chomps1211, my experience has some things in common with yours.
My first season riding (15 days) I made very good progress, but it was all on crappy rental boards. I bought my first board at the start of my second season. It was a (directional, cambered) Donek, which are pretty stiff. (I was on a forum at the time full of Donek fans, both soft booters and hard booters, and was heavily influenced by the group think there.)
My first two or three days on that board were like a wrestling match. I thought I lost all skills I learned my first year. I couldn't make that thing work, no way no how. At some point I said the hell with trying to turn this beast and I straightlined a run. As I picked up a scary-for-me bit of speed I managed to tilt the thing on edge a bit, and holy shit that edge set in and I pulled a wicked carved turn. So that whole season I spent figuring out how that board wanted to be ridden. That thing really wanted to go fast and be on edge. What I had to learn was there was no way I could manhandle that board: I had to learn to control it with subtle movements and finesse. Now, after some years' riding, I can take that board for a ride, but that first season I can agree that it was the one taking me for a ride.
You mentioned Arbor -- I don't know their products, but I remember a few years back when the A-Frame seemed to be all the rage and I used to see guys wrestling with them all the time, just like I had done with the with the Donek.
Unfortunately, my season's on hold right now with an injury. I'll post to the Michigan thread if/when I'll be out again locally. (I am the rope tow master!)
Sooner or later your legs give way, you hit the ground.
Last edited by MikeIn248; 12-12-2012 at 11:28 AM.