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yay! another newbee trying to decide SP/BP/SF/Dom!

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  • yay! another newbee trying to decide SP/BP/SF/Dom!

    Hi everyone!

    new to the sport, I've been surfing 1 to 4 times per week since I started in September.
    31yo, 200lbs, 5'10". Good physical condition as I either way kitesurf, surf or rock climb 4 times per week.
    kitesurfing definitely helped when it came to read waves and feel comfortable on a surfboard. But paddling for a wave and catching it was a lot different ballgame! I've been learning on a 6'8 pumpkin seed from Santa Cruz. I know, not the best learning board but I knew I didn't want to go the longboard way from day one. (and a buddy of mine was selling it for cheap)
    anyway, looking into the future of this year (I'm gonna keep practicing for another 6 months before jumping onto a spanking new FireWire) I'm thinking switching into a 2 boards quiver.
    I like the idea of a SP/ Dom combo or a BP/spitfire. But the BP and the spit are marked as more technical, intermediate to advanced riders. Performance hybrid for the spit. So I'm scared of burning steps...
    what do you guys think ( riding northern California beach break not necessarily the cleanest... Pacifica, OB on a small day <7 ft.)?
    also, sizewize, I was thinking 5'11BP and 6'4 Dom, but the volume calculator puts me into 48 to 53L which puts me in board waaaay bigger.
    I like the idea of a board eco (TT) and I know FireWire are solid boards from the kiteboarding community.


  • #2
    hi mate,

    based on your fitness and kite surfing etc I think you could go smaller. A lot smaller, and still be quite comfortable on it. In your situation I would be looking at a 2 board quiver of something like a 506 sweet potato and a 600 spitfire. If may seem small, but with your fitness and wave knowledge you will progress really quickly. If you buy a 604 dom you will out grow it within a month or 2. At the largest I would look at a 602, but again, it will feel too big for you in a short amount of time.

    To give you an idea, when I was 29 I was 200lb and 6'3" (90kg and 193cm) and I was riding my 600 SF in almost all conditions. From knee high slop right up to 1.5x OH thumpers. Admittedly it didn't excel in either of those conditions, but it was able to be ridden. I was seriously looking into going down to a 510. Now, a few years later I'm 220lb and only now would I consider a 604 DM or SF. I firmly believe that the DM series of board should be ridden with a guild factor of .39 (so in your case 90kg x .39 = 35.1L volume).


    • #3
      Cool. Thanks.
      any reason for SP/spit over BP/spit combo?
      I was thinking SP/Dom or BP/Spitfire to keep the same tail feeling (round with round and diamond with diamond).
      thanks for your input about size, it seems quite small indeed!
      but this is what I read all over this forum, people over sizing constantly.

      also, anybody has experience with a Santa Cruz pumpkin seed to tell me what difference to expect if I switch to a BP and a spitfire? Paddling, etc...

      we had a FireWire demo 2 weeks ago at OB and I was working all day... Should have called and sick!


      • #4
        you could go either. I just feel the SP will have a little less overlap with the SF than the BP.

        SP will work in ankle high slappers up to about chest high, and the SF will work from about waist high to a couple of feet over head.

        BP will work from around knee/thigh high up to about shoulder high.


        • #5
          Oh I see.
          thanks for all the info. Now I just want FireWire to do a demo around here again soon so I can try your recommendations.
          if I get lucky and see somebody with a SP or a spitfire in the water I'll just ask nicely for a test ride!
          thanks again and if anybody else feels like chiming in, especially with a comparaison with the pumpkin seed I already have, feel free!

          cheers and thanks justo.


          • #6
            I see too many posts that say smaller, thinner and it annoys me. Volume is the key to catching waves and without that you are not surfing - you are tea bagging! Volume is only a problem in paddling in the impact zone but it allows you to move quicker. Volume allows you to catch waves earlier and easier hence more stand up time. My 40+ years surfing was no match for a 5'9" Baked Potato. I love my 6'4" Spitfire and 6'8" Unibrow and I am 85kgs so I could be riding smaller boards but crowds and age mean that I need an edge and volume provides it. Look at super fit pros and you will notice that most waves (not your perfect point or reef) are set up by a strong, fast paddle. This is achieved by hours in gym or a little foam skilfully placed in board without a bulky rail. I hope this helps you.


