She's not as high maintenance as I made her out to be. She's a vet, who never spends money on herself and is only concerned with animals....not your typical self centered bar bitch. She just doesnt know anything about boards, and wants to be able to choose the look etc.
What type of riding does she envision herself doing? Any rails, or boxes? Any jumps? Will she be cruising the mountain primarily on groomed runs? Will you be riding mostly powder or 50/50 groomed powder?
I'm of the opinion she should buy the board she'll grow into. That way she will be happy with it for a long time. Take your time and spend money on the right board for her.
Can she demo a board? I would try to get her on several women's boards. They don't have to have nice graphics or names. Explain to her that you're exploring what type of board style she likes. This will then allow you to choose a couple of boards that will fit her. If she can only demo one board that gives you two boards to compare.
Ask her several things and compare it to her current board. Simple questions like:
1. Does the board feel like it has more grip? Too much?
2. How does the start of a turn feel?
3. What about the whole turn?
3. Do you like the way it goes from edge to edge?
4. How easy/fun was the board to carve?
5. If she can ollie, how did the pop feel?
$100 in demos is money well spent to get the right $400 board.
Have a gaggle of boards that will be right for her. Even point out your favorite from a performance point of view. Let her pick a board on looks. Above all else tell her you will not let her pick a board based on the name. Line up the boards at the shop without names or have images side by side on the computer with names blocked out.
p.s. Never Summer's women's boards seem to have better graphics than the men's. Compare the SL to the Infinity. The Lotus is just beautiful.