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  • Hellfire Board Review

    I bought my 5'8 Hellfire back in april of 2011, since than I have surfed the board every day 2-4 times a day and it has 1 small little ding on the rail that I fixed and cant even feel it now. Amazed at how well the board is holding up but Im still more amazed at how the thing works, I wrote a review on the old forums where I tried to spew everyone with the froth I was emitting, but I think with a new forum now and an all new level of froth, its time for a new review.

    What can I say, the board is magic. Improved my surfing so much, took me from struggling to do a cut back to starting to land airs. The board Overall and like people say does love good waves, the better the waves the better the board performs, so if your lucky enough to get in perfect surf than you will be stunned at how good this thing goes. I surfed a right point down here in CR a couple times this last year when it was epic and to say it was amazing is an understatement. The board flew down the line clearing sections effortlessly getting faster every pump allowing a wave that would normally be a freight train to be a nice open wall, a canvas to draw lines on, times that will not be forgotten. the waves during one of the swells were solid 12 ft + with occasional 15+ faces and the board handled it like a champ, got the first wave of the swell at 4 50 in the morning and it was a solid 12 footer where I took off and just had to race the thing for 400 yards, couldnt slow down the whole time. I reached speeds I don't think I will ever reach again to be honest, speeds that make everything into a blur and make gravity be null, at the top of my pump I would at times hover off the board. Did my first air, landed my first layback, gotten the best barrels of my life, gotten the best waves of my life and ridden the biggest waves of my life all on this board, I will admit I have a love affair with her, she is a thing of beuty and she allows me to do things that without her, I could not.

    Thruster
    Thruster set up is my preferred setup for this board but that is not to say that with 4 fins the board doesn't work, ohh does it ever work but I will get to that later. I ride the board with K3 fins and for fast punchy beach break it works great, the board generates speed very easily and can be put on rail by simply thinking about it and with the hold of the center fin it really allows you to manage that speed however you please to. The smaller center fin that the K3's have really gives the board a nice amount of release but without taking away from its ability to draw a line due to the raked back front fins so all in all the board can do anything you want, wether it be a grab rail cutback or a a big tail blow the fins complement the board in a way that it allows it to do both. I rode this board also with H3-Nexus fins which I no longer own due to a some dude that snaked me when I was getting shacked but those fins were great as well, they liked to draw longer lines so they preferred point breaks and in them they thrived. So much speed and a nice blend of looseness and hold, the high amount of flex and tech put into the fins really give a nice whipping sensation coming out of some turns, which when combined with the extreme double concave running the length of the board allow you to carve a wave as if it were a warm stick of butter. Thruster setup as a whole on this board is bulletproof, when the waves allow, you can generate so much speed in such a short distance, can do gouging bottom and top turns, full rail cutbacks and every power hack in the book. The wider tail and wider general outline of the board also give it a nice amount of release so if you want to release the fins or get airborn its not like you have to push the board harder to get it to release you simply have to think about it and badda bing badda boom, next thing you know you will be doing slob grab inverted full rotation reverses. No. Not really. But the board does perform at a very high level without loosing the ability to draw a nice line or grovel when the waves get a bit weak, however, it does grovel better as a quad.

    Quad
    Quad setup...its a tricky one. I think depending on what fins you use and what the waves are like might make or break the Hellfire as a quad. Ive tried multiple setups on my board as quad, out of them all I only liked the feel of one; The back fins have mostly always remained the same, they are a very small template flat foil back fin that is substantially upright allowing for there to be some release and pivot in the board. As for front fins Ive tried it with H3 Nexus fronts and K3 fronts, as well as using the whole stretch quad setup a couple of times. Hands down the best was the H3 nexus fronts with the small trailers. I rode that setup during the big point break swell when it was solid 12 ft because at times when I was flying down the line as thruster I felt like I couldn't get enough drive or as if I was lacking a bit of fin, so I slapped that setup in and...game over. It was everything good about a quad setup with none of the drawbacks, I never blew my fins out when I was bottom turning, didn't have issues putting it on rail and most importantly when I was reaching light speed the board didn't feel like it was out of control. Quads are great for some things, they are great when the waves are small and mushy and your struggling to get speed, they are good for doing skatey turns and they are epic for getting barreled but personally I do not like how unpredictable they are. Can be flying down the line and go to bottom turn and all of a sudden blow all 4 fins out, or go up to the top to do a nice turn and try and bring the board back around but somewhere along the way you end up going back over the falls watching your board fly out the back since it didn't quite agree with you on the turn that you wanted to do. Go up to do an air or a tail waft and you can't get any release, go out to do a cutback and boom all of a sudden your doing a nose pick, quads work for some people, they worked for me at a certain point in time but due to having lost my favorite front fins and not being able to find an adequate replacement I do ride quad much anymore. If you only have a hellfire and you want to grovel on it I will suggest you go and find yourself a pair of H3 Nexus fins, if its too much of a wallet breaker than just settle for something similar that is very upright and has a elliptical template with a flight foil on the inside, pair that with 2 small flat foiled trailer fins and you will lower the bar in terms of what your hellfire can surf by about 3 feet.

