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  • Why Can't I surf the Spitfire!!!!!??????

    I've been surfing for three years 5 days a week. I'm 45 yo, 6'3", 205 lbs. (95 kl). I love my 6'8" alternator and will continue to surf it in head high and above but i thought i'd try other boards for our crumblier and smaller days like everyone suggests. (thanks NEV!). I have surfed my 6'4" spitfire maybe 10 times (not in a row) and it feels really unstable side to side on the pop up (like it's not sure which direction i'm going) and when i stand up on it in steep sections sometimes it just squirts out from under me as i get to my feet or when i do have control on smaller waves i feel like i'm standing on a shoebox that doesn't want to carve for me.

    I hear great things about the spit on this forum and am wondering if i am the wrong skill level or just surfing the wrong waves for this board. I also have a 6'6" hellfire which fells better once i'm up and riding but also a little less stable on the pop up than the 6'8" alternator.

    Does the spit (and to a lesser degree the hellfire) require a better surfer? or am i just in the wrong waves for this board. i have two clips of my local break if it helps. these are both the size i would have tried the Spitfire with horrible results and the hellfire with ok results. I'm considering just surfing the Alternator down to 2' then going longboard if i can't get this figured out!

    comments?

    my break / not me / avg height / typical conditions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY7N-keHxQg

    my break / not me / average height / above average conditions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Nt9_T5FOI
    Last edited by scott; 01-10-2013, 01:44 PM.

  • #2
    Without seeing you surf it its hard to say. Those waves look fun though!
    I'd say with the Spitfire go with a fairly stocky stance and make sure your back foot is over the rear fin.
    What fins have you been using by the way?

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks PRJ.

      i wish i had footage. i'm going to get into that soon. a friend did mention that i should spread my feet out further on that board so i'll try that. thanks. my back foot is def all the way back. not intentionally but because the thing feels like it's off and running before i know it and i barely get on it in time. i know one person who surfs it and loves it and says he finds himself getting up as early as possible on it so i could try that too. i'm surfing the simon anderson 5-fin future set. usually as a thruster but have tried the quad too.

      do you think it's just more difficult to surf faster, looser boards?


      Originally posted by prjwebb View Post
      Without seeing you surf it its hard to say. Those waves look fun though!
      I'd say with the Spitfire go with a fairly stocky stance and make sure your back foot is over the rear fin.
      What fins have you been using by the way?

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds to me like you may be too far forward, this board wriggles a bit if you get too far forward on it. It has to be surfed off the back foot as PRJ suggests. That is probably what the stability issue is about.

        Those waves are perfect for the spit or dom. While the spit is designed for a better surfer than the dom that doesn't mean you need to be a better surfer at all to surf it. There are just some features that you won't use and unlock its full potential, that's all. That said, the extra amount of performance isn't that much anyway.

        Yes, what fins and in what configuration are you using in it? Fins can make a lot of difference. From what you've said it sounds like the board is lacking some drive - something that different fins will probably fix.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah I see SA fins...not one of my favourites though I have never tried them, but I found wider bases work better for me. SAs have a short base relatively speaking to their height and compared to something like the Rusty's. I've always found shorter bases lacking in drive unless accompanied by more rake which can stiffen things up a bit.
          Last edited by Slowman; 01-10-2013, 03:28 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah the flatter, wider boards do get up and go quickly which makes them really fun in smaller, weaker waves but as you've noticed, they can take off and leave you behind.
            Try paddling early and popping a little earlier so you stand up on the top of the wave then take the drop rather than trying to get up as the board is taking off. That's what I do on boards like the Sweet Potato because it makes it a lot more controllable.
            Not such a good idea if the wave is hollow though as you'll get pitched.

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks slowman! yes it is a lack of drive and i will see about the fins. i use the same fins on my hellfire and experience the same issue but to less of a degree. you're totally right! i want it to shoot forward more and dabble less. i'll try that. and concentrate on the footing too!

              and PRJ. that's 2 votes for trying to pop up earlier. i'll try that too. i think it needs a different timing than my alt which really needs to be dropping before i can get up.

              suring is hard.

              thanks a bunch.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm not sure why you'd find the Spit less stable side to side than the Alt. It's 3/4" wider, so it should feel more stable. My guess is you're using the Alt in bigger more powerful waves, and the extra 'push" of the wave makes the board feel more stable on takeoff. I certainly find any board I'm riding feels more stable on takeoff if the wave is more powerful - my guess is you are moving faster on takeoff therefore your planing speed on takeoff is greater.

                So far as the squirty feeling is concerned that's probably just the more condensed volume on the Spit. Your Spit is only a litre or two higher than your Alt overall, but that volume is contained within a smaller package - it's just thicker in all key places than an Alt. It's also got a flatter rocker. On your Alt you're probably able to overpower the board more easily by, for instance, sinking the tail, but on the Spit when you try to do that it shoots out from under you. The flatter rocker probably accentuates that. I don't really have an "answer" for that other than to be conscious of it. A lot if that issue will be dealt with by using the Spit in appropriate conditions, which I would visualise as pockety waves up to around shoulder high.

