My first board was a Ride Timeless. I still miss that thing even if it's just hanging on my wall. I had a borrowed morrow board before that to learn on. It got stuck on snow even when waxed, basically no edges. And was slow as heck. While my friends were having fun on bumps in the snow I was getting launched off to hell. Every little bump made me twitchy and was so hard on my legs. Everyone else was wondering why I was just landing on my ass when they would be able to ride over those same bumps.
It definitely made me a better ride as the season went on, learned to hold and edge and keep my knees bent. Learned how to absorb bumps and really carve down the mountain. Learning curve was definitely different for me and my buddies.
I would still suggest a 'new' person to have a softer board initially though. It'll make learning easier/less painful. And it won't leave them as frustrated. But if you already have one you just have to be more sensitive and aware IMO.