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  • New 5'8 Dominator (sold the Stealth)

    It was hard to part with my Stealth FST since it really is a great board, but I just wasn't using it enough. I wanted to double down on my daily driver and find a super solid option for the waves that I surf 70% of the time in Southern California. Basically, the objective was to make my average waves insanely fun. After three solid sessions in waves ranging from 3-5 feet on my new 5'8 Dominator, I'm one happy camper.

    I'm around 6'3 and 160lbs. Technically a 5'6 could have worked, but the 5'8 seemed like a great starting point, especially for average waves. I was totally torn between the Spitfire and Dominator, and while I originally felt that the Spitfire was the answer since I surf more aggressively (and want to use it in hollower beach breaks), the Dominator just spoke to me lol. Really . . . it's just beautiful. Threw Futures Rusty R1 quads on there with a nubster and hit the water.

    Paddling: So easy; I was just laughing and zipping around the lineup. Great since the peaks were kinda shifty. I could really get used to this . . . really made me excited to just paddle all over the place and try to grab as many waves as possible.

    Catching waves: Didn't have to paddle that hard - walk in the park. Board accelerates really quickly. Seriously, this feels like cheating.

    Dropping in: I was excited since the waves ended being way bigger than I thought. One day had some solid head high sets coming in that were pretty hollow. Dropping in on hollow waves was easier than I thought (but then again, I'm used to a 5'7 stub (square) nose daily driver with barely any rocker). There were only a few sets where the bottom kinda dredged out that I had to really weight my back foot and focus hard. Didn't blow any of the drops, so I'll consider it a success.

    First wave, did such a satisfying cutback. It actually made my week haha. My old daily driver (5'7 stub nose) was just over-foamed and felt like it was sitting on top of the water. I swapped in Controllers with a nubster in this old board, but it still felt more like an old school Twinzer (even though it was a modern / high performance shape job). The Dominator, on the other hand, felt like it was on rails (with the R1 quad / nubster setup).

    I love that the Dominator makes me surf in a more aggressive / modern manner. My old stub nose was insanely fun, but it always made me surf in a more laid back retro / lateral style. I also placed a heavy emphasis on my front foot with this board, but the Dominator is getting me stoked to shift my weight the hell back and really drive off the tail. This is exactly what I need to focus on to get to the next level.

    The Bad: Only complaint that I had was that it wasn't pivoting as quickly as I wanted it to (frontside), but I think that this is a fin issue. I would have preferred the setup to be just a bit looser overall. The R1's look like they have a decent amount of area, especially in the tip.

    Next weekend I'll try to do a fin shootout at my local Futures test drive place. Will try:
    -YU Quad
    -Stretch SF4
    -V2F4

    I need to try it without the nubster as well.

  • #2
    Yeah, I find on my 6'4" Dom @90kg (which is proportionally pretty similar to the 5'8" at your weight) that it absolutely rips the bag at 2 foot (shoulder high) and below, but at around the head high and above range the extra wave power coupled with the extra volume of the board makes more snappy turns increasingly difficult - there's much more muscling necessary unless your back foot is in the absolute perfect position. It's the tradeoff I guess - pogo stick supreme for smaller waves or go less volume and have a better allrounder that struggles more in smaller waves. I'm absolutely happy with my choice as I have a bunch of boards that excel in shoulder high+ waves.

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    • #3
      I totally agree - the Dom will have the majority of my sessions covered quite well. The bigger question I'm facing is what to do for the super small stuff (1-3 and more crumbly). Loving the Dom so much that a 5'6 Potatonator seems in order, but the Baked Potato is looking rather tempting as well; I'd just rather not ride something that's 5'2 haha given my height.

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      • #4
        To be honest i don't find a pressing need for a board to cover a wave range below what the Dom covers. I find I use my Dom when other people are pulling out their Sweet Potatos, and I have a longboard for when the waves are itty bitty tiny. When it's so small I use the longboard I don't see anyone out on their Sweet Potato's - most people just call it a "no surfing" day! So I figure the Dom at the volume I have covers much the same ground as a SP (or BP). Sure, it may go a tad slower, but it surfs in a way I prefer. As an EG I was surfing Bondi Saturday morning on my Dom in 1 foot waves (knee to waist high). Indeed, I'll be surfing those conditions pretty much all this week based on forecasts. Pretty much everyone else was surfing on a mal or mid-length. True enough I avoided the smaller waves but the Dom was getting me into the waves absolutely fine, and apart from the most crumbly gutless wimpy ones I could turn ok (for me) too.

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        • #5
          Ok thanks buzzy that makes a lot of sense. I'm really confident in my groveling abilities, so I'll have to do more testing with the Dom when it's in the 1-3 range. Trust me, I'd rather buy an extra set of fins for the smaller days instead of another board @ $700 :)

          The SP just looks like a super fun "new experience" surfing, so I'll try to demo one to see what all the fuss is about. To be fair, it would probably make sense for me to first get a great board for head high- 1.5X overhead and then move onto fine tuning my super grovelers
          Last edited by ScottyDanger; 01-07-2013, 10:51 AM.

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          • #6
            It is lots of fun indeed!!.The speed you can get out of it is quite something,and the fact that is so compact makes it fit anywhere on any wave

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            • #7
              Yeah I thought my last stub nose board was quick out of the gates especially with the addition of the Controllers, but the Dom definitely accelerates more quickly out of the gate - really cool and inspiring feeling haha.

              iggy - quick question. Looks like you have a 5'8 Potatonator and 5'8 Spitfire - do you find that the Potatonator seems to cover a lot of the Spitfire's ground?

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              • #8
                i ride both of those boards and there is a definite difference in performance between the Spitfire and the Potatonator, especially if they are being ridden in the same length. The tails of the Dom/Spit make precise turning easier and improve pivot control at higher speeds. There is definitely overlap, but there are very real benefits to the Potatonator in smaller surf and the Dom/Spit in bigger surf.

                Cheers

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                • #9
                  Thanks Chris, good info man. What is the wave range where you usually end up leaving the Potatonator in the car and grabbing the Dom?

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                  • #10
                    Ok, review of the Futures YU-4 quad setup. I thought I would try the smallest quad set that Futures makes for the hell of it, and it was . . . a mistake haha. I left the nubster in, but I ended up with a board that was way too loose and really lacking drive. The Rusty's really launched me out of turns and gave me a lot of confidence whereas the YU-4's made me feel like I was surfing a boogie board. I still caught a bunch of waves, but I felt like all of my focus was on not sliding out, and I was surfing really conservatively.

                    The waves were pretty mushy and lumpy this time - only around waist high with the odd shoulder high crossed-up peak. The only good thing about this session was that it made me realize that I really do want a hardcore groveler for conditions like this. I'd be confident on the Dom in clean waist high hollow surf, but I'm sure that I would have had a field day on something like a Baked Potato

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ScottyDanger View Post
                      Yeah I thought my last stub nose board was quick out of the gates especially with the addition of the Controllers, but the Dom definitely accelerates more quickly out of the gate - really cool and inspiring feeling haha.

                      iggy - quick question. Looks like you have a 5'8 Potatonator and 5'8 Spitfire - do you find that the Potatonator seems to cover a lot of the Spitfire's ground?
                      Hey Scotty sorry for the delay. Indeed they overlap quite a bit but since the waves we get most of the time are towards the weak side, I personally like better the Pnator. I find way the volume is distributed helps tons while paddling but does not get in the way once on the wave. I still have my spit (for the moment) but the pnator and the sweet get most of the time (for my local conditions)

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                      • #12
                        Ok nice, that makes sense. Thanks for weighing in!

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                        • #13
                          Careful Scotty. The Dom will ruin you for all other boards from here on out.

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                          • #14
                            I agree csarqui haha, but I'm still drooling over the potatonator. Surfed the Dom 4 times last week with some new fin configurations.

                            SA3 fronts and Controller rears: Really fun setup - frictionless is the word that I would use to describe it. However, the strange thing is that it felt unusually slow out of the gates. When I used the Rusty Quad setup with nubster, I felt like I was flying into waves (even smaller waist high ones). I also noticed wayyy more drive. With each pump, I would just feel this crazy thrust. The SA3 / Controller setup took a while to get going, but once it was up to speed, I got that "mind surfing" sensation. You know, where you think of doing something and then a millisecond later you are actually doing it. To be fair, I should have thrown a nubster in there to make the comparison totally fair.

                            Stretch SA4: Couldn't bond with them. Not bad, but for some reason I felt a bit unstable on them (mainly at take off through my first turn). Then, I would settle in. Had some nice carves once I was settled (they held through cutbacks better for me than the SA3 / Controller setup - less tail drift). Still, the SA4 set almost made the board a bit twitchy, and I don't feel the need to try them again after really bonding with the Rusty 5 fin.

                            SA3 Thruster: Total wildcard. I knew that they would be way too big for me, but wanted to switch it up. Once up to speed, these felt soo good for carving. Again, I think it was more of the "thruster feeling" in general that was nice. While a bit slower than the various quad setups, it's not like I really missed any crucial sections or got left behind. I just felt sooo locked in carving. Even though it was nice to have that extra pivot point for snaps, I felt that the fins were just to big and were taking longer than I wanted to turn up the face (they did, however, feel very solid, which was welcome after a year of riding quads).

                            So, I'm buying the Rusty 5 fin set and will probably use it a decent amount as a thruster (maybe I will put a smaller trailer in). I'm also thinking of scooping up the Solus as well, since that last session really got me thinking about thrusters again. I know - I need help haha

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                            • #15
                              I shelved my Dominator for a while after I purchased a Sweet Potato. It was a good fresh challenge and I think I wrapped my head around it. After 2 months I took the Dominator out again in 2ft surf. It caught waves easier, generated enough speed, and I was able to go straight up into the lip with just a thought. Sold the Sweet Potato.

                              I love my Rusty 5 fin set. It's still my favorite.

                              Let me know how that Potatonator goes if you get one.

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