A fish is a different animal. (Ha!) Not a great board to learn on. Spend a year on a bigger board with a lot more volume, then consider a fish. I consider the fish a "specialty" design. Others may disagree, but a fish is a SHORT board... considerably shorter than your typical HPSB. So these "fish" out there that are 7' and up are only fish in the sense that they have a swallow tail and twin keels. But my answer to your other question would be:
Longboard - you're on the small side, so don't go over 9'0. I'd recommend a performance longboard, as it will be thinner, lighter, and have more rocker. Keep it typical longboard length, though... around 23" give or take a fraction of an inch. If you don't know the difference between a HPLB and a "log," ask your local shop guys.
Hybrid - Check out the Bessel Magic Carpet or the Sauritch Hybrid for examples. Like a "funshape" on steroids. 7'6-8'0 would be good for you.
My question is do you want to be a longboarder hanging 5 or 10 once you learn to surf or are you wanting to be a shortboarder, throwing buckets of spray and blowing the tail thru lips. This is an important question. YOu sound like your young, chainging boards when your younger due to finances is not easy. Personally if I were leanring to surf all over and wanted to ride shortboards once I got the "initial learning phase" thing down I wouldn't start on a longboard.
THere are tons of boards out there that are hybrids. THe ...lost Plank is an awesome learning board. They have tons of float paddle easy are stable and still perform like a shortboard. And once you get the "learning to ride" thing down you can still use the Plank as a groveler on small mushy days. YOu dont need a huge fun board to learn on.
Boards like the ...lost Plank, Almbum surfboards sub, or any mimi-sims -esque type board would work as a learniing stick.
My buddy was a pretty good drop knee body boarder, he's 5-10 180 lbs, he got a 5'-8" ...lost Plank this summer and is already able to drive down the line now after like 12 sesiions on the Plank and do some small turns. I rode his plank in knee high tiny weak crap and its the most fun I have had on a surboard in waves that small. I could ride it like a shortboard but paddle and catch waves like a small longboard. Its super stable and paddles anc catches waves well which is what a 6'-6" fun board would do for ya.
I would say that I want to be a shortboarder.
It is tough to switch boards or even buy a board because I don't have a lot of money. The other problem is, its hard to find the boards that have been suggested that are used. I don't have enough money to buy any of them new.
I can't drive yet so its hard to make it down the shore to talk to a local surf shop especially with school and sports and everything
do you drop knee on your bodyboard? Or have you ever tried standing on your bodyboard? If so, you might be able to start out on like a 6'4" to 6'6" shortboard. That's what I did when I was 10. then sized down over the next year or two.
go with a fun shape. 7:6 or 8;. You can ride almost any size wave on them and they're pretty mauverable. relatively easy to transport as well. You can also find them used at almost any surf shop. Make sure the core is solid without many dings. They're good for a backup board later when you get a shortboard, fish or even longboard. I ride all of them all the time pending the waves or how much energy I have or what I feel like concentrating on. I started on a 7'10 Perfection 20 yrs ago but I'm also 6'3 and 200pds. The old Hawaiian learning school is to learn on the big kahuna board, Koa wood, first then step down but things have changed alot since the old days. I still teach alot of people starting on logs or funshapes. Not to mention foamies but sometimes someone will paddle up on a shorty and ask questions 'cause they have no idea how to paddle out or catch waves becoming very frustrated and getting in others way. Best of luck!
Looking for guidance on buying my first surfboard.
I bodyboard alot, but I am looking to surf this spring and through the fall.
I really know nothing about surfboards and all help would be appreciated.
I'm 5' 7" and 135 pounds. It would be good if you could help me with size and model too.
Money wise I could save up about $350 tops
BTW I would mainly be surfing Seaside Heights in Jersey
at 135 pounds there is no reason to buy anything over 7 feet long to learn on, unless riding a longboard is what you want to do. Since you said you want to ride a shortboard, then learn to ride on a RELATIVELY shortboard. I would recommend a full volume board in the 6'6 - 6'10" size range. A small funshape is fine, a "big guy" shortboard is fine. $350is more than you will need to spend if you visit a few shops that have a decent used board rack. In fact with $250 you be surprised how many decent options you find.