Sheesh...I'm getting old and cranky any more.
Let's get in to more detail than the simple "buy mine!" that seems to have become WW of late.
Darrin has identified 4 boards and wants to progress, but doesn't identify what that will be. Many of the folks responding take that to mean aerials. Without Darrin's input, that is just speculation.
Let's look at the 4 boards in particular and compare them. They are:
Shred Stixx JaMako, Inland Surfer Blue Lake, Smed Wombat and the TWP F18. For the most part, the JaMako, Blue Lake and Wombat are stock shapes. You can get them in the standard sizes and dimensions only. The F18 has a "common" size but can be ordered in various sizes. I know that Matt at Smed can do customization also.
The JaMako, Wombat and F18 all use aftermarket fin systems which will allow you to swap a myriad of fins available from Futures. Smed and TWP can be built with FCS, ProBox, 4WFS, etc if you choose. Differening fins affect ride and allow you more customization options. Inland Surfer has a few fins and a standard 4 fin box installation. Inland Surfer uses no cant or toe-in on their boxes, the others use both. Accordingly the Inland will feel fast down-the-line, and less responsive rail-to-rail in comparison to the other boards.
All of the boards will allow you top get air, if that's what you are looking for. The outline of the JaMako is an exceptionally wide tail with a slight V bottom. It releases well and the width provides a good platform to ollie from. That extra width, however will make turning feel less responsive than a board with a more pulled in tail - everything else being the same.
All of the boards are made with Epoxy, the TWP can be ordered as Polyester over Polyurethane, but there isn't much reason for that. Epoxy is marketed as: "the end all, never degrades, best thing since sliced bread" and it's not. It is stronger and stiffer than Polyester but will eventually weaken and you'll need to replace the board. Epoxy is stronger than Polyester, but not what the hype from manufacturers attempts to make it.
The Inland will be the most resistant to dents and dings as it has a healthy coating of resin...it will also be the heaviest of the 4. High performance boards tend to be lighter in weight, but also develop heel dents. Smed and TWP can add additional layers of glass if you want, which will make the board heavier and less likely to dent.
All of the boards are readily available, with the Blue Lake and JaMako seemingly available at every pro shop in the nation. The Wombat and F18 will most likely need to be built and so there may be a wait before you can take delivery.
Graphics are limited on the JaMako and Blue Lake...stock boards come stock, the Wombat and F18 can have just about any graphic you can think of painted or a laminate applied.
If it matters to you at all, the F18 and Wombat are manufactured in the USA, the JaMako and Blue Lake are manufactured overseas.
The JaMako and F18 will be the two shortest shapes that will adequately carry your weight. Longer boards CAN grab in the flats and diminish the aggressiveness of turns, depending upon your wake. Longer boards also resist rotational moves as the extra length requires more effort. It's not a HIGE difference as we are talking maybe 6 inches.
Rocker is the curve of the nose and tail up from a flat surface. The Blue Lake and Wombat have very flat rockers with a nose flip. The flat rocker makes the boards fast down the line, but resist turns especially in small pockets. The JaMako and F18 have more defined rockers and will fit better into small pockets. The F18 can be ordered with any rocker you want.
The Blue Lake and JaMako come with factory installed traction...like it or not. The Wombat and F18 can have your choice of traction and you can install it (most likely you'll HAVE to
Only the JaMako comes standard as a thruster (tri fin) design. The trailer fin is pretty small and can be removed. In my experience ALL of the boards are most often ridden as twins, so I would think about the additional fin boxes and whether or not they are a benefit.
I don't believe any of the boards fits in a standard wakeboard rack, so an aftermarket wakesurf rack is a necessity if you want to rack your board.
In order of size of manufacturer, Inland probably sells the most units, with Shred Stixx close behind. TWP would be third in that list and Smed the smallest manufacturer. You're more likley to find used Inlands and Shred Stixx strictly due to unit sales. All of the manufacturers are great to work with.
The Inland uses a sandwich construction - wood laminate sandwiches a foam core. The others use the more common wood stringer down the middle of a foam core.
I'm not sure I was helpful, but I find myself so weary of the "buy mine" or nebulous reasons to buy.
Darrin, if you could paint a picture of what you want in your new board, we can possibly help guide you better rather than interrpreting based upon our own likes and dislikes.