"i want something he can get up and going without the rope first day"
I would suggest-(in no particular order)
Inland Surfer Redtide-probably the most stable of the 3, not by much though
Inland Surfer Bluelake-the fastest of the 3.
Hyperlite Landlock- good all around learning board
Probably can't go wrong with either one of these 3. There are probably others out there, but these were the easiest that I have ridden or taught someone on.
** Keep in mind these boards do have drawbacks as far as advancing as a rider i.e. doing spins, ollies etc. But great boards to have in your arsenal to teach others once pops has advanced on **
"A surfboard for your father, good young grasshopper, I have taught you well..." -unknown (it just sounded cool)
Good luck. You are a good son, sure beats that tie & $9.99 Old Spice cologne gift set that I bought my dad when I was your age!