If you're really just looking for the cheapest option, keep hunting on craigslist. You never know what kind of gem is gonna pop up for ya. I was in the same boat as you this summer. I had had a 9'0 HPLB (it snapped in half) and wanted to find myself a noserider. Alas, I bought a new HPSB in the spring so the funds weren't really there for a $500-$1000 used noserider. Eventually, I found a used fun shape at 7'6 with a glassed in thruster set up. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it's a wave-catching machine at least, and for $150 you can't really go wrong. I took it out on some chest high waves last week and absolutely crushed it! The board is a champ! I guess the moral of my story is "You can't always get what want...but if you try sometimes....you just might find...you get what you need!" Someday I'll get the classic noserider but I'm happy for the time-being. (PS - this is coming from someone who has $200 in lumber sitting in his basement waiting to be turned into a surfboard - it's been waiting for a year)
Thanks for all the help guys! i looked into grain and although the boards look incredible and i've heard nothing but good, they're a little out of my price range. And after factoring in all the tools etc, i think i'm just gonna buy one and wait for a while before i start my first build. I'm a 18 yr old high school senior who works two days a week at a restaurant that's only busy from may-august. And on top of that i have a girlfriend. So basically i'm broke. hahaha I appreciate all the help and suggestions though and i'll definitely keep researching building and taking in as much knowledge as i can before i decide to build. Thanks again!
For a first timer I suggest wooden surfboard supply. However they only send you a frame kit. A grain kit would cost you 800 dollars and t includes all the wood you need already sawn to dimension also grain supply's you resin and glass which is helpful because you don't need to source all the materials. Not sure where your from but grain is starting a mobile classroom which will poping up in all major is coastal cities next year. The mobile class is a 6 day thing and at the end you have a finished board.
However the dirt cheap option is to buy a wooden surf supply kit and find a local cabinet shop to mill or get a table saw and mill your own wood. You can get any dimension lumber and make it into strips which you build with. Clemson is wrong you can very very easily get any length board up to 12 ft very easily. Cedar is available all over our country. I wouldn't use anything but cedar or paulownia wood.