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  • Dominator vs Spitfire vs El Fuego vs Potatonator, need advice!!

    OK guys, I am considering dramatically shrinking my quiver by selling at least 6 of my boards and picking up 3 firewires.

    Here is where I am at:

    I weigh about 190 lbs, 5' 10", 42 and am an intermediate surfer that needs all the help I can get paddling and getting into waves (have short arms and my fitness isn't what it once was). I get out 1 or if I am lucky 2 times a week and surf South OC, from T-Street, Cottons, uppers, lowers, middles, church and some San-O. I want to change my quiver so I have less boards, but smarter and more purposeful.

    Here are the boards I currently own:

    1. 6'3" Griffin 5 fin ModFish (really fun and great backside board, but if you put a slight bit of too much pressure on front, pearl city, my #2 board)
    2. 6'4" Gary Hanel Quad Fish (tons of volume, really fast and fun, but it is very heavy which limits my turning ability on face)
    3. 6'5" Stretch F4 quad-epoxy (probably my favorite board right now, super fast, easier to catch waves than one would think based on dems, my go to). 6' 5" x 19.5" x 2.63". 33ml volume (that seems low)
    4. 6'6" Merrick Red Beauty (I thought this would be my favorite, but I love my stretch so much more, I am selling it, just doesn't suit me for some reason)
    5. 6'7" Merrick Flyer only 2 1/2" thick, 19 1/2" wide. (Its a good step up board, but still not my favorite, guess I prefer speed of the quads?)
    6. 6'10" Retro Twin Fish (I thought this would be the board to take to long board spots, but it is really boring, sucks backside, just really not a fan)
    7. 7'9" Infinity Secret Weapon quad-epoxy (was hoping this would be a good a good alternative to 9'+ longboard, and it is, but it still just has way to much volume and weight.
    8. 9' long board tri-fin (hate longboards, for sale)

    I already have a 5'10" sweet potato on order for Small days EVERYWHERE

    Strongly considering getting a 7'6" AddVance to replace boards 6, 7, and 8. For CHURCH and SanO

    Want to order a Dom, Spit, EF or Potatonator to replace boards 3, 4, and 5. For CHURCH, MIDDLES, Lowers, Uppers and T. Any one of these 4 boards should be pretty similar in performance to boards 3,4,5 they would replace and be shorter while also having more volume. I don't need a ton of rocker, and with having a sweet potato, Griffin Mod Fish and a Hanel Quad Fish already, this would be my "high performance board", even though I am not a super vertical or agro surfer.

    Here are my initial thoughts. Would like something that has pretty good performace, has good volume and gets into waves easier than boards 3,4,5.

    Potatonator-probably not a ton different than my sweet potato, and not a "high (enough) performance" board to be the only one in my quiver. probably less fin configurations since it sounds like it is only to be used as a quad. or a quad + 1. 6' or 6'2" (40-44 L)

    Dominator-seems to have a lot of volume and pretty good performer as well. could be used as 3/4/5 fin. 6'4" or 6'6" (40-45 L)

    Spitfire-sounds like the volume and rocker are same as Dominator, but more high performance rear rails to make it perform better. could be used as 3/4/5 fin. 6'4" or 6'6" (41.5 to 45 L)

    El Fuego-wouldn't get the swallow, but not sure what the big difference would be between this board and the Dominator or the Spitfire. Anyone can give me some help? 6'3" to 6'5" (40 to 45 L)

    Could even get the lost Sub-Scorcher in 6'4" and 40 L

    Can anyone give me opinion on my situation and what the advantages would be of each of these 4 or 5 boards? I am leaning towards the Spitfire since it sounds a little more high performance and mostly using it as a quad to replace my Stretch F4, and maybe have the ability to use it on bigger days as a Thruster to replace my 2 Merricks.

    I plan on keeping at least my Hanel Quad and Griffin ModFish, and getting rid of the rest and getting the 3 firewires, so I only have a total of 5 boards instead of 8.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Right on the the first two choices, although the Addvance might be a bit too much volume and might feel slugish.Maybe the 7'0"?
    The potatonator will be much more refined than the potato, but it might overlap a bit so I think either the Dominator or the Spitfire would be good choices. Think of the Spit as a high performance dominator, definitely a keeper. I would personally go for the 6'4" on either

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Barney, yes the 7'6 ADDvance will be too much volume for you. I'd say 7'2.

      I think the El Feugo has a very flat rocker compared to a Dom. You can use the Board Compare feature on the website for a good comparison.

      I'll let others comment on the rest, but Nev has a good comparison on a few boards in the old forum. It would be good if that could be reposted here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yup, the 7'2"on the addvance, sorry but it was 3am after work when gettin here!!.

        Comment


        • #5
          http://www.firewiresurfboards.com/f/...l-Fuego-Futura

          give this a read

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies guys!

            Regarding the AddVance, I am just looking for something with as much volume as possible without riding a long board. This is so when I go to SanO and have to surf next to the guys on 9-10 foot long boards, I at least have a chance. It really is to replace my infinity secret weapon which is 7'9" and almost 4" thick, and it is super heavy. The AddVance for me will be just to cruise and catch waves, not to be used how most others use it in replacement of a shortboard.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow, great read, wish that article was there last night. I am starting to lean El Fuego, that style is a lot how I surf. Right now my go to board is my Stretch F4. Probably because I do typically surf down the line and like the fact that you can put some wt on ur forefoot and get it moving, but at the came time have more manueverabilty than a traditional fish. The way Nev described his style is exactly what I tend to do based on my style and the waves I surf (perhaps the dominator would be the better Salt Creek or even Cottons or beach break board, but that is probably only 5-10% of my surfing).

