Firewire Surfboards - [email protected] or Hit?

arbus-lessker's picture
arbus-lessker started the topic in Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 2:10pm

G'day All. Hope you're all doing well. Wanted to get a view on FireWire surfboards from the Swellnet community. Hear a lot of mixed reports - and I've almost made up my mind.

I personally snapped one clean in the middle surfing an intermediate 3ft Wave the other day. Naturally Firewire has refused to replace it, but it's a $900+ board and one of the main reasons I purchased it was the so called additional strength. I'm now heading into Christmas with one less in my already dwindling (read pathetic) quiver.

I'm not a bloke who’s snapped many boards, nor has been in surf I'd ordinarily consider board snapping. Safe to say I'm very annoyed at the moment.

50young's picture
50young's picture
50young commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 2:43pm

I love them, they are epoxy but Firewire doesn't claim they are indistructable. You can snap any board doesn't have to be a big wave> But I feel your pain it sucks.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 3:17pm

@arbus, for $900, I'd be having a look at whether section 54 and/or 55 of the Australian Consumer Law could help.

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 3:20pm

Myself and a few of the local boys were surfing a pretty heavy reef down here when two of the younger lads from town paddled out, both on Firewires. Both really good surfers. They proceeded to tell us how the boards were unbreakable. The next set came through and they caught the first two waves of the set and both broke their boards. 5 minutes later they were on the beach. I said "unbreakable?" and we all laughed. Felt a bit sorry for them but I sure wouldnt buy one.

paddydog's picture
paddydog's picture
paddydog commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 4:09pm

Bought my first firewire about 3 years ago,probably averages 3 surfs a month in all conditions, still in great condition,still lively, PU boards for me are pretty well trashed after about a year,so worth the extra I reckon. Firewire certainly have copped criticism over the years but I think the Ratio of breakages v boards sold would have to be much lower than PU. I think Nev claimed they were unbreakable when firewire first started, bad move left them open for plenty of flak, I've had 4 of them now and no problems, the only downside being more expensive to repair than PU.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 4:15pm

I have 2 firewires, a 6'2" Alternator and a 6'6" Flexfire.

I rarely ride the 6/6 but the 6/2 has been my everyday board up until recently for the last three years. I used to go through a P/U board on average every 6 months.

Apart from a liittle yellowing, it looks and surfs like new. I would definitely buy another one.

Don't know about the $900 thing. I got my bro to buy and freight them here to me in Japan and I think he paid about $750 each on the Goldy. Looking at about AUD$1500 here for a new one.

The worst thing I could say about one is that tail patches wear out quicker than the boards and those things are a bitch to replace.

1173

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 4:34pm

When they first came out, i wrote them off as expensive asian made pop outs like most.

Sometime latter a mate who works in a surf shop that sales everything from Al Merricks and all the big Aussie shapers labels plus there own board label, convinced me to give one a go, as of all the boards he was able to have virtually free, he choose a FW and was stoked on them

The variety of test boards in store were pretty limited in dimensions but i grabbed what was closest to what i like although it still meant it was a bit of a boat, i rode it and the waves were pretty good that day, so there was no excuses there, anyway i thought it sucked so was put off them.

Few years latter and many boards latter, including one snap and one crease, and one brand new board that deck sunk after one surf, i got to a point where i was again searching for something more durable at the same time i happened to see a brand new FW in FST construction in the secondhand board rack for $600 (normally $900 new), was never ridden even had the stickers on it, i really dug the shape and dimensions and it just felt like a board i could love, you know those boards you pick up and your like..yeah, so i thought for that price if i didn't like it id just resale it and possibly lose nothing or not much.

Anyway first surf the board went sick, ive had it over a year now and its definitely one of the best boards ive had or ridden, after a year plus there is not even a tiny pressure ding on the bottom, and just a little dimpling on the deck from duck diving, which for me is crazy because my boards normally get trashed and normally after a year my board looks like some guys boards look after five years and have lost that new board magic feel, but this board once i clean her up, looks like a few month old board and still has that lively magic feel.

Anyway i couldn't stop at one so i now have three and all three im real happy with and are holding up amazingly (although the third one i only just got)

It always sucks when you snap a board especially when its still reasonably new and i think it would suck a bit more if i snapped a newish FW just because of the price and because your expecting it to be stronger.

