I am buying some new Firewires and need some advice on which model is closest to my standard shortboard that I ride.
My standard shorty is 6'1 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/4, swallow tail, single to double concave. I'm 5'8 and 74kg and surf in West Oz so surfing relatively powerful and not always clean waves (ie not clean goldy style point breaks)
Main thing I am after is a relative standard shorty shape, has to be swallow tail and preferably have single to double concave, problem is I am going to have to order in the board so can't look at shapes prior to ordering and most boards on firewire website don't have concave listed and descriptions aren't always great. Also none of the high performance shorties they have are swallows. I already have a couple of good FW grovellers and shooters for juice, board I am after is just a standard shorty for 3-6ft surf.
I was looking at these 3:
and possibly the Pyzalien, though doesn't have a swallow so not my preference
Anyone have any advice/recommendations or have experience with any of these shapes I've listed? I have had a couple of Firewires and was happy with them for the most part, I also buy poly custom shapes of local shapers, so not looking for any ragging/complaining about Firewires just advice purely on which Firewire model would be close to my shorty.
Just bumping this one up for ya mate.
Yeah i don't think either of those boards are anything dimension wise like your standard shorty, those dimensions seem much more high performance, while those boards your looking at are all wider, shorter, thicker and are all more performance hybrids and all quad/thruster set ups.
Dimension wise your boards closer to a Michel Bourez, Mayham F1 or Flex fire, but yeah all rounded squares.
That is one area the FW range lacks, they have the hybrid area covered pretty well, but not so much in variety of high performance boards.
If you haven't already your probably best asking advice on FW boards in there forum.
Or try goggling reviews on you tube/vimeo, they normally have half decent reviews talking about the bottom shape, rails etc
Thanks Indo, yeah I was looking at the performance models as the outlines are close to what I'm after but trying to avoid the square/squash tails. Swallow tail is a bit of a deal breaker for me as like the release they have as opposed to other tail shapes. Yeah they seem to have a ton of grovel boards and lots of weird new shapes but are def lacking in just standard shortys. I love the custom boards I get of my usual shaper and always get the same standard board, but the strength/lightness of firewires is something I cant get in a poly board (have snapped 3 polys in last month), but then of course I can't get a real custom firewire, hence the dilemma.
I signed up to FW forum this morn but waiting on moderator to allow me to start posting (love that Swellnet lets me post instantly once signed up!)
Will def try and google some youtube reviews, hadn't thought of that.
Thanks for the help.
I agree with Indo on his board choices but none have a swallow tail, you can customise your firewires in the CBD feature but this is you preferences not a shapers, have you considered the V4 very high performance or ven the Vanguard, you may be able to demo these boards if you have a local shop that has firewire demos. One thing I love about firewire is the try before you buy
Pooh b not trying to pay out on you but more to anyone in general about snapping boards . U can pay to have extra cloth & even epoxy resin from your aussie shaper . If you really want best board for you , customs are unbeatable then build so they dont snap & become land fill . Sorry pooh thats for everybody the amount of broken boards worldwide per year is atrocious .surfers should try to keep the scene clean . Make board that lasts = less trash & petrochemicals used .
^^ Applies even more so that you're from WA and, as you say, "surfing relatively powerful and not always clean waves." A bit more weight certianly won't hurt in those conditions.
Check out the Jacknife.. its pretty high performance in a swallow.
I ride a FST Dominator and love the shit out of it.
Thanks ACB, I had a 5'10 Jacknife which went ok and was same width and thickness as my shorty, but I just found the rails a little sharp/knifey (as the name suggests, I probably should have picked up on this before I bought it) and so was bogging rail a little when burying it. That board was stolen along with 3 others, one of which was the second Dominator I've owned (5'6) and I concur they are the sickest grovel boards! am definitely getting a new Dom along with other newies.
Was looking to replace the Jack with a Piledriver, if anyone has a Piledriver would love to know their experience.
Thanks 50 Young, I took a look at the V4 but the channels in the bottom aren't great for the junkier waves I surf (summer onshores). Yeah will try and get to a shop with test boards, not even fussed on trying first, issue is mostly that shops only have a small range so it's a case of not even seeing the actual board before I commit to buy which sucks, ie. if I order the board to get into shop I have to buy it, so just have to hope for the best.
