I'm 6' tall 250lbs but my feet are 8.5. I'm really having a hard time finding a board that meets my needs. Since the longer you go the wider the board it seems.
Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Well, I'm 5'10", size 10 feet and was up to 240. I was riding a long (168) and wide (model) and very stiff board (Burton Custom-Wide) because of the weight. A longer board will go faster and be more stable at speed but will be harder to turn. A wide board (in addition to preventing boot out for Yeti riders) is going to float better in powder but will be harder/slower to change edges. A stiffer board will be harder to torsionally twist (which helps making turns more than most realize), but a board that is too soft for your weight/speed will wash out of turns. As an instructor, I will recommend that it is better to be too soft than too stiff.
I always recommend that beginner riders either rent or acquire beginner specific gear with expectations of trading up because beginner gear is typically super soft torsionally, directionless (freestyle design) and has high beveled edges (to reduce the possibility of catching the downhill edge). Beginners also should be in shorter lengths because they should be going slower and be on flatter pitches. These characteristics will greatly speed the learning process well into the intermediate stage, which can be as short as 2-5 full days on snow, but easily take as long 10-15 days. Once you reach intermediate stage, beginner gear becomes limiting/annoying. You can ride it and have fun, but you'd really have more fun on more advanced gear.
You say you want to try again. How far did you get the first time?
Without more information, my guess is that you are restricting your choices more than you need to. The Burton Custom also has a "normal width" model that is not nearly as stiff as my monster board. If you were an intermediate or above, that model in a shorter length would be fine for you.
The last time I was out I could leaf both directions down the hill, slide toe side and heel side. I could turn from toe to heel side, but struggled from heel to toe.
I feel like i'm on the cusp of being able to turn both directions.
My recommendation is to rent beginner gear for at least 2-3 more days on snow. You can use the help of beginner gear until you can link turns top to bottom on intermediate terrain at medium speeds.
It can be tough to get the brain to accept moving the upper body down the hill on toe side initiations (especially after you've slammed once or twice). Many riders find that "twist" on initiation really helps to solve this problem. Try this drill at home sitting in your chair. Spread your legs wider than shoulder width apart and lift the toes of both feet so your feet are 45 degrees angled off the floor. Pretend your lead foot is over the gas pedal in a car and "floor it". Leave the trail foot at a 45 degree angle. Note that your knee is "behind" the lead foot and note how much pressure you can feel on your big toe. Now move your feet closer together so that your knees are "over" your feet. Repeat the gas pedal move. You should feel more pressure on the big toe.
Many beginner riders find themselves stuck over the back foot at the finish of their turns. Your weight will move back and forth along the board during high end riding. The key is to get it moving forward to help start the next turn. If you try to do the edge change with your weight stuck on the back foot, you'll get less leverage on the nose of the board to help you engage the new edge. If you make the "gas pedal" move with your knee over your foot, you're going to get a lot more powerful start to your toe side turn.
Now try the same drill standing up (your feet won't be angled up quite as much). This time press the gas pedal by driving your hip forward. If you do this with your feet spread wider than your hips you should naturally feel your weight shift over your lead foot as you press the gas pedal. After the gas pedal foot is pressed, press the toes of the other foot down on a 1-2 count as if you were counting to 10. That's the move we want to do on snow. Just make sure that you are tracking in your old turn versus side sideslipping/skidding before you try this move. You won't slam if the board is pointed in the same direction that it is traveling.
I would go with a custom board and nothing longer than 158. If money is not an option I would definitely recommend a method 158.