I got the recon last season and it was also my first board. It was very easy to learn on and I would recommend it for somebody who wants to get the feel for the whole mountain. I have heard nothing but great things about the 390's Im actualy buying a pair for myself this year and if you wear a 9 boot then you could get the mediums I think. A good rule of thumb is you really "get what you pay for." Oh yea and if I was you I would get a board around the 153-155 range. I am 5'11 155 and I had the 156 recon.