After much thought, I think I will be purchasing a Spitfire in the next couple of months. Last year I was pretty stoked on the Potatonator, but it seems just a little too flat and boxy and never bought it. Unfortunately, I do ride thigh to shoulder high gutless waves most of the time here in South Carolina. I'm 6'2", 170 and fit, normally ride a 6'4" shortboard, so I'm thinking 6'0" in the Spitfire. I prefer FCS fins, but I really don't know which way to go on construction. I like the option of White Rapidfire, first because it's white. I'm assuming it has the same slightly lower cost as the regular Rapidfire, and it does not need the goretex vent. I have also heard the top deck on Rapidfire's seems even more durable than FST. That being said, if I'm spending this much, upgrading to the FST does not bother me much. Again, I like the white and balsa rails look great in the FST. The lighter blank and vent are slightly concerning, but I've never broken a Poly board before, so it should only be stronger, right? Is there anything else I need to consider? Does one float higher than the other? Is there any notable difference in durability? Thanks for the feedback. One more quick question. I've never ridden a Quad. In 3-4' not completely mushy waves, should I find a Quad faster, quicker in turns than the thruster?
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FST boards no longer have the vent. FST is stronger than the Rapidfire construction but also a little heavier. FST has a smooth flex with some dampening, Rapidfire is a little more poppy and lively. I personally like the feel of RF in small waves but prefer FST in better waves. That said, nothing against FST in small waves, but the extra lightness and liveliness of the RF is a bonus. Both constructions will be stronger than poly, but FST much more so.
I'd also steer you towards the 5'10.
Quad is faster, especially in those waves, but doesn't have the same pivot as a thruster and draws a slightly longer arc. Personally I think riding a quad for a while does wonders for your surfing in the way you draw a line on a wave, especially backside. Definitely worth playing with both set ups.
Elite Firewire Liaison
- Dec 2011
Agreed there!!!. I have a spitfire 5`8`` in both FST and rapidfire and there si a big difference in terms of flex (at least for me). I personally like better the flex on the FST. I like to see it like this, the FST lods the turn and releases when you come out of it whereas the Rapidfire is a more direct input output.
Durability wise the FST will be stronger than the rapid.
As far as quads go, I enjoyed that board heaps with the SOLUS. That litthe ``hatchet`` makes the board really snappy.
Thanks for the in depth information. I had not noticed the news on the FST vents. I did think about a 5'10", but it is hard to imagine dropping 6" off the board I am used to riding. I also figured with the weak surf we receive most of the year, a little too much is always safer than not quite enough. Not sure how involved it would be to CBD program to get a 5'11" or if it would even make that big of a difference.
If it helps, I'm close to 6'1" and 165lbs and have a 5'8 Spitfire in Rapidfire and it packs a lot of float. I could easily drop to 5'6" but it would lack length for me.
I did own a 5'10 Dominator but sold it because it just felt too big. I fear you'd feel the same about the 6'0.
- Sep 2012
What dims are your 64 Ecrippa?
Im 62 and 170 and used to own a 60 dom, which was way too much foam. I now have the 510 dom but thinking of getting the 510 spit to replace it.
My standard short board was a 63 at the time I bought the 60 dom and I was scared to drop 5" to the 510. The shop told me when I bought it that everyone buys them a size too big and then comes back to get the size down 6 months later. I wish I had listened to them.
I would definately go for the 510.
I'll have to check my old custom sheet when I get home, but I think my PU shortboard is 6'4", 19 3/4" wide, 2" thick. When I ordered it, I was trying to get something similar to a CI Flyer. The tail really doesn't have the exaggerated bump. The nose seems pretty full for a board that size, but the tail seems slightly narrower than I was expecting. Again, I'll have to check it later. Obviously I'm hoping the FW SF would make catching waves even easier but more importantly give a little more speed and drive to not get left behind on faster sections. One friend thinks I need to go with a longboard, but I want to give the hybrid shortboard a shot. I know what a few of you are saying about the 5'10", but it is so hard to get my head to go that short.
Found the measurements for the PU shortboard: 6'4", 19 3/8", 2 3/8".
I had called the local shop about demos last week, and they said the boards are too expensive to carry a range to demo. They did have a Vanguard from Firewire they will probably demo, but I'm not in the market for that board.
I played around with the CBD until I realized it was $75 more. Think I'll stick with a 5'10" or 6'0" at the stock price. A little over $700 after tax is already pushing it for what I'm willing to pay for a surfboard.
- Dec 2011
I have a 6'0 spitfire and I'm 90kg (~200lbs) and 184cm (~6'0) so you should really think about the 5'10. I can ride knee high waves on my spit (if they are surfable). I ride mine as a quad too and it's great for small waves I use a small home made stabiliser and I can get it turning pretty vertically and very tightly, the diamond tail helps there too. I am almost thinking about a 5'10 myself. My JK has less volume than the 5'10 and also surfs very well in small waves.
- Jan 2012
You shouldn't be afraid of the potatonator. I surf the same weak east coast waves here in Florida, and the potatonator is the best board I've ever had for these conditions. Can surf nearly everyday on the potatonator. It's an incredible groveler, but very high performance. Have 7 boards right now and surf the potatonator about 80% of the time.
- Feb 2013
Hey ECr1ppa, I'm 2" shorter than you but 5lbs heavier, 43 average surfer and not particularly fit.
I've had a 5'8" FST Dominator for a while now and have found it to be a great board for the weak surf that we get here. Also, it gets fairly cold in the winter (water currently 6C/42F) so we wear a lot of rubber, even in summer I'm usually in a 3/2mm.
As you are surfing a 6'4" x 19 3/8" x 2 3/8 shortboard I'd say that a 6'0" Spitfire would be far too much board for you. Indeed, you may even find the 5'10" a little corky.
Part of the attraction of boards like the Dominator and Spitfire is the short length that they can be surfed, this makes them so much more manoeuvrable in small gutless waves. They are designed to be ridden shorter and the relaxed rocker and extra width compensates for the drop in length.
I know it's a bit of a headspin to drop down to such a small board but I've met so many people who've ended up regretting not going short enough with their fish, Biscuit, Sweet Potato, Dominator etc. I started riding smaller boards about 9 years ago, everything I read online suggested a 5'8" or 5'6" fish would be right for me, but I was surfing a 6'5" thruster. The thought of going so short was totally alien to me. But I decided to take a gamble and went for a 5'8" fish and was amazed how much better it paddled than the much longer boards I had been riding. Needless to say I haven't looked back!
Go for the 5'10" but don't be surprised if you end up swapping it for a 5'8".
First, I want to thank all of you for your input. I'm a bit shocked by the amount of response I've had on a question I posted just yesterday. It really shows how good of boards these must be and made me even more convinced I want to have one.
Yesterday morning I was set on the 6'0", but I'm strongly reconsidering. It would really be nice to demo a board, but it doesn't appear that is an option where I am (even though the FW dealer list says the shop has demos). The custom program looks nice but maybe not worth it for me, so I'm now leaning Spitfire 5'10 FST with FCS plugs. Guess the next step will be figuring out the fins.
- Dec 2011
I also like the JP Kinetic Racing fins.
PC5's would be a good neutral template to start with as well.