Agree, UPZ has better heal box and great spring mechanism. And get a used board as a first board instead of buying a new one, it would be easier to understand what you really need in the future. And get something shorter and wider like 160 long and 21+ wide. It will be easier to transit from soft to hard stance. And don't get any plates, they are worthless if you don't know why you need it. Just get a board, boots and bindings. Easy and simple. And less weight. Good luck and visit CO sometimes, we have a pretty big group of hard booters over here.