It’s a little strange for me to recommend a first time board buy to anyone. My first board I bought by helping out at my parents surf center and having them pay it. It was a custom made twin fin wave board with something around 50 litres. I must add that I was 11 years old at the time 🙂
However, despite this different initiation, I can still advise my students on what their first board should be like.
First off, dont bother with buying a board with a centreboard. That is, unless you want to stunt your own progress for not pushing yourself. The board you will use for the longest period of time is something in the range of the 140-160 litres. Naturally this will vary a little depending on your weight but generally this is the litre rangeyou will get the most use out of.
This is the board on which you can learn the beachstart, waterstart, use of footstraps and perfect the harness use with. It might be a little chunky to get into the speed jibe. Until you get the beach and waterstart down it still offers enough buoyancy to allow for uphauling.
All in all, my recommendation for a first board should also be one you will be likely to keep for those really low wind days once you progress past it on windy days.