The 2012 PSH Hull Rippers models are just starting to come out and are in limited availability. As someone noted above, they are not the same models as the 2011 wood veneers. The 2012 models are the latest refinements by Blane in the evolution of the Hull Rippers. Many of the stability concerns have been addressed by adding volume and length. I'm told the shapes were tested by the team for several months before settling on these models. I'm sure there is a little confusion right now as the two lines settle in for 2012. In my experience the PVC construction is not noticeably different in weight from the wood veneers, but is slightly stronger.
As for surfing the HR in small waves, I've had a great time with mine in clean knee high stuff and overhead juice as well. As with any board, not much does great in mush except a big boat of a board.
I hope this helps.