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Please help a newbie! Baked Potato? Potatonator? Which size?

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  • Please help a newbie! Baked Potato? Potatonator? Which size?

    Hello, i am a newbie here and i am looking for some help from you.

    I am from germany, 36 years old, 6 large (182cm) and weight about 165 us-pounds (75kg).
    Up to now i only surfed in holidays (4-5 times for 1-2 weeks) on the canary islands.
    My skill is between beginner and Intermediate, but more beginner a guess.
    Takeoff in green waves is no big problem, but no "tricks" like buttom turns or cut backs.
    But i want to become better and buy a hybrid or pure stoke board.
    I want to go surf in the baltic sea (only sometimes small wind-waves :-( no ground swell),
    Denmark (Northsea with groundswell 1-4 on good days) and of course in holidays
    in portugal, france or the canary islands too.

    A friend of mine that i know from skateboard sessions who surfs about 15 years
    told me to buy a fish or hybrid board, because i dont want to buy a longboard or minimali.
    He has a Sweet Potato FST in 56 for small conditions and is very pleased with that.
    A few weeks ago a saw him in the baltic sea with that board and he really had his fun.
    For the bad conditions of course ;-)
    He has got another Firewire Board (the dominator i guess) and he is contently with that too
    and told me to look maybe for a FW Board.

    I am uncertainly looking for a baked potato maybe in 5,9 or 5,11 or a potatonator in 6,6 or 6,8
    because of my low skill and the bad conditions in my environment.

    What do you think about this selection???

  • #2
    At the frequency you surf an the conditions you will encounter,I would look towards the Addvance


    • #3
      Thanks for your first replies!

      Yes, i used the volume calculator.
      With skill level: beginner / intermediate, fitness: average = 44-49 liters
      with fitness excellent = 40-44
      So, i think 44 liters would be a good choice.
      That would be an 59 Baked Potato.


      What do you mean with "Addvance"?
      My skill?
      Unfortunately its really not.
      "in holidays (4-5 times for 1-2 weeks)" means over the last 3-4 years :-(

      Then the next question is: Timbertek or White Rapidfire???

      I heard both can have some problems.
      The TT with the resin hotcoat or maybe the paulownia deck skin.
      The RF with the ruggedness/durability.

      Is that correct???


      • #4
        Ah, you mean the board model Addvance :-)
        But honestly i dont like this kind of shape.
        Do you think the baked is "a level to high" for me?
        Should i take it a size bigger (5'11) to get more volume?

        I like the timbertek. It looks awesome!
        But dont you think the rapidfire is better to fix (with epoxy resin),
        because dings will be inevitable i think. Or same thing?

        And the timber is almost to beauty to put a pad or a gopro mount on it :-)

        Is rapidfire really less resistent?
        My friend is a big fan of FST but the baked is not availabel in FST.
        Last edited by Newbie; 09-30-2013, 10:08 AM.


        • #5
          Everyone has given you good advice.

          You neglected to tell us what size board you are riding now. Also, I don't mean you any disrespect (just trying to assist you), but because you can't do bottom turns or cutbacks, I would consider you a beginner. You should ask yourself if you want to have fun when you surf or do you prefer a challenge. From your description of yourself and the type of waves you surf, you will be challenged if you get anything shorter than a 5'11" Baked Potato. I think the longest Potatonator would even be better for you. Actually, iggy's advice for the AAdvance (a 6'10") would be optimal, but since you don't like the shape, you shouldn't get it. When you get better, you can buy another board.

          I am going to get a 5'5" Baked Potato. Perhaps if I explain how I came to my decision, it will help you to make your decision. When I used the Volume Calculator, I judged my skill level to be Intermediate - but for longboarding. I have been longboarding for a solid six years. I surf every chance I get, but no less than twice a week. Doing hard bottom turns and roller coasters on 5' to 8' faces is what I enjoy! I am 55 years old, 5'7", 153 pounds. Now, I want to shortboard, again! I used to ride a 6'10" in high school; then gave up surfing for about 30 years.

          I have been fortunate to have gone to the Firewire Demo Days a couple of times. The first board I tried was the 5'5" Baked Potato. To make a long story short. Whoa! Even though it looked like I knew what I was doing when I was paddling, getting to my feet was a huge challenge! When I first got on the 5'11" Baked Potato, the first thought that came to my mind was that it felt like I was paddling my longboard. I could have immediate fun with the 5'11".

          So, why did I decide on the 5'5"? Yup, I want the challenge. I already have fun on my longboards. And I couldn't duck dive the 5'11"! Besides, if the 5'5" proves that I don't have the talent for that size, I can always sell it and buy a 5'7". (I don't expect to surf 8' faces on the Baked Potato, but will get another board for that or use my longboard).

