i had a 6'0 twin fin retro fish and did not care for it. way too loose but it did float and paddle great. recently got a 6'4" board called an oceanside spoiler (yeah its a machine pop-out) and it is a round-nose swallow tail shape and thick and it is awesome. also have a longboard for when it is crap.
Not to hijack the thread but has anybody tried either the Y-Quad or the Y-Twin boards from www.catchsurf.com ? They are a soft/hard board designed by Tom Morey. I was interested in getting a board for friends to use instead of letting them use my nice custom boards when they come to the beach and say I want to learn to surf.
Did you rule out longboarding? Something between 9'-10' will allow you to "ride" on all the smaller days. Lots of fun and when it gets bigger, you just pull the 7'2" out.
I've tried longboarding 2-3 times. Once on an 8'6'' custom made mini-mal and once or twice on a 9ft. Walden. I guess I just don't really like feeling of not having total control over a board that size and how long they take to whip around and get them pointed where you want to go. When I'm on a smaller board I feel like I have total control over the board. I'm sure its a combination of lack of experience and also probably just a personal preference thing I guess. Aside from my 7'2'' I've tried a 6'2'' shortboard once. Loved the size and feel of a shortboard but man you've got to be in serious shape to paddle a shortboard around in strong currents...especially on the bigger days (when they work best). A small retro-fish just seems to be what might work for me but I'd like to try one out before plopping down $250+ on a hunch.