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  • Hellfire 6'2 or 6'4?

    Hi Everyone,

    Hoping you might be able to help me with a sizing question, I'm considering getting a Hellfire but am stuck on which one to go for. It would be my only board for the time being, but I might add a Sweet Potato or similar in the future.

    I'm 34, 175lb and been surfing for 5 years. Current standard is at the lower end of intermediate. Realistically only get 30/40 days surfing a year. My last board was a 6'2 x 19 1/2 x 2 3/8, similar shape to a Futura. I really liked it when I was up and surfing but the volume was a bit low for me so I missed a lot of waves and was struggling to make late drops. I'm currently using a 6'3 x 21 1/2 x 2 3/4 Fourth Chilli Bean, but at 38L I find it too much volume and it just feels like a bit of a barge.

    The volume calculator has me on 35L so I think I could go with either the 6'2 (33.7L) or 6'4 (36.7L). Am leaning towards the 6'4 as I live in the UK and the waves often lack power, also figured the extra volume would help me get into the them a bit earlier on the occasions they do have a bit of punch. Having said that I demo'd a 5'10 Potatonator recently which is the same volume and thought it was still maybe a touch too floaty. I can also demo a 5'10 Dom, but not a Hellfire.

    What do you guys think? I'm open to any other suggestions as well.

    Thanks! (and apologies for the long post)

  • #2
    6'2" would be plenty in my opinion.

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    • #3
      I'm 83kgs and ride the 6/4 HF. It is significantly harder to catch waves on than my 6/2 Dom [38ltrs]. Even tho you would be way over foamed on the 6/4 compared to an expert, fit surfer of the same weight, you are in a learning curve where if you are not catching plenty of waves in your restricted surf opportunities then you are not progressing. Bear in mind that the volume of the H/F is mostly in the rear half of the board and the nose is quite refined so it will not have the boaty feel of the P/N once you are up and riding. Also bear in mind that the most prolific posters here are surf nazis who are highly motivated and probably exceptionally fit and therefore ride boards that are closer to pro surfer dimensions ie, highly weight the performance side at the expense of paddle power. I stand ready to be shot down!

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      • #4
        At 175lbs I'd be recommending the 6'2". I reckon at your weight the 6'4" would have a fair amount of excess volume.

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        • #5
          PS I reckon Piha local is 100% right, and you would want more foam. Just my judgement is the 602 should be enough.

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          • #6
            I'm 90kg and have a 6'2 and it has plenty of float for me. I found it harder to paddle at first until I shifted back a little to where the rocker flattened out a bit. Still not as good a paddler as my spitfire or dom but it takes a late drop so well it doesn't matter so much. At 83kg it has to have more than enough buoyancy.

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            • #7
              good feedback everyone. 602 sounds like the right direction considering all the intangibles...

              Thanks!

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              • #8
                Yes - thanks for the input everyone, I'll probably be buying the board this weekend so I'll let you know how I get on!

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                • #9
                  Shot, but not down, yet-----, just a slow bleed out till I finally succumb!

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                  • #10
                    Hey Piha Local, I'm 51, 175 pound intermediate, surf once maybe twice a week. I ride a 5'6 sweet potato in 2-3 foot waves and love it. Tried the 6.0 Hellfire and thought my arms were going to fall off after a couple of hours in 2-4 foot surf. I demoed the 6'4 Hellfire and could catch almost everything I tried for. So I just bought the 6'4 Hellfire and put some Stretch glass quads in. I was surfing 3-5 foot waves today and I caught what I wanted and the board just flew and could turn really quick for me.
                    Did I mention it was fast!...If I didn't pull a cutback, I would easily outrun the wave. Even at 6'4, the board could cutback really fast..Then, I had no problem taking one pump and then I'd be shooting down the line again. I can't wait to surf this board again next weekend!!!!!! Just another happy customer although an older one who went with a little more volume and couldn't be happier! I think the key for us older guys it being able to paddle for 2 1/2 hours and riding as many waves as possible!!! Compared to the Sweet, this board just cuts threw the water and the drops on bigger waves take no effort with the added rocker.... it's also really stable when dropping in.....

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                    • #11
                      Yeah Waxer, thanks for the acknowledgment of my older guy perspective! I do find a really critical drop off point in paddle power and enjoyment of my surfing when I drop down below a certain volume. I tried a 5/4 Sweet Potato and loved the way it rode, but was very aware of starting to fade physically in a competitive lineup at about 1.5 hours. Just not enough waves to feed the addiction! I have just returned from Indo last weds. Surfed very fun Grupuk, [Don-Dons and Insides] at waist to head and a half on my 6/4 Hellfire and had a ball. Prefer it with large thrusters when the waves have power, Quads with knubster when you are looking for power out of the wave. Only surfed my 6/2 Dom once at playgrounds on Nusa Lembongan, Hellfire at Shipwrecks a couple of days till the incoming tide warped the sets into the " think its time to call it quits" range, 6-8ft-plus heavy board breakers! Had a good chat to Glyndin Ringrose, ex World tour guy and Phillip Island shaper, good guy and still surfing extraordinarily well. Heaps of Firewires spotted out in the lineup, always interesting to confirm the positive feedback people have of their boards.

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                      • #12
                        Wow, sound's like you had a great trip!!!
                        What I like about the Hellfire is that the extra volume doesn't bite you on the performance side. Remember, just a few years ago everyone was riding bigger boards and they worked great. Now, firewire is refining the template so you can have both volume and performance so even intermediates and older or larger surfers can still have a great time! Performance means nothing if you're not catching waves!!

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                        • Marklids
                          Marklids commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Amen to that! Thank you Firewire for making boards for surfers other than 5'9" 155lbs guys like most do. My FW, although considered high in volume in this forum, has made me feel the stoke I used to feel back in the day! Hard to enjoy surfing if you're not catching waves....

                      • #13
                        Absolutely, I was on 6/10s and basically looking to move up in length and volume as I aged when Nev talked me into demoing a 6/2 Dom at Currumbin. Nev--er looked back since! I find the HFs speed and looseness can get a bit skittery at times hence my gradual movement towards surfing large thrusters in preference to Quads. They also seem to more naturally surf vertically than the Quads. Loving the Firewires, still look brand-new after a thrashing in Aus, Fiji, Maldives and 2x Indo as well as weekly Piha washing machine sessions. Nxt boards, probably PNator and Hellrazor unless the newbies seduce me with their charms when released 2013.!

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                        • #14
                          Surfed the 6'4 Hellfire as a quad again for the 2nd time this past weekend 3-5 ft. It just keeps getting better! Drop-ins are just so smooth and controlled. The speed is fantastic and the ability to work the board on the wave is getting easier as I'm finding the balance point on the board.
                          Again, I went large on the volume due to age/51 and weight 175 before wetsuit. Note, I surfed for about 2 1/2 hours and the arms felt great! Yes I could have gone for the 6'2 but since I only surf once a week, I've decided to leave the ego in the car and just catch more waves!!! I'm writing this while waiting for the next new swell to arrive in Southern Calif. I'm looking forward to those Winter swells!

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                          • #15
                            yeah waxer!! stoked on the positive feedback.

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