          Hope this helps you make your decision.
          Last edited by dean128; 09-30-2013, 11:20 PM.


          • #6
            @Newbie I wouldn't be too quick to turn your back on the Addvance, it's an amazing board and in 6' 6" you'd be laughing in my opinion.


            • #7
              The Addvance moves quite well and will get you in the water VERY often regardless the conditions


              • #8
                Thanks for your help!
                Sorry, had no time to answer earlier, because i was very busy.


                Dont excuse yourself for dissing me ;-)
                You are right, i am more beginner than whatever.
                It would be my first own board.
                But i prefer the challenge :-)

                I thought already about the Potatonator in 6,6 or 6,8
                but isnt that harder to ride than an 5,11 Baked?
                I think because of the shape and the width.
                An 5,11 BP is 22 5/8 and a 6,8 Potatonator is 22"
                But i am not sure because i am a beginner.
                Unfortunately there is no way for me to test both boards :-(

                On last holidays i tested a board that was shaped quit similar to the Potatonator.
                It was 6,6 x 21 3/4 x 2 7/8 and not very friendly to me but ok.
                But i tested it only about 1-2 hours.
                See upload!

                The Addvance is really not my shape, sorry.
                And all of u know the first board is something very special.


                • #9
                  If you can find a surf shop nearby that has Firewire demo boards you can demo them. As the guys are saying above, the Addvance is a great board. If you're completely set on the PN though, then I think you can handle it if you are dedicated.

                  - Firewire Intern Josh


                  • #10
                    Newbie, okay, since you want a challenge, get the 5'9" Baked. I think after a few sessions, you will be able to stand up on it. After a few more session, you might be able to trim on the wave. I really don't think the Baked is a beginners board, but it will give you just the right amount of challenge that you seek. Please don't blame me if you don't have fun on it. The bottom contours of the Baked are designed to make it fast and easy to turn - which means for a beginner, it's less stable. If you want to see a great review about the Baked, watch this Youtube video.. The guy in the video provides great explanations about board design.

                    I haven't seen the Potatonator in person, so I don't know anything about the bottom contours on that board. If you want an idea about how stable a Firewire is, did you try the Compare Any Two Firewire Boards tool on their website? Among other specifications, it will show you the stability factor of the boards (click Text after you click Compare). It's a cool tool.

                    The advice about considering the AAdvance is good. It's more of a beginner's board. But I understand, it's difficult to put a board under your arm that you don't find attractive. (Although, I think the AAdvance is a nice looking board, beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

                    As Josh mentioned, if you don't want to take a chance, you can try contacting Firewire dealers to ask if you can demo the Firewires. They might charge you to demo the boards, but many dealers will subtract the demo fee to the purchase of a board.

                    A great thing about Firewire boards is that they have good resale value. So, if you realize that you bought the wrong board for your fun/challenge level, you can sell it and buy a different Firewire. I have noticed on that shorter Firewires seem to sell faster.

                    Good luck! I hope you get the board that will make you feel like it is a part of your soul!!!


                    • #11
                      Yes, i want the challenge :-)
                      Of course i dont want to be the stupid newbie that buy a shortboard just because its looks better under his arms.
                      The ocean is not a catwalk ;-)
                      But first a want the challenge and second i am not a longboard driver from my soul.
                      I am more the sportive guy and i cant buy something from that i am not completely convinced.

                      Of course i dont blame anyone for my decision!
                      I asked and you and the others said what you are thinking.
                      Thank you for that and for your links.
                      I knew this review already but i did not knew this special compare feature.
                      Thats really great!

                      But now i am still confused if the PB or the PN is better for me :-(
                      Stability is a bit better on the PB but Surface Area and Balance Point is plus on the PN.
                      Whats more important???


                      • #12
                        Overall, the BP and PN are small wave boards. If the small wave scale is 1-4ft, the BP will perform better on the lower end of the small wave scale (e.g. 1-2ft waves) and the PN will perform better on the upper end of the small wave scale (e.g. 3-4ft waves). Of course, you can interchange the boards at these different wave heights, but that is where they excel/ are meant to be ridden. The BP will be a bit more stable than the PN, but the difference is small and not as important as the size of waves you plan on surfing the majority of the time. Wave size at your break should determine which board you choose because they ride very similarly (both short, stubby, and wide in the tail).

                        - Firewire Intern Josh


                        • #13
                          Looking at you basics, experience, size weight, how often you will get to surf - get a big sweet potato - they are more forgiving than the baked potato and PN - easier to paddle etc - Ive ridden and owned so many of these board.... get a 6'0 SP it'll be fun even on crappy days.