I'm not a complete beginner, but currently I'm just learning to perfect basics like dynamic linked turns and carving. After I'm super solid in those areas I want to try both pipe and park, and eventually set my mind to really learn one or the other (whichever I like more).
I recently purchased a NS SL as my first board due to multiple recommendations and things I've read. But now I'm starting to read about the Proto. From what I understand its basically a less damp, more freestyle-oriented version of the SL. Should I have bought the Proto instead?
Really though, what are the advantages of the SL to someone in my position? I don't think I would be riding much powder here in Socal, and dampening sounds kind of unnecessary IMO (correct me if I'm wrong). Also the setback of the SL worries me since I may be landing switch a lot once I progress..
Stick with the SL. It's more damp which will improve your confidence while you're still learning. You just learned to link turns? You're way off from even benefiting from the difference between the two boards.
Seriously, it's not the arrow, it's the indian.