  • #2
    Overall
    Nev is an evil mad scientist that is secretly scheming to make everyone surf more so that people work less and eventually the economy crashes, and its working! If there is a one board quiver in the Firewire line it is the Hellfire for sure, it will allow you to surf waves between 5 and 10 foot like you never thought you could, will grovel when needed and if you take it out into 12 ft+ than you better be ready because this little rocket ship flies when the waves get big. Sure there are better board for when its one foot or when its 12 foot but the fact is that Ive never ridden a board that collectively handles them all so well. The board is not a conventional shortboard but it surfs like one, its not a retro fish but it paddles like one and its not a step up but when you need it to be, it can be one. The board itself takes some getting used to, as one would expect with a board so unique it does not surf the way other boards surf, in order to get the most out of it you need to adjust a bit from just stomping on your front foot and driving down the line. It all about the back foot with the hellfire, and no that does not mean take off and stomp so hard on the tail that you come to a dead stop, it means that you use your front foot to help drive when you need to but as soon as you are going to do a turn you need to push hard off your back foot through your bottom turn and all the way through your maneuver, be it a cutty or a hack, keep the pressure on the back foot. It hard to describe but if you are having any trouble surfing your hellfire and are not getting the same feedback as everything mentioned above than take this into consideration next time you surf it, make a mental note of which foot you favor when surfing the board and adjust accordingly. The board has so many features built into it that allow it to excel in good waves such as the bit of flip in the nose, the board is relatively flat in rocket except maybe the last 5 inches of nose have a good kick in them so that when your free falling into the pit your not going to nose dive. There is a big almost shotgun barrel double concave that runs all the way from the very end of the tail until about where your chest goes with the most severe point being right between the fins and it works beautifully, the rail to rail transitions this board allows for are insane, so effortless and smooth. When combined with the step rail and the added sensitivity that it offers it really makes the board feel alive, you can go straight up into the hook with ease even with the added width in the tail and outline the board surfs like it wants to kill the wave, it has a thirst which can only be satisfied with buckets of spray and its your duty as a Hellfire owner to quench your boards thirst. If this board doesn't make you rip, or at least feel like you rip than you might want to look at your fins or foot placement, hell even your wax, because something must not be right, I am addicted to this board and as soon as it has left my hands you can bet all your money I will be looking to get another one, and than another, and another. Having a Hellfire is like having herpes, once you get one you can never get rid of it. I would recommend this board to anyone and everyone beacuse it really is that epic.
    Nev, I hope you listened to Slater and didn't peak to early because I find it hard to even imagine a board that works better than this in good waves. The only place I see where the board could improve is in the groveling factor so you might have to combine the Hellfire with the Sweet Potato and come out with a.....Hell Potato?
    Lets leave that one on the drawing board.
    Hope my review helped and if anyone has any questions regarding anything Hellfire related do not hesitate to ask!
    Pura Vida

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    • #3
      Wow Chito! That was the best review I have ever read on a surfboard. I have surfed my Hellfire 3-4 times and have not had that experience yet. I am sure it is because I surfed it in 2-3 foot surf and then some closeout storm surf. I must say that it handles late take-offs with ease and was never a problem no matter how late I took off. Cannot wait to feel this board work on my next surf, when the waves are little bigger.

