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  • step down from a hellfire?

    Hey there everybody! Great feedback and reviews on here! Got my first Firewire (6'4 hellfire) a couple weeks ago and I'm STOKED! still getting used to the meat. Guess I'm used to thinner, narrower boards. I find extra meat a bit odd and a lot to handle taking off when critical more so than my extra meat, lol Currently 41 yrs old, surfing 35 yrs, 5'11, 220 lbs, packed on about 40 lbs from being injured, so kinda kooking a wave here and there but moments of glory. The surf in HB has been overhead and unreal since I got my board but already thinking about the next one because this good surf can't last. I'm over logging, and SUP, which is fun but...

    anyway If you had to have one step-down to grovel what would it be?

    I know there isn't one answer so let's hear it! I'm open to hybrids but never really explored that avenue. A bro loaned me a Biscuit for four or so sessions last Summer and I hated it, even with larger fins. The flat turning deal is just, ehhhhh.

    The new models coming out look exciting, but I don't really want to overlap much. I'm past that stage of the 14 board quiver, just too much!

    MAHALOS IN ADVANCE!!!!!!!

  • #2
    Sounds like u should go with a potatonator or a dominator. I love my hf in shoulder to overhead +. The dominator works well for me in solid chest to shoulder. I have a twin fin retro fish for stomach to chest. I'm replacing that with a pnator soon. It sounds like the pnator handles thigh to shoulder well. Many people like the Dom in waist to head. I prefer it in solid sized surf but I think I'm the exception.

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    • #3
      To clarify. I don't surf it as well in smaller weaker surf but I know there are many more experienced surfers who do.

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      • #4
        I don't know how small conditions you are thinking, but for punchy waist plus, or bigger but mushier waves and even in good waves I find the Sub Scorcher to be a really fun board. It still feels like a shortboard and has an extra bit of kick in the rocker compared to over grovellers so you don't have any 'flat turning deal'.
        It's not a full junk waves board, but as a step down it's a lot of fun but if you're after something that will really handle the junky conditions as well then the Potatonator is a good bet and the Spitfire shouldn't be overlooked either.

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        • #5
          I'm using a Spitfire as a step down and find it grovels well enough and I ride it from knee high to shoulder high as a quad. I think the potatonator would also be a good step down board too. I was thinking about a 5'10 or 5'8 but then I'd have too much overlap with the spit, one would have to go.

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          • #6
            Chance'um , HB pier? Pier rat? My Brother Mike Mattison was a peir Rat til he moved to North Shore Oahu about 10 years ago. Anyways, I surfed it alot of HB with him back in the early 1980's. Knowing the waves there asking for a recomendation for a stepdown I would suggest a Dominator, or a the Potatonator for your mushy weak summer and wind waves or inbetween Swells. You might even consider the Meatier "Baked Potato" if you want an edge over most of the longboarders that think they can.

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            • #7
              Yeah, I use a Dom as a groveller, which is great. There'd be a fair amount of crossover between a Dom/Spit and a Hellfire, so I'd suggest a Potatonator instead. The sub scorcher is also a very good non-hybrid suggestion, but it will cross over a lot with the HF.

              I don't think you can avoid going somewhat more hybrid if you want some meaningful differentiation from the HF. I can say I surf the Dom rail to rail and don't find it surfs flat like a true Fish. Hate true fishes of the non-filled variety.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the input guys! yes HB pier, from San Clemente, from Hawaii, guess I'm a mutt. Anyway, still thinking...it's soo hard to grovel these days, not sure if it's physical or mental, probably both! Gonna wait a a depending a few under my and just pull the trigger on a BP, PONR, or SUB, whatever is in stock at the time...

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                • #9
                  or the DOM... I'm really not sure! If it's waist to chest and starts pushing or the tide drops, whatever, would prefer to be on the more performance end of the spectrum. Too many choices, guess that's a good thing...
                  Last edited by Chance'um; 04-16-2012, 11:44 PM. Reason: Forgot

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                  • #10
                    yo cahnce, i have to say, with all the other boards out there and the great shapes, I think some are truly versatile and others are a little more specialized!! The result is, you as the surfer have to decide what you primary objective is. High performance surfing in the better end of the hybrid range size, or all around goodness in small to decent conditions.

                    Do not overlook the fact that the Dominator has been INSANE for us 3 years. I just went back to it after doing a lot of experimenting and am re-hooked again. The board is insane!! worth a consideration amongst other boards!

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                    • #11
                      Yeah I miss my Dominator. Would happily add a 508 back into my quiver instead of the Spitfire. I think the smooth round tail would be beneficial in the smaller stuff and I use my Sub in the punchier stuff making the tweaks of the Spitfire less crucial.
                      The constant curved outline is very appealing.

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                      • #12
                        yeah agreed. I think that is what i like about it!!

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                        • #13
                          cool Chris, I'm leaning towards the Dom. No rush, the surf has been cranking around HB lately...just been riding my hellfire and loving life! Mucho ultra mega mahalos!

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                          • #14
                            Alright, over a year later, and still in love with my Hellfire! Never got a step down, just, never really needed it. HB seems to always to have a section to get shralpy on, even when it sucks. And the hellfire will go in 1-2 foot surf insane if motivated...BUT, Summer is back around and feeling the need AGAIN for a groveller that will still turn. There are just too many killer firewire choices, and no time to demo, plus I feel a design change takes more commitment than a session or two. I've reserved two but am only getting ONE for now.... a 5'7 baked, the 6'2 spit, and if it comes in the next shipment and isn't reserved a 6'0 nater. 99% beach break. Huntington Beach and San Clemente. What are your thoughts? I feel the decision is almost beyond my grasp. Don't want to overlap too much although it's nice to know either will work if the surf starts pushing... BUT want to keep it fun and not so serious all the time... thanks for your imput guys, your knowledge is solid.

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                            • #15
                              All set, thanks to Mark and the boys at Firewire! 6'4 Spitfire and a 9'4 TJ Everyday

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