Intermediate-What kind of board?
I have been using a fun board 7"0 Rusty (super nice) for the last couple of years, but have been surfing more regularly and feel like I need a change. Mainly, because Jersey waves are fast in the winter and hollow, which makes it tough for me to drop in on my 7"0 and catch speed to go down the line. If the waves are barreling I either sink my nose with this board (unless I grab the rail going backside) or do not have that speed capability off the drop and dig my rails like a short board can do.
Lastly, this board is just a pain in the ass paddling out to some lineups, it really tires me out trying to duckdive on this thing during some days with strong currents. Even in Portugal which I surf every summer some days get hectic because its too big and cant continue to duckdive because the board is heavier then your standard short board. Plus I weigh 155lbs so it's not like I can push the board down with incredible hulk force.
I'm thinking of getting a short board, in the 6"3-6"7 range. I have surfed with short boards before, just little harder to catch waves since I'm used to the fun board. Maybe a fish with a little thickness to catch more waves but also great board for maneuvers and speed? Since I can't surf everday, I still get tired out there so a board that does not paddle well or tough to catch waves in is no good--I'm not slater.
Anyway, any insight would be great--much appreciated.
Shorter is better. . . maybe. . .
Typically it's not really about the length of the board as much as it is the physical conditioning of the rider. That being said, pearling the nose is also NOT a factor of length as much as it is a factor of both skill and conditioning. If what you want is a stable board, I wouldn't recommend a fish, especially for winter waves. If you're still learning, a short fish will turn on a dime and that is something that you really have to get used to- but it's not easy if you're still working out the turn issue.
Are you doing top turns, or bottom turns mainly? I would concur that if you have friends with boards you'd like to test ride, that's the best way to try before you buy. Bottom line, surfing is about 30% surfboard, and at least 70% surfer's skill level. It takes time. Take a lousy surfer and put him on a $1,000 Firewire board, and you'll still have a lousy surfer. Put a skilled surfer on a 12' Pop Out log from 1962 and you'll still have a skilled surfer who can adapt his style for the needs of the board.