I am a big fan of the Rio S (2008) having had the chance to sail one on the weekend. Myself and a bunch of wavesailing mates turned up at the beach just as a 20kt breeze died to 5to 15 kts. With one Rio S and a 12ft Sup we had no problems keeping ourselves entertained for the rest of the afternoon. We had 5.7s rigged and normally I would say that that is a bit small for a larger volume board in these conditions, the Rio however is a bit narrower that earlier versions and seems to be happy with this size sail. It also has a nice lively feel on the water catching the small 2 foot swell and accelerating quickly.
The last boards I have sailed at around this 76cm width were probably 2004 models and I thought this was quite a big improvement in performance. It seemed to handle the small shore-break easily and the extra weight generated by the centreboard was not noticeable while sailing.
The hardest thing for me to judge is how someone newer to the sport would find the board, everyone at the beach that day was pretty competent at early planing and gybing. I thought the heel gutters were super comfortable.
Definitely worth consideration though if the rest of the 2008 boards are as good as this then you will be spoilt for choice.