              Great write up

              Originally posted by prjwebb View Post

              Comment


              • #8
                Barney,

                I suggest that the ideal three board quiver is the Sweet Potato you ordered, a 6'4" Dom and a 6'6" hellfire. I have the same three boards and feel that it covers everything that SoCal surf throws at me. I am considering a Potatonator in the future, but it will probably overlap considerably with the Dom and SP.

                I've never taken a liking to Fish.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, I pulled the trigger. May have blown it, but we shall see. I was reading Nevs review of the El Fuego vs Dom vs Spitfire, and came to the conclusion that the El Fuego in a 6'3" is what I should be looking for, based on the fact that I am a little bit more of a front foot surfer and tend to flow vs get super vertical, etc...

                  Today, I threw 5 of my boards on Craigslist (just too many boards and I am trying to be more reasonable, so my goal is to go from 8 boards to 4 or 5). When I had a spare few minutes, I decided to do a statewide seach on CL for firewires. Sure enough a 6'4" Spitfire came up in my area. No other Dominator, Spitfire, el fuego or potatonator came up in a size I was close to looking for in ALL OF CALIFORNIA. So I figured I better go check it out. I ended up paying $450 for it with all 5 fins. That was his asking price (why does it seem everytime I sell something on craigslist, everyone wants and expects a significant discount, but whenever I find something I want, the seller wont budge????). Anyway, I really really like the shape. Low rocker (flatter than my Stretch and also Griffin, which might be awesome, since my Griffin seems to DIE when I put too much wt on the front). I was looking at a board to do kind of what my Griffin does but lighter and wont die with putting pressure on the front foot. Judging by the rocker and outline AS WELL AS the volume.....(I happen to find a website in asia that still lists the Griffin 5 fin modfish FireWire and the dimensions, and it looks like my Rapidfire volume is going to be very very similar to my Modfish, which I liked being able to get into waves with). I am thinking this is the board that will be just perfect for me and with the volume and optional fin set up I really think it will. One of my big reasons to get rid of so many of my boards is that I have that thing whenever I surf where I am out in the lineup and I think "Crap, maybe I should have brought the XYZ board today instead of this one". I kind of want to go back to how I was as a kid and have less boards but become really familiar with them instead of always learning and wishing I had a different one with me because the waves were slightly different than the report called for.

                  Will take the place of my 6'5" Stretch F4 quad Surftech, 6'3" Griffin 5 fin Modfish PU, 6'6" Al Merrick Red Beauty PU and 6'8" Al Merrick Flyer PU. Maybe Nev is right and the El Fuego would be better for me, but I am crossing my fingers I just found my magic board. Sweet Potato is still on order and a couple weeks away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like how you are reducing your quiver by buying another board before selling any. :)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, I should reduce too, but as long as I don't need to sell a board to fund a new one I tend to hang on to them. I tend to surf 4 boards more than any others though with 2 of them covering pretty much identical conditions. I finished a surf on my Dom today and was seriously contemplating selling my other small wave shortboard, mainly so I'd concentrate on the one board and really get used to it. And then I thought "what do I do if one gets dinged?" I do like to have two small wave boards and two better wave boards just for that reason. But I'll definitely be using the Dom even more, and treat the other as a pure backup.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think the El Fuego and the Spitfire will have a large overlap but hey, you are now saying a 4 board quiver...definitely get yourself onto a hellfire. This things are amazing. I surfed some almost double overhead on mine for the last 2 days and it goes insane. It just does what you want it's loose but if you want to draw long lines it will if you want to hit the lip vertically and then snap it into a cutback it will do it. Full roundhouse etc. etc. it will do it. It can get a bit skatey in large lumpy stuff but once it starts to hollow out it carves on the rail as tightly as you want. It too is pretty versatile and can still surf waist high waves OK that have a bit of shape although that is where your spitfire (or el fuego) would be better.

                        Your next board (4th) must be a hellfire!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lol, I surf double overhead maybe once a year, maybe. It is probably only that big less this a hNd full of times per year in SoCal.

                          My 4 board quiver will be:

                          Sweet potato: small days, and beach break
                          Spitfire: small days to HH+ (not ideal for much overhead, but it isn't that big that much around here)
                          Hanel Quadfish: small days, super fast days. Works in anything point break 1' to HH
                          Addvance 7'6": anytime my buddies want to go longboarding and I can't talk them out of it.

                          No gun needed for where I surf and I don't need a board to go super agro, since that isn't my style.

                          Originally posted by Slowman View Post
                          I think the El Fuego and the Spitfire will have a large overlap but hey, you are now saying a 4 board quiver...definitely get yourself onto a hellfire. This things are amazing. I surfed some almost double overhead on mine for the last 2 days and it goes insane. It just does what you want it's loose but if you want to draw long lines it will if you want to hit the lip vertically and then snap it into a cutback it will do it. Full roundhouse etc. etc. it will do it. It can get a bit skatey in large lumpy stuff but once it starts to hollow out it carves on the rail as tightly as you want. It too is pretty versatile and can still surf waist high waves OK that have a bit of shape although that is where your spitfire (or el fuego) would be better.

                          Your next board (4th) must be a hellfire!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            good looking quiver to me!! Nice and well rounded with a little overlap so you always have a couple of options.

                            CHeers and stoked on the support!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like a fun transition. I too surf the same area and agree with all your insights to your quiver change. Make sure that you read about FST vs. Rapidfire so you know what you are getting into with that. I have bought boards too quick and then realized I should have researched a little more before pulling the trigger.

                              Have fun as it looks like we will be sharing some waves as I surf those same places.

                              Brent

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