      Brent

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      • #4
        Chito, they should make you a sales rep for Firewire down in Costa Rica!!! That was a awesome review of the Hellfire, especially the comparison to Herpes!!! LOL Gotta agree with you bro, the Hellfire is an unreal board!!

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        • #5
          haha....gross..

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          • #6
            Chito, any chance you can translate that into Futures fins (models) sizes, Rakes and foils

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            • #7
              Yea friz for futures, I don't know 100% but I would say that the AM2 techflex fins would work great with the HF, they have a smaller middle fin allowing for more release and a nice raked back template giving you a nice ability to draw out your turns when you need without taking away from your ability to do fin free maneuvers. Also if you are a smaller, lighter surfer I would say the F4 techflex would be sick, I know they are advertised as small but im 6'2 and 165 pound which puts me in the medium fin range and I ride the F4's in my Spitfire and they are sick, I could see them giving the Hellfire tons of release from smaller waves in the shoulder to head high range.

              As for Quads I do not know much about Futures quad setup but from what I have heard the Stretch quad set goes great with the HF.
              Hope this helps some and good luck with the fin testing, its always fun to switch it up a bit and than when you do find that magic setup all the testing makes you rip that much harder!

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              • #8
                sa4's for us heavier guys

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                • #9
                  sa'3 and sa4's for us heavier guys work predictably everyday...even for lighter guys...this board likes a bit of fin

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                  • #10
                    Check out the new Futures fins! http://www.futuresfins.com/catalog.php
                    Looks like some sick new fins. Yu techflex and Marzo Techflex!!! love stiff fins for the beachies.
                    The AM2 5 fin set got my eye too, could see that and the Hellfire going great as quad.
                    Got my eye on a 5'11 FST Hellrazor with Futures, Already determined that will be my next board. Cant wait to see a vid or hear a testimonial about that stick, looks so sick.

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                    • #11
                      Chito, Hows your spitfire going?

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                      • #12
                        So good that he's selling the HF!

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                        • #13
                          The age old problem of which board is best - I had debated selling my 5'10 Dom as I have the 5'4 SP and buying a 6'2 HF for better days, and my 6'6 for double over head + but I may just hold onto the Dom, such a good board.

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                          • #14
                            can the best board be a reflection of 'state of mind' as well?

                            haaaaa....no seriously.

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                            • #15
                              Last week I got rid of my Hellfire, It was really hard to do but It had to be done. My Spitfire has been going amazing, from waist high burgers to overhead drainers the board can fly through flat sections on the smaller ones but also due to it being so small, on a bigger wave I can really push the thing hard and do nice critical turns on it. My Hellfire was collecting dust, I would only ride it when the waves got big or really hollow and when they would jump up, sometimes I found myself wishing I had a board that was a bit thinner, this is not any bad criticism toward the hellfire or its shape the fact of the matter was that I was trying to surf the board in waves that it was not made for. It is a performance HYBRID. So I sold my 5'8 HF, and my 6'2 old beater Flexfire and now I have my eyes on a 5'11 Hellrazor. I am so beyond excited about this board, the increased rocker with thinned out rails and a more foiled outline while still keeping the width and the concaves sounds like a recipe to success in my book. The fact that felipe toledo was ripping on his HR doesnt make me want to buy one either, did you see what that kid was doing on those bad waves with it? just makes me wonder what good waves will make this board be able to do.

                              I would have to agree with you chris, the state of mind you are in reflects how and what you want to surf, when I got the HF I wanted to to progress out of the place I was in where I couldn't complete a cutback and was bogging and rail digging all over the place. The board did it for me, the board got me so stoked on life and surfing that I wanted to surf everything, from the smallest, sloppiest day of the year to the biggest hollowest day I can handle. So in order for me to be able to ride that I got a spitfire which soon after I realized was starting to take over the Hellfire In my Quiver and now with that gone and a sweet potato soon to be purchased second hand as well as a brand new hellrazor whenever and however I can get my hands on one I will be set to rip any wave that comes my way be it a 1 foot dribbling blown out backwash infested mush burger or a double overhead square sand sucking mutant death barrel.

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