                I find at a similar weight to you that increasingly I use my Dom as a small wave board, and opt for other more refined boards as the waves get better. Although in clip 1 the waves are crumbly I'd almost certainly be using an Alt in those waves, particularly for the larger ones. I think the chunkier design of my Dom would be a hindrance in really driving turns. Some of the smaller ones looked Dom friendly, but I wouldn't want to paddle out just chasing small ones. On clip 2 it's a real halfway point. I could use the Dom, Alt or Futura in those conditions. If I had all those boards in my car I'd probably have opted for my Futura but the Alt would probably be second pick, mainly because the waves look hollow enough to get the Alt up and going on takeoff. If my Quadrafive had been delivered then maybe I'd be using that both days in your clips. I reckon for both those days your Hellfire would probably be the better pick, being a halfway house between the Alt and Spit. if it was a consistenly smaller day like, but otherwise like clip 1, the SPit would be ideal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I take that back...a bit. I just watched the full clip 2 (I only watched the first few waves first time around). Clip 2 is actually classic Dom territory. I'd still prefer the Futura over the Dom, but I'd definitely take the Dom out ahead of the Alt in those waves. The Dom would just get up to speed more quickly than the Alt at that size and I don't think it's yet big enough that the wave would be overpowering the board. So in those conditions the Spit should be great.

                  It took me around 10 surfs to get used to my Dom. I found it really wobbly dobby with no drive. Loose, but no drive as I say. But then I underwent a bit of a mental readjustment and started surfing the board a little more aggressively, and my thoughts on the board were transformed. I definitely think with the Dom (and Spit) you need to be constantly driving from one turn to another - no just standing there (unless in a huge barrel!!). If you ride it as a quad I guess you could be a bit more passive but I certainly found that I was spinning out the board on even modest size waves in a quad configuration. I enjoyed quad for really small days, but not otherwise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i'd be on the razor in all those :)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Scott, if you ain't already, ride it as a thruster for a while and once you get use to the board get a decent set of quad fins. For your weight something like the Mayhems or try a PC7/PC3 combo. Ditch the stretch SF4's basically they're too flexy in the tip for a big guy.

                      I second the take off speed on the spit, if it's a bit racey i have to try and get to my feet a lot quicker than usual as the board is already in the vital part of the wave, i'm usually left behind in pigdog stance...its deepest winter though so that's allowed now and then!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i dunno man, I've said it before; not every board works for every body.

                        If it don't work, ditch it. FWs keep there resale value which is yet another reason to get one :)

                        Seriously man, you cannot repeat surf sessions, no do overs. Once that wave has passed, its passed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          buzzy. thanks a bunch. i really appreciate your time on this. it's awesome because i check this forum a lot and you are most similar to me in age and weight (although i'm 188cm and i'd give myself an intermediate - ) and you surf the 6'4" dom/spit and 6'8" alt same as me. i shouldn't have said less stable side to side, i guess i meant less directional side to side as i'm starting my pop up. like i start my pop up with one line and then a chop hits and i find myself fighting with the board as it tries to redirect on me. at any case, it think you're right anyway and reinforcing one thing i was suspecting. i surf well on good 4-8' waves and am trying to find that magic board that helps me surf just as well in less than ideal waves and learning surfing smaller (2-4') and worse waves is just harder. i joke with my friends that my surfing skill reflects the wave quality of the day exactly. although i see plenty who surf good in crap, it still eludes me.

                          you hit it on the head with it being more volume in less space and feeling non drivey and wobbly and me not being able to "overpower" the board as easily to get it to do what i want (feeling like a shoebox to me). maybe i need to dig in with my heals and toes more on this board to carve and dig my foot in harder to tail on that steep drop where it squirts out on me? it's hard to do think of at the time when i'm surprised that i'm going so much faster than i expected already :)

                          do you suggest more drivey fins like slow man suggested? what do you use?

                          so as an alternator user you vote take some time with the spit and hellfire and surf them here for stuff under 5 ft ish? all the good surfers here surf Merrick and Lost standard to stubby short boards (never fish) and I was wondering if i was just on the wrong boards for my break. your input really helps!

                          thanks a bunch to all.

                          kdropin. that board looks halfway between my alt and hellfire. probably a sick board!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            thanks Baker. that's multiple comments on the fins and earlier pop-up. i'm going to try them both and stick to smaller softer waves until i get it figured out. thanks a bunch!!!!

                            Originally posted by Baker View Post
                            Scott, if you ain't already, ride it as a thruster for a while and once you get use to the board get a decent set of quad fins. For your weight something like the Mayhems or try a PC7/PC3 combo. Ditch the stretch SF4's basically they're too flexy in the tip for a big guy.

                            I second the take off speed on the spit, if it's a bit racey i have to try and get to my feet a lot quicker than usual as the board is already in the vital part of the wave, i'm usually left behind in pigdog stance...its deepest winter though so that's allowed now and then!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i am leaning exactly that way. i'm on here as a last resort. i'm going to split the difference and only try this board on the smaller waves where i wasn't going to rip it up anyway and see if i can get it straightened out. but i'm not going to risk a good session over 3.5' feet until or unless i do. thanks :)



                              Originally posted by aurfalien View Post
                              i dunno man, I've said it before; not every board works for every body.

                              If it don't work, ditch it. FWs keep there resale value which is yet another reason to get one :)

                              Seriously man, you cannot repeat surf sessions, no do overs. Once that wave has passed, its passed.

                              Comment

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