My first board was the Flow Merc. For the price, it was a great first board (I only paid about $200 CAD). It has a good edge hold, and is very forgiving. It does not handle high speed very well, but that isn't surprising as it is quite soft. The other downside is the sidewalls suck. Between park, trees, and people on the lift the sidewalls are a disaster.
If you plan on boarding only a few days out of each season, it is probably fine. But if you end up really enjoying boarding, you will want to replace the Merc pretty early on.