One of the guys on the firewire forum has one and loves it as a small wave board the V4 is definitely for your bigger days, Vanguard has a pretty good range if you can get your head around the shape.
Just a thought why dont you talk to Josh Dowling, he can shape you exactly what your after and his epoxy timber veneer construction is said to near indistructable and they are works of art.
Yeah I hear what your'e saying caml and stunet and I definitely agree that custom is always unbeatable, however (given I'm a bit of a fussy fucker) I find a heavier board isn't nearly as good as a lighter board performance wise, even in West Oz. Maybe over 6ft it doesn't matter so much, but anything under that it is an issue as far as getting the most out of a shooter performance wise .
I get my boards glassed with a 4 x 6 with big laps which I find the best compromise between performance and strength. Shaper I get boards of doesn't do epoxy, but not having much experience with Epoxy customs (I got out of surfboard glassing before epoxy became a big thing) would certainly be interested as to others experience with them?
I did have one mate get an epoxy custom for $900 which didn't hold up much better than a poly, which was why I was leaning towards FW as I have had pretty good experience with them and price is pretty much the same (though have creased 2 FW, so nothing is indeed bulletproof)
I glassed team boards for a big surf label years back (including WCT guys) and they like most other sponnos boards I've glassed were always 4 x 4 with a tailpatch, can only ever recall doing a 4 x 4 x 4 on their bigger wave shooters. The fact is lighter is better and once you get accustomed to riding light boards it's hard to go back to riding heavier boards. Hence why I now have a few FW in my boardrack. Sponnos go through a shitload more than you're average punter as far as breaking boards (on account of their surfing and having boards glassed light) so my footprint is pretty minimal in comparison and why shouldn't a brother be able to ride a nice light board like Kelly and all the rest of em!
Thanks 50 Young, yeah I've been trying to get on the FW Forum to post my query also, but site won't give me permission to post, I only signed up to FW forum yesterday so not sure if it takes a while to get the ok from admin on that site?
I'm pretty wary of those more hectic board shapes as for the most part they seem more of a novelty, I bought a Mayhem Stealth and it is a shocker so keen to stick to something with more of a plainshape/single or single to double concave.
Interesting you can't get on the forum. I've got a couple of FW's (Alternator and Flexfire) and I had a question about the old style serial number they used to use when interpreting dimensions.
I think I had a response back within 24 hrs.
Give it another day and see how you go.
Sorry I can't help with the models you're looking at.
Cheers Zenagain, what are your thoughts on those two shapes? I was considering the Altenator if I get stuck finding a suitable model with swallow, the FF is probably to narrow for what I like, but I like the look of the outline of the Altenator so be interesetd to know how it's gone for you?
I've had my Alternator for 3 years but only surf it when the waves are overhead, still in great condtion but a bit of yellowing on the deck towards the nose. I've got a 6'2" squash and I loved it as soon as my feet hit the sweet spot. I'm a bit hefty (6ft, 90kg) and could have gone for a bit more volume but it paddles well and does everything I need it to.
I ride a variety of boards but currently riding a 5'11" Merrick Biscuit (epoxy) but when the surf ramps up the Alternator feels like a knife through butter after getting off the bikky. The FF is a 6'6" step-up pinny but where I am there's very little call for it.
I'd put the Alternator in the high performance category. Just a nice clean, reliable shape, very predicatble, no surprises.
pooh beach wrote:
I bought a Mayhem Stealth and it is a shocker so keen to stick to something with more of a plainshape/single or single to double concave.
I bought a Mayhem Stealth and it is a shocker so keen to stick to something with more of a plainshape/single or single to double concave.
Funny you say that, I picked up one second hand in mint condition for a good price a fair while back, rode it about ten times, both as a quad and thruster and tried a few different fins in it, and it never really clicked with me, i definitely wouldn't say it was a shocker or a dog, it was still a lot better than many boards ive ridden, but it is very similar to dimensions to a FW Hellfire i have which i consider one of the best boards ive ever had so the FW Mayhem stealth is in the secondhand board rack.
Josh Dowling would be worth an email, fully custom hand made by him for around the same price yet more durable.(Also four and six channels are doable by him which is rare in this style craft)
He worked with Burt Burger i think, or may have been Nev at Firewrire and was part of the whole parabolic/rail stringer or whatever revolution.
