I used to ride a 164 custom x wide- I could never even do a butter on that thing. I don't know if it's just that I suck or the board was too long and too stiff for me to get any bend.
I really want to learn some of the basic stuff- butters, nose and tail rolls, 180s.. just small stuff.
I have a brand spanking new lib tech hot knife 159 on the way... its rated as a 5-6 for stiffness. Is this an okay board to learn these things on? Im 6'0 and 175 if that makes any difference.
The hot knife will be fine for learning.
As David z already said, at 159 it's a little bigger than you'd typically use for a freestyle specific board at your weight range, but for an all-mountain to learn a bit of everything and some basic freestyle, it'll do the job just fine.