            • justo
              justo commented
              Editing a comment
              I hear what you're saying jambo, but pro's are riding a volume of around .35L per 100kg of body weight. A weekend surfer should use between .38 and .42. A novice, or someone riding mushy tiny waves should ride around .45L. Any more than this the extra foam can actually impede the ability to paddle into waves. Of course each person has their own personal preferences, and this should be factored into your selection.

          • #7
            I'm going to weigh in on this one as well, excuse the pun. 36 y/o, 92kg and ride a 6'4" spitfire. Im a weekend warrior, get in the water on average once a week, twice if im lucky. Swim 2km twice a week to try and keep paddle strength, if you dont use it you loose it! For me, the volume of my SF gives me the chance to compete with the groms and other weekend warriors in a busy northern beaches line up, without losing too much priority. I admit if i had a better late take off i could change my strategy up a bit and maybe go shorter, but i come away from a 2 hour session usually with 15-20 rides and i just know if i went smaller i would see that count go down. I do think it is more than just volume though, the comments above are not taking into account height, Im 6'4" tall as well, so i think that probably means i can sink the rail more than what a smaller stature guy might so for a smaller guy same weight as me probably worth going smaller. Guess what i am saying is that i think board length and rider height should also be considered into the equation, as well as are you quickly improving and learning and up for a challenge, or are you happy just to be out there catching waves on something that turns and isn't a mal. Anyway that's my two cents.


            • justo
              justo commented
              Editing a comment
              If it works it works! Just to keep all info relevant I am 6'3" so not exactly short in stature. I guess go with your gut, everyone is different.

          • #8
            Hi Justo, to clarify what I'm saying is that the guy who asked the question is a fair bit shorter, (5'10") so yeah I reckon he should probably look at the smaller board even though same weight as me, but it does concern me that he is had only been surfing less than a year and coming from a 6'8". I reckon I could make a 6' SF work for me too, but as I wrote, i think for me I would lose wave count and can handle the extra length and foam because I am taller. Not discounting what you said above at all but just saying the extra foam doesn't hurt for me as a taller guy.


            • #9

              Thanks guys! Keep the comments coming!

              Montygoesbananas: I'm only considering to buy those boards later in this season, I definitely want to improve on my pumpkin seed first. But the main reason I wanna do that is that I think a 2 boards quiver will be more efficient than having only my 6'8.
              Another option would be to keep my pumpkin seed and get a 8'11 submoon, but man, yes, I find catching waves with a longboard a lot easier, but I get a little bored during the ride.

              I'll also definitely try to get to one of FireWire demo before buying anything.
              So far, following the comments and my skills, I'm thinking 5'8 SP with a 6'2 SF. That would put me at 43L for the small mushy stuff and 38L when the waves are getting better.

              Jambo: what problems did you have with the 5'9 BP?

              Justo: thanks again, you've been so much help so far!
              Last edited by le noun; 11-16-2014, 06:58 PM.


              • #10
                Now this is a good discussion and should be read by those newer to surfing - volume, stature, stance, paddling strength etc all factoring into a decision on volume in order to get waves - cos if you don't catch 'em, then you can't surf them! It all happens after you release your hands from the rails. It is the shaper/designers job to allow this to take place in vastly different conditions for people of vastly different abilities and body shapes. And may I say thankyou to Dan Mann and Nev Hyman for their skills. It amazes me that at after more than 45 years of surfing I can still get a new board that performs better than so many boards that came before it. The TT boards seem to flex out of a bottom turn differently than the best PU boards I have owned.
                I am really impressed with my 7 foot Submoon which I bought for little mushy days but it squirts like a fish on clean bigger waves. This board replaced a 5'9" BP as I simply could not get it to catch waves early enough - it was over the falls or slow drop and then trapped behind the whitewater. Tried on point breaks and beaches for 4 weeks before giving up. It worked well on tiny days when I used a wider stance and angled the take off. The board seemed to not paddle as fast as other TT boards I own. I also didn't like the angle on the deck that allows the board to lose thickness before the rail, as it put wrists at strange angle when pushing up. A mate thought I was mad getting such a small board and at similar size and age got 6'3" and loves it! So it was either get a bigger one or take the advice from Taylor Jensen gave regarding a new release the Submoon so I ordered it and waited! It is NOT a Malibu! More a hybrid fish/egg/fun