Agree a custom Josh Dowling would be a good choice for the OP seeing the board his after, but i think there a fair bit more than Firewires in a similar build FST which are around $900.00, I believe Josh dowling customs are around $1,350.00.
Cheers groundswell and indo, I should clarify I'm getting a bunch of new boards on insurance after having 4 shooters, wetty ect stolen however only have a credit note from insurance company for the one surf shop so have to get boards through them. That said $1350 is probably more than I'd want to spend on a board though I understand the amount of work that goes into making a board with this construction so have no issue with old mate selling them at that price. My previous firewires I bought in states (cheaper over there) which in itself sucks that In australia we are paying a bunch more for FireWire boards made in the same factory in Thailand.
After some searching i might throw some coin at a mini driver if thats any help ill review it for you. Been looking around the reviews and they seem like a good all around board.
Not sure if i should go 5'10 or 6'0. bit of difference in volume between the two.
Hi pooh beach,
I'm a fan of the FST as well, pretty strong construction. If I were you I would speak to FW about a Hellrazor 2 but with the tail shape you are after. It is a pretty standard HPSB but with slightly mellower rocker. It is custom only so sure they would do a different tail shape for you. I also saw on the FW forum the other day someone was lining up a custom Pyzalien, so seems if you are prepared to wait a bit you can customise the boards that aren't on the CBD list. Hope is helps.
I'm hearing good things about the Hellrazor. I like FW's and own a couple but been riding a kind of hybrid epoxy for the last year or two (Ch Is. Biscuit 5'11") and was wanting to get back on to something a bit more performance oriented but still with a fair bit of volume. My 6'2" Alternator is a great board but could still do with a bit more volume for me. I'm 181cm and 90 kg's before breakfast and in winter add another 3-4kg in my 5mm winter gear when wet. The FW size calculator is putting me on boards in the 6'6"- 6'10" range but that just doesn't seem right to me.
My question, what are some of the older, bigger blokes riding that are geared more around your standard shorty/performance board? I have a preference for thrusters but willing to try something new. Any advice gratefully appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
PS Something that is comfortable in waves up to double and something I could take to Indo as an all-rounder. Cheers.
I too love my FW's I'm 183cm and 90kg at 53yrs young the calculator is way off due to its compensation on the age. Keep in mind i,m a weekend warrior only one or 2 surfs a week but i'm finding 34-37l in the Firewires is great. enough paddle power without comprimising on performance. i'm loving my 6'4"Unibrow, but really want a 5'8"Vanguard, both would cover up to double or Hashtag, i'm only hearing goodthings on the forum. Or a Mini driver
Hey Zen, I'm similar age & height (couple of cm's taller) but with a couple of extra kg's (as discussed before :)) and have been riding a 6'6" & a 6'10" for years. I don't have an issue with the size. I ride the 6'10" a lot through Indo, Fiji & my playgrounds from 3' and up and the 6'6" up to 5'-6'. I haven't tried the FW to compare too though but IMO don't be too put off by the length. I also have a little 5'11" fun board.
Cheers guys. Thanks for the responses.
50young, I like the look of the Unibrow. For some reason that shape seemed to stand out to me when I was looking at the FW website. Might have to go into it in further detail. I surf every day there's waves so am pretty surf fit so those volumes sound just about right for me.
I suppose so too on the length Fitzy. I was riding 6'4"s in the 90's with no effect on my performance. I probably just jumped on the smaller, wider, thicker bandwagon that so many of have seemed to do in the new millennia.
Id even go 6'2" in the unibrow its a great paddler
Cheers Monty you're on the money there mate, I actually ordered a 5'11 HellRazor II a few weeks back it's got the squash tail, but prob use it for head high + so shouldn't miss the swallow to much hopefully. I also ordered a 6'0 Quadra 5 so hoping that will be a close fit to my shorty with the swallow. I've been riding a 5'9 Chubby Chedda which goes ok but nothing special.
Anyone ridden a baked potato? thinking about two boards, a baked potato and a mini driver but i havent found many videos of those boards with the sort of style i like. It might sound bad but it does effect how i think of a board if the surfers styles in the vids look shit why wont mine?
Makes me think of going back to a magic feeling shape a few years ago. Last board from him though i asked for low rails and they came boxy.Cost $1250 not cheap.