Biggins (or whomeever wants to chime in on this)..
does the size really matter (that much)?
I mean if you have a well shaped board, skinny in the right places, good rocker, solid center, skinny rails, skinny tail (pin?), you can lift it out of the water step on the rails to turn...
does the size / length matter that much? In general yes shorter boards are more agile, but if you are looking for an 8 foot board which has the same flotation as a 11 foot, you'll end up with something that is hardly turnable right?
I think the boards are getting shorter because people are getting better at using them..when that is said, a beginner still needs a beginner board. I think buying a too advanced board in this sport will yield the same result as in kiting (maybe even more so in SUP)....they'll quit.
Trying to handle a too advanced board will is frustratingly hard....and no having surfed a longboard a few times will not really help you too much if you buy an advanced board.
that said, I'd like to see that board 9 foot.
Just my thought.