Wanted to get some advice on picking up my next board. I'm 35 years old and 132 lbs 5'8", been surfing for about a year and a half, going out at least once or twice a week (with the occasional surf trips to Hawaii and Indo where I'm surfing every day for two weeks or so). I can handle bigger waves and am pretty comfortable as a surfer all around but still consider myself a beginner-intermediate. I've been surfing an epoxy 7'10" Waterhog and have progressed quite a bit with it. For the past few months, I've been riding a 7'2" x 20 1/2 X 2 1/2 PU mini-mal and have been doing alright with it. Having a bit of trouble catching as many waves as my 7'10", but for the most part it's working. But recently, I went to a surfcamp in Indo for 2 weeks and tried a Neville 7'0" x 21 x (not sure of the thickness but it was THICK) PU and I loved that board. It had a bit more volume up front and was a little wider than my 7'2", but I found that it was a bit more stable and I could start to finally do maneuvers and catch more waves with it. The only problem was that my top turns would stick a little bit - that's when I could feel the board's heaviness the most. Otherwise, I probably did the best surfing so far on it. After plateauing for a long while with the other boards, I feel like I made a breakthrough. I think the extra bit of volume and the more stable with helped me out a bit, and the waves being overhead and not super steep allowed some more speed and time to maneuver as opposed to the quick beach break closeouts I'm used to in Los Angeles.
So, long story but I'm really interested in maybe the Dominator or Spitfire or Hellfire to take my first step into riding a shorter, more maneuverable board. The problem is, not sure if it's my age or whatnot, but after 1.5 years of surfing, I still don't feel like a super strong paddler. I know I need to fix my technique a little bit and just get out more, but I find that it's easier to find the sweet "planing" spot on the longer boards. But I've just started to do maneuvers and am starting to see some real potential in my surfing that I want to explore, but I still have a hard time catching waves consistently - I basically feel like a beginner with paddling, but feel more like an intermediate when I'm up on the waves since I can pull off a quick takeoff and do a few maneuvers and whatnot with steep, fast waves.
As a side note, I tested a 5'8" Dominator about a year ago and it was WAY too squirrely. Of course, I wasn't as strong and experienced as I am now, but I just don't want to get too short a board that I can't really paddle.
So, would you recommend a certain board and size for me? I was thinking maybe a 6'2" or 6'4" Dominator or a Spitfire. Maybe too much volume, but I feel like maybe it would compensate for my paddle weaknesses and still help me progress with movements on the face of the wave.
Any thoughts would be helpful! Thanks!