I can't recommend a model or brand, but I can tell you what I like and look for in a HPLB...
Somebody said rocker is critical... and that's arguably the number one design element to consider. These boards are designed for turns, not tip time. You can noseride them, but it's a different kind of noseriding... the angle of the board and position on the wave face is different than a traditional log or authentic "noserider." So if you want to noseride, you need something else. If you want to push it in waves with some size and surf with power, then a HPLB is a good longboard choice.
Bottom contours are concave based. No rolled bottoms or flat spots. Contours are focused on lift and turnability, which means combinations of concave and vee.
Rails are performance shortboard shaped rails, but with a bit more volume. I like a bit of bevel on the bottom of the rail... not a chine, but a wider, shallower bevel. You see this feature on lots of performance LBs and it works. Hard edges are often used, but not necessary, in the back quarter of the board.
Templates have pulled in tails and widepoints back from center. Some even have hips, like shortboards. I avoid wings because they have to work with bottom contours, rocker and planshape, and few shapers can get that right.
Concave under the nose helps facilitate noseriding, but again... noseriding is not the forte of these designs.
Fin setups are more thruster oriented. I like a center box with sidebites... I don't prefer quads, but many people do. I like the drive and full on power turns a deeper center fin allows. If you go with a quad, consider hard rail edges. If you like the 2 + 1 idea, softer rails complement them well.
Thickness: go thinner for better flex and a more shortboard feel.
Construction... EPS/epoxy all the way! I like 6+6/6 warp or x glass with a 3/4 deck patch and full fin patch.
I am a HUGE fan of HPLB's. I have ridden all over the East Coast. If you are looking for a HBLB for around here rocker is a must. The board I currently ride has ALOT of rocker, more than most shortboards! Remember though, more rocker = less speed especially in small surf. Also be careful before you choose a longboard to surf well overhead surf because most people cant make it out on a real big day on a longboard.
I ride for Phil Taylor in Ocean City, MD and we have partnered up to come out with a signature HPLB model designed specifically for east coast waves! It is a rounded pin tail, 5 fin setup! Ride it quad or 2+1. Phil is a phenominal shaper and artist and does all work HIMSELF by HAND! His prices are affordable and he can tailor this model to your needs and make adjustments. Shoot me a PM if you want any help either with him or any boards in general. I can give you more specifics on this new boards coming out as well.
Wow guys! Thanks for the valuable info! I didn't expect everyone to be so generous. I have a log (Takayama NR2) that I ride on small clean days and recently I rode my friends Channels Islands challenger which was a blast. The noseride was different but its turning ability was amazing however I was thinking Al was known more for his shortboards. Are there other models from other shapers that you gusy can recommend? Thanks again!
Local shapers are the way to go. Most are really personable, and can tailor any board model/shape to your needs. No need to keep searching for "your" board when you can make one for YOU for the same price! Like I said Phil Taylor, in my opinion, is one of the most skilled craftsmen and under-rated board builders on the East Coast.
I have a 9"4" WRV with three fins that I use all the time since it's my only board. I'm a semi-new surfer and it is always good fro Jersey waves in the summer. I don't like it in the big surf but it is all I got now. I might get fish or egg if I improve. I bought it used for $300 last summer and it's my prize possession in the world even though I could afford a newer board. A buddy got a new NSP last summer that looks real nice for the same kind of waves with less maintenance.