Boards are weird like that you can sometimes surf pretty heavy or hollow waves no problems or have a situation where you expect to come up seeing your board in two and your boards fine, then other times it can be small average waves and somehow your boards snapped clean in half or creased and its like WTF how?.

BTW from the price sounds like it was FST construction? FST are actually stronger (and more expensive) than the rapid fire construction, but like all boards they can snap i guess..always sucks but.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 4:36pm

Oh I have
5,10 Hellfire in FST
6,3 Flex fire in FST
5,3 Baked potato in rapid fire (cause there not out in FST yet)

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 4:53pm

Don't know about the $900 thing. I got my bro to buy and freight them here to me in Japan and I think he paid about $750 each on the Goldy. Looking at about AUD$1500 here for a new one.

The worst thing I could say about one is that tail patches wear out quicker than the boards and those things are a bitch to replace.

By: "zenagain"

The Rapid fire construction boards average around $750, but FST construction average around $900

What you mean about the tail patches? you not use a tail pad?

OH edit..you mean replacing the tail pad okay get you.

mrsbradpitt's picture
mrsbradpitt's picture
mrsbradpitt commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 6:51pm

firewire = rip off

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 8:59pm

Tail patch, Tail pad, traction pad....

I've always called them tail patches. The thingy that you stick on the back of your board.

Rip off? I'm quite happy with mine. $750 for three years as opposed to about $4000 in p/u boards that I'd go through in that time.

I'm now riding an epoxy Channel Is. Quite happy with that too.

All comes down to what you prefer Mrs. BP.

1173

silentp's picture
silentp's picture
silentp commented Saturday, 1 Dec 2012 at 1:37pm

Zen, anyone any tips on tailpad removal with minimum fuss/grief?

raku's picture
raku's picture
raku commented Saturday, 1 Dec 2012 at 1:53pm

Don't put one on then you'll never have to remove it. I don't put them on my boards as it's like wearing a slipper on your back foot! Plus without one you can see the wear of the board.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 1 Dec 2012 at 2:50pm

Each to their own Raku, I'm in booties most of the year so I like having a tail patch.

To remove one, warm the patch up with a hairdryer on it's lowest setting and don't concentrate on one area for too long.

Then use dental floss in a sawing motion (kinda like on your teeth) to work through the adhesive. When the patch is removed, try and scrape as much of the adhesive off as possible, you can try wax remover or citric acid too. Clean as best you can, dry and apply new tail patch.

1173

tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden commented Saturday, 1 Dec 2012 at 3:16pm

I've had a 6'3" FireWire for about 2 years with barely a mark on it. No pressure dents, no nothing.
If you really gave it a good clean you could probably put it straight back on the rack.
My next one will be maybe an inch shorter and/or less volume but overall it's been great value for money.
I used to snap boards all the time, most was seven in one year.
I'm gonna be hard pressed to go back to PU

silentp's picture
silentp's picture
silentp commented Saturday, 1 Dec 2012 at 3:53pm

Cheers Zen

firey77's picture
firey77's picture
firey77 commented Sunday, 2 Dec 2012 at 2:30pm

I bought mine about 3 years ago, magic board, if she was a woman I would marry her. Not a mark on her went like a new board every time, just amazing. Then one day she broke my heart, small waves pulled into a closeout snapped clean thru where the vent is, and my heart snapped in two aswell.
Haven't got it fixed not sure if its worth it, will it work the same or should I just be happy with the memories?
Has anyone repaired their snapped Firewire and did it perform how it used to after the repair?

arbus-lessker's picture
arbus-lessker's picture
arbus-lessker commented Monday, 3 Dec 2012 at 10:45am

@ Whaaat.. That cost was inclusive of a tail pad, future fins and leash.. Not really comparing apples with apples. It's a hellfire 6fter.

@ YorkeSurfer.. this wave was next to the wave you're talking about I think. So it's a heavy wave but a small day.

@ Indo.. Thanks for the comments mate. I'm not sure I'm going to write it off completely just yet. It was the fastest board I'd ever surfed and I bought it mainly to surf the fatter waves closer to where I live. Wasn’t really intended for me to surf in hollow waves.

@Firey77 that's pretty similar to my experience with it.. Do you think you will fix it? I'm wondering if I should too, but mine has the bamboo deck so I'm wondering if it's easy to fix or not & it will probably never be the same again..Might end up as a coffee table or something.

