My limited experience is that Nuggets roll sluggishly in and out of turns and tend to maintain a constant speed whereas Doms have a nice crisp turn and pump up to speed very quickly as well as accelerating instantaneously to match variations in the waves speed and steepness. In short, a much more responsive and rewarding board.
As a stocky guy I was pushed in the direction of the nuggets in the mid to late 90's as there wasn't really any other alternative except longboards, mini-mals and of course the wafer thin banana short boards. I've owned three since, and currently have a single fin McCoy nugget in the quiver (6'6" x 20" x 2.75"). I also have a 6'4" Dom. I did surf McCoys in the late 70's and early 80's as well.
Piha is right that nuggets are sluggish in slow waves. They have a rolled bottom that seems to "stick" to waves when they have no power. But when the wave is hollow the boards come alive. Frankly, I think a McCoy is looser in the pocket than a Dom when the wave has some power, but I do ride the Dom with large fins, and its a marginal difference. The nuggets are infinitely heavier than a Dom, and offer much less drive out of turns. With a Dom you are much more capable of generating drive for yourself when the wave offers little of itself. Having said that, I'd expect an El Fuego, for instance, would be even better at generating its own drive in small waves because of its slightly flatter rocker and more nose width. The nugget will get you into the wave slightly earlier and probably take late drops a tad better because of its greater nose rocker. However, once in the wave the Dom will get you about with much more verve and enthusiasm.
I demoed a Surftech Nugget once quite a few years ago. I didn't think the tech suited the Nuggets. They sat too high in the water and the rolly polly'ness mentioned by Piha was accentuated for me in that tech.
What would I ride between the two? I love my McCoy but it is sitting under the roof and I have't surfed it since October of last year. I keep it more for sentimental reasons that anything. I surf the Dom at least 2-3 days a week on average. It's my "go to" board. I think it offers the main benefits of the Nugget but adds the benefits of lightness, the firewire construction technology and modern bottom contours (albeit fairly subtle). The Dom will fit one or two extra manouvres in per wave, mainly because of the extra drive out of turns, and the lightness of the board.
Hi Terry, I, like buzzy, have also ridden McCoy Nuggets before getting on the Firewires. I have a 6'6 All Round and a 6'4 Potbelly, both fibreglass boards. I agree with everything buzzy has to say, especially on the surftech nuggets. The weight of a poly Nugget is what makes them in my opinion. They definitely gather a bit of momentum which helps propel you into your next turn, manouver etc. I think you would find the lighter tufflite construction doesn't lend itself to that sort of feel as much. I really love the volume and ease of paddling the nuggets offer, and your wave count definitely goes up. Having said all that, I'm loving riding my Fireiwres now (6'8 Dom and a 6'5 El Fuego). Both these boards are a size larger than recommended from the volume calculator, but I'm not having any trouble riding them. I think the Dominator is a sporty nugget that is more than capable in a bit of size so you can't go too far wrong with one.
I've ridden tufflite boards before and IMO Firewire have progressed beyond that construction. Tufflites tend to skip around and be tough to get the rail in the water in my experience whereas Firewires have the same lightness about them, but surf a little heavier (similar to traditional surfboards) if that makes sense. Anyway, I'm rambling but the Dominator is a great shape and I would highly recommend.
I have written this in the Addvance section, but basically I am 55 years old,75 kilos and ride mosty HP longboards,logs and a 6'10" Surftech hybrid fish (Soulfish ) that is coming to the end of its life. It has had a good one going to Bali a fair bit. I surf most days and am looking to replace the fish. I am thinking a 6'10" Addvance seems like the go, but a Dom or that new Activator also look good. Thanks again for your well thought out and expressed answer.
are you looking to keep the volume of your board way up? At your weight you could certainly afford to go smaller. Keep in mind, the dominator has a different rocker profile in comparison to what I believe the soul fish is. The result will be a board that feels a little long. I think but the time you reach a 604 or 606, the added length and volume of the Dom will begin to really work against you.
More ideal, would be considering the maybe the 604....
If length and volume are your primary objectives, then perhaps the addvance might be good? you would get tons of float and performance out of both the 606 and 610.
Hi Terry, my comments on the Nugget were based on a couple of waves in small, weak but clean surf. I swapped boards out in the surf with a visiting Aussie surfer one day because I was intrigued with the McCoy design philosophy. It was PU/PE construction and I obviously had it in the wrong conditions. However, most of us , most of the time, only get to surf in various iterations of "wrong conditions"! Its part of what makes epic days so EPIC and keeps us in the hunt. I went [on Nevs advice] from a 6/10 JC surftech @ 39ltrs to a 6/2 Dom @ 38ltrs. I found that the Dom paddled just as well but once I had adjusted to the 8 in reduction in length, the Dom was a vastly superior performer, in fact the most fun board I had ever owned. Bear in mind I am a geriatric surfer [61yrs in June, and weigh 82 Kgs] but still competent [2nd in the NZ Nationals this year, over 60s division] Don't go too big with the Dom, it is a great paddler and quite stable on takeoff and on a wave, but then comes alive when you get your back foot back and crank it up on the rail. I have persuaded 9 surfers onto Dom's so far and they all love them and use them as their everyday drivers.
Thanks Piha. Your comments are very welcome and inspirational indeed. It would be a huge leap of faith to go from a 6'10" @ about 45 litres down to a much smaller board, but your post has certainly given me food for thought.
I was riding 6-7's and 6-9's PU boards, My 6-4 Dom cleared them out of the quiver, for head high waves. The 6-4 Hellfire took out the 6-10 and the 7-0 for x1.5 overhead.. I dont chase waves any larger any more, shoulders are bad I cannot handle duckdiving / ragdolling anything larger.
Hey Terry, leave the "leaps of faith to me, I'm a Pastor!" But b4 you commit to any thing else, do yourself a favour and demo a Dom, even if it's 6/4 or 6/6. Dan Mann has produced an exceptional board that maximizes gains and minimizes the losses in a remarkable way for a user friendly, versatile design.
Hi terry, just to put it out there have a look at the potatonator (plenty of info on the forum). They have the genes of a dom and pack plenty of volume. Off hand I think that you would get a higher perfoming package than the addvance......have a chat to cuttlefish he has ridden both and is a big unit. They also pack more volume than a dom.