Choosing the right surfboard; this is really important. First, you've got to take into consideration your ability, how much you weigh, what type of waves you're going to be riding it on; whether you're going to be taking it to Hawaii to surf the North shore, or you're going to stay at your local beach, and surf the beach breaks.
You don't want to get a beginner on a short board. You want to make sure there's enough volume in the board for the purpose of the board. If you get a small board, it's going to be really hard to learn how to surf on it. You don't want to get a gun board for small, mushy surf. You really want to make sure that you get the right board.
Long boards are a great choice for beginners. Easy to paddle, they're really stable. You'll be able to get into the waves early, ride them all the way to the shore, and have fun.
You really want to make sure that you don't get set back in getting a board that's not enough volume for you, and it's hard to paddle, it's hard to get into waves; you're going over the falls, you're wiping out. You're not having any fun, and the surfing sucks. You really want to make sure you work with a shape to make sure that you dial in the type of board for the waves that you want. And that's choosing the right size of surfboard for your height, your size, and your ability, and the size of surf that you're going to be surfing in.