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  • Mini driver, unibrow or hellfire?

    Hi there,

    I am close to ordering my first Firewire board but would appreciate some advice.

    Currently own a 6ft CI motorboat too (selling as was fine in costa rica in good waves and no wetsuit but just that bit too hard to paddle now back in u.k in more difficult conditions( wind/chop/extra weight of winter wetsuit).

    I already own a 6'6 black and white quad fish and longboard but want something to replace the motorboat too that will work for me once waves are too big for the fish (I find it too difficult to duckdive when waves are bigger than chest high which will have something to do with my skill and also I feel I want something that has more rocker when waves are steeper- the motorboat too feels feels much better at this for me)

    I also want the board to be also versatile so it will work well in all condtions whether that be onshore mush or glassy.

    I am 6ft2, 85kg- 33 years old in good shape, generally only surf a couple of times a month (unless on holiday) but physically fit as am a triathlete and swim 2-3 times a week. Probably class myself as an intermediate/ low intermediate.

    I was thinking about either the new unibrow, mini driver or hellfire but it would good to hear what people thoughts are which would be a good option and sizing ?

    Thanks

    Russ

  • #2
    I think a 6'2 MD might be the ticket. I had a go of a Goanna's (another guy on here) and while it was not what I was looking for it was a nice board that turned nicely and easily and should be easy for an intermediate to handle and progress on and paddled in to waves easily enough. The Hellfire, which I love is another option, but I think the MD might be easier to manage. The HF is very quick and turns rather radically - it might be too much, it can get skatey at times. I have no experience with the Unibrow.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm 87kg and have the 6'2" MD
      I am amazed at the range I can surf it from - 2ft - 6ft no worries
      yes the Potatonator handles the 1.5ft/2ft better but if the wave has a bit of push the MD is also capable from 2ft upwards.
      If you could only take one board then it is the best "All rounder" I have found so far.

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      • #4
        Hey Russ,
        Sorry to throw another option out there but I recon the 62 stealth would be just what you are looking for.

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        • #5
          Russ,
          Just read your post again. If you class yourself as an intermediate/low intermediate I would definately be going for the stealth or unibrow. The reasons being are that these boards have a slightly wider tail like the motorboat so will give you more speed on take off than the MD or HF to get you into turns. They will also allow you to maintain that speed to generate drive through your turns better than the HF or MD. I'm not sure where you tend to surf in the UK but I mostly surf north coast of devon or cornwall and sometimes south wales. I have a small wave board (510 dominator) and a step up board (alternator 64) for when it gets over head and a half high to double overhead (my limit :) i would class myself as an intermediate (cutbacks, floaters, reo's, small off the lips).
          I too am 6ft2 and own a stealth 62 and hellfire 60. The hellfire I find to be a bit twitchy and I think it wants to be surfed on the rail more than my ability allows so it is going to have to go. The 62 stealth is a magic board - so fast! (when it is set up as a thruster it is faster than my dominator 510 as a quad which I never thought was possible!). I can't speak for the minidriver but I have read a few people on the forum saying that they had struggled with it when paddling. My stealth on the other hand paddles very well indeed for 34L and goes well for me in anything from shoulder high to head and a half. At 75kg and trying to push beyond intermediate however I just wish it had a bit of a thinner tail. I have a mate who like you is 85kg and that little extra weight allows him to sink the tail a little better and he absolutely loves it in anything from waist to double overhead.

          I think the 62 stealth or 61/62 unibrow would go amazingly well for you.

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          • #6
            Thanks for for the advice everyone , really helpful..... Hadn't even considered the stealth but looking at it could definately be of interest! Looking at a few other reviews seems to suit what I am looking for. Also looks like the unibrow is going to be on a similiar style board but so new not much info out there on it. Yeah usually surf north devon when I get a chance but also want the board to work well when going abroad as well. Obviously there is always going to be a compromise on certain aspects but trying to get something that will be as allround as possible.

            Will deffo give the hellfire a miss given peoples comments, agreed unibrow or stealth seems like be the ones thinking about.

            Thanks

            Russ

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            • #7
              Where are you based Russ?
              I'm heading to North Devon tomorrow for a surf.
              If you are around you could have a look at 62 stealth as it will definately be in the car.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the offer but based in SW london so a bit tricky. Was down there on tuesday!!

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                • #9
                  Heard Tuesday was epic and not as cold as its going to be tomorrow! Used to work in Ealing now in Reading so know what it's like to commute to the waves too.

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                  • #10
                    Ok, so this is how I'm now conceptualising the Mini Driver vs Unibrow thing.

                    Both are "step ups" from a Hybrid/performance hybrid like the Dom or Spitfire.

                    The MiniDriver is closer to a traditional short board in performance, and indeed could be a HPSB replacement. It is a fair step up from a Dom. It works when waves have some push but anecdotal feedback to date is it paddles disappointingly (albeit better than a HPSB).

                    The Unibrow is a small step up from the Dominator, and is more comfortable in the shoulder to 1.5x overhead range. To a large degree it brings just a touch more "performance" to waves that suit the Dom. Arguably it's a Dom replacement for better surfers. Its wider tail will see it struggle to hold in amongst bigger than 1.5X overheard waves. There is no feedback to date on its paddle ability.

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                    • #11
                      Where"s the Hellfire fall Buzzy, what would say is the max wave height and how does it handle hollow waves?

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                      • #12
                        That sounds like a good summary Buzzy. The only thing that I would add is that when I looked at the Unibrow up close and personal, it does not resemble a Dominator, except for the round tail. The wide point is significantly below center of the board and the double concave is extreme. I don't think that it would feel familiar under foot after surfing the Dominator. It's basically a Hellfire with a round tail.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RobinL View Post
                          Heard Tuesday was epic and not as cold as its going to be tomorrow! Used to work in Ealing now in Reading so know what it's like to commute to the waves too.
                          I'm not sure. It looks like it would work as a tiny step up from a Spit and as a great grovel board for a good surfer. I've heard Chris saying though that for some people it works great in 2x overhead, better for some in those conditions than a Hellrazor, while others relate it is very skatey. For me it's just a board that doesn't speak to me. I'd be looking at a Unibrow over a Hellfire.

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                          • #14
                            I've got to disagree about it not being a good paddler. Considering it's a lower volume and shorter length board I think it paddles better than would be expected. It's never going to paddle like a dominator which would have about 6 or 7 litres more volume in a similar length.
                            I just wish it had a little more tail rocker...

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                            • #15
                              Yeah I'm just summarising my perceptions of feedback. I have no personal experience. I'm trying to pick between the two as a "next step up" from the Dom with me really looking for the board to cut in at around chest high and cut out at 1.5x overhead. It sounds like either would work with the Unibrow better in below head high and the Mini Driver better above head high. I personally really need to hear more on the Unibrow though.

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