I learned on a "Blue Marlin"..... remember those?
I bought a 1983 Mistral Superlight shortly afterward to teach others on and to race on occasion.
The Equipe is still a competitive racing longboard (I have an F2 Lightning Race which
I like better).
But.......have you sailed a modern "transition" board like the Rio M?
They do nearly as well in light winds as the older narrower longboards, but they
also sail in shortboard mode much more like a modern fairly wide shortboard.
So what do I think of an older longboard (Superlight/Equipe/F2 Lightning/Fanatic
Ultra Cat) for Dennis to use to learn all his basics on a lake?
They would certainly work, but they are heavier, not as stable, and involve significantly
more falling in the water than is necessary when compared to a modern (wider) board
like the Rio M.
So, if Dennis wants, at some time, to go racing, go for the older longboard..... if Dennis wants the best platform to learn and help his wife to learn... he will be far better off with the Rio M.