you may need to dig around and go to a few stores and ask them to contact you if anything comes in. Get the shop to repair any dings/cracks etc before you pick it up. Obviously gumtree or ebay are options, but do some googling to pick up what you need to look for to avoid problems.
After 6 months, or whatever, if you want a new board and don't want to keep the old board, trade it in. You might spend $400 buying it and get $150 as a trade in, but its not too expensive in the scheme of things. Trust me, if you get into surfing then you will end up with 5 custom built boards each costing $1000, a $400 wetsuit and $200 summer suit, a few rash vests, $120 boardies, 5 board bags and leashes and bags of wax, trips to Indo or PNG, some physio bills....this is just the start. You might even end up just swapping boards with your dad - moving from 9ft to 8ft2 for a few months, then to 7ft something
Oh, even though you have some experience and doing ok, think about a few lessons. They will spot things you are doing wrong or might cause you problems, plus safety and etiquette. Just a few tips can save a lot of time or hassle. Read up on understanding the surf ('Dr Rip' has a good website and book). Learn to turtle roll.
I have been through the same process as you (I was a bit older but had body surfed and boarded for years) and I'm glad I started on a 9ft board. They look huge on land, but once you are in the water then its really not an issue.