There must be some sort of unbreakable board... geez the crash technology of cars etc. these days it surprises me something hasn't been invented.

arbus-lessker's picture
arbus-lessker's picture
arbus-lessker commented Monday, 3 Dec 2012 at 10:50am

Can anyone that is a rep from FireWire offer some evidence they are stronger? Or breakage ratios compared to other brands. Also, I am under the impression FireWire is owned by a Private Equity firm out of Brisbane... can anyone confirm this?

Old Bob's picture
Old Bob's picture
Old Bob commented Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 at 2:39pm

I've had 4 Firewire boards and up until today I have been very happy with them.However today in Bali in maybe shoulder high surf my almost new dominator buckled on a wave.I am nearly 58 and definitely do not put the boards under the pressure many younger better surfers are likely to put there boards under.Thankfully I have other boards to use but to say that I have become disillusioned with them would be an under statement

Old Bob's picture
Old Bob's picture
Old Bob commented Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 at 2:50pm

I've had at least 4 firewire surfboards in the last 5 years and up until today I had been very happy with them in regards strength and performance.I was surfing shoulder high beach breaks in Bali this this morning and after my first wave I realised that it had creased and buckled .I am nearly 58 so am unlikely to put my boards under the pressure that younger better surfers are likely to.As this was about the seventh surf I've had on this board to say I have become disappointed and a bit disillusioned with firewires is a bit of an under statement.As previous comments have stated they are not cheap and you would expect a bit more

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 at 4:01pm

Id hit them up at least on there website forum, if it was faulty they may replace it, they seem pretty good like that.

Ive had about half a dozen now yet to snap or crease one, but I'm sure the day will come, all surfboards can snap and sometimes in conditions you would never expect, sucks snapping a board when there new though.

samclarke78's picture
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samclarke78 commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 11:26am

I have had 3 firewire surfboards. Timbertek and the other constructions. All of them have been great. Light, strong, look awesome and surf really well. They are also really durable. Day to day wear and tear doesn't harm them too much.

BUT - ALL boards start to depress on the deck after surfing them for a while. Regular PU board construction depresses and creates divots in the deck. No big deal.
But the firewire boards that I have owned have depressed to an extent, then inevitably cracked. Water then gets in easy, fills the epoxy foam and then you're in trouble.

After this stage, I have found almost impossible to fix. I did try and the ding lasted a few sessions before cracking again. Pretty frustrating.

If you have the money, get Firewires, surf them to the death and get a new one. But if you want a board that lasts, get a regular PU with a strong and well done glass job.

This review is just my experience.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 12:38pm

I've only had a surf on one and in shitty crap waves, but there's plenty of converts out there.

But on the point of durability, I've had a Outer Island for years and years now and it's still as solid as ever. Even after some beatings on the rocks/reefs/cars there's not a dent in it. Lion Air gave it a good bashing on the tail end, but it's definitely the strongest surfboard I've had.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 12:46pm

Paging Albertinelli

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 6:34pm

Im still happy with mine Ive currently got five firewire's and had four others, as yet to have had a true open ding like Sam has experienced just tiny punctures not sure how but i just put a drop or two of epoxy solar rez and no decks have ever sunk just some dimples, never had anything where I've had to worry about sucking water.

Only other damage I've done is I've snapped one, but it was a few years old it was during a surf in Indo where i was having one of those surfs where you feel like you can do anything, i got a perfect air section and i couldn't resist i got air for the first time in years and landed in the flats and just went straight through it, I'm sure it wouldn't matter what board it was it would have snapped, it was just a really stupid thing to do.

Another one I've got in Indo has some cracked rails and tail from Indo air travel, first time in years and years, so it really must have been mishandled.

Only negative about them in my view is they do yellow quicker than PU/PE boards and the logos are ugly and it does feel like you are ridding the Mcdonalds of surfboards.

furlong's picture
furlong's picture
furlong commented Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 3:17pm

I was given a loan of a Firewire lost mayhem model by someone with more boards than sense. It was the best board I had ever ridden until it snapped clean in half when I blew a take-off in 3 foot waves. I would love to ride another one but definitely not willing to pay new board prices for one.

Surfingfreshwate's picture
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Surfingfreshwate commented Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021 at 10:03am

Did not know that thunderbolt made in China.
Will sell and buy locally mad epoxy longboard
Surfingfreshwater