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  • 6'8" dominator review

    I have had my 6'8" for 3 weeks now and it has taken me a while to feel positive about my purchase. I owned a 6'4" dom about 12 months ago and i rode it in good waves and didnt like it, so i sold it. I am 54 yrs old, 6'3" and 100kg. I have been surfing for over 40 years and was once a good surfer, age and lack of fitness has slowed me down but every now and then i can still get it together.
    I was thinking today that the main reason for my lack of enthusiasm for my Firewire's was that i also ride an MR 6'6" flying fish and a 6'10" Simon Anderson Mollusc. Both of these boards are Tuflites and they are both sensational surfboards.
    My first surf on the 6'4" i could not get the drive and speed i get on my MR. Today and yesterday i realised that the dom is meant to be ridden differently than my other boards. I am a very front footed goofy, due to our waves being generally fat and slow, and the right leg being the dominant one, for me at least.
    So i was looking for a board between the 6'6' and the 6'10', i have always loved round pin tails and was drawn again to the dominator outline, and the very generous volume. The 6'8' is heavier than my tuflites which is a good thing for lumps and bumps on waves and strong offshore winds.
    Yesterday i surfed overhead sideshore lefts, with some nice clean inside walls on a left reef. It was my 3rd surf on my 6'8" and there is no doubt it goes fast. I wouldnt say it paddles into waves really easily but it is not bad. I flew along one clean wall and tried to do a mid face carve, but i was steering the board with my front foot and i went over the handle bars. I cant really explain what i did but i know i didnt initiate the turn off the back foot.
    Today i surfed another overhead left reef by myself, and i consciously surfed more off my back foot. The board went great, it paddles into waves very controlled and stable, but comes alive with minimal weight transfer. It bottom turns smoothly with lots of speed and drive. I have not done a turn under the lip yet but i know it will pivot in a nice controlled arc when i get the right wave.

  • #2
    The Dom is definitely a back foot board. I imagine the Addvance or El Fuego would be better bets for front footed surfers.

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    • #3
      Yes, back foot dominant surfers will find it an easy board to ride. It is a very important to be in touch with how you surf before you buy a board, and that is why many surfers talk to a shaper and get a custom made board. I have been down that path and had many custom made boards by great shapers. I have had some excellent PU boards but it is not always a sure thing that a shaper will get it right. Having the wide point further forward i assume will favour the front footed surfer. I have ridden the Dominator a few more times since, and it is definately a keeper. It paddles well and turns beautifully. I would say that volume is the most important factor in choosing a board and i think Firewire offer the best range of surfboards combined with volume calculator, which makes it possible for unsure surfers to get the best match for them. This forum is also a great resource and i have a friend who has just bought an Addvance so i am keen to have a go on it.

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      • #4
        stoked Keith!

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        • #5
          My second random question of the day, but interest to know how you know if you are a front or back foot surfer.

          Coming from skateboarding, surely that means I'll naturally be back footed?

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          • #6
            Interesting random question, i am a goofy skateboarder, maybe thats why i started surfing right foot forward, because i skateboarded before i started surfing. I always thought that having one foot on the skateboard surely if you are right footed wouldnt you put your dominant foot on the board to steer, at the front? Obviously not the case with left foot forwarders. But you get my point? And thats why i am a front foot surfer, my dominant right leg 'steers' the board from the front, but that varies with the type of wave and the turns you are trying to do. The bottom turn for me is initiated with my front foot but cutbacks and reos/carves are backfoot turns. Driving down the line 'pumping' the board would also be a front foot function, 60/40 maybe? surfing well is knowing when to transfer the weight from front to back and vice versa at the right times on the wave. We have all dug rails because we have failed to transfer the weight at the right time. Mark Richards surfed with his back leg bent inwards prominently, to centre his weight over the board and reduce the possibility of the weight being either too far forward or back. It works, anyone can try it while surfing and i think it can improve your surfing, bending your back knee inwards. The other thing to take into account is the type of waves you are riding, if the waves are full and slow you are not going to get very far with most of your weight on the back foot. That is why i had trouble getting a grip on the Dominator (to get back to the subject) 90% of the time i surf slow waves so my immediate thing to do when i stand up is to have more weight forward, too much weight forward on the dom slows it down. When i had a 6'4" dom and sold it i couldnt understand why a mate of mine loved his and didnt find it slow at all, he was a natural footer by the way. The Dom is not a slow board, in fact i would say when ridden well it flies. It just takes a bit of adjusting for me but im stoked i gave it another chance.

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            • #7
              I just know I'm back footed because other surfers tell me I am, plus shapers who've seen me surf/seen the marks I leave the deck. I don't surf exclusively off the back foot though.

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              • #8
                I had to update my review as i have more surfs on my 6'8", i think i have overstated the front foot back foot thing. As i surf it more and get some excellent waves it certainly does not seem to be a big factor. Maybe the most relevant aspect of the board is where on the wave to start your turns. A few times i have tried to do fins out the back reos on a crumbly lip, as i like to do on my swallow tail boards, but i have not been able to come back down the wave as there is so much release in the round tail with no bite for control. A better surfer with good sliding technique could pull it off but at 54 i think im past those sort of moves. So what i have done is just aim for the steep part of the face and start the turn 3/4's of the way up, the hard edge of the round tail grabs just enough to carve a nice smooth top turn and it is possible to pull the board around in a tight arc and then release down the face. As you can probably tell i am loving this board like no other ive had. And the 3/4 turn thing was mentioned at J-Bay during the comp to combat the wind up the face so im not doing anything new, but just doing things on this board i havent done in a long time, Dan Mann is a genius, thanks guys.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the review. Glad to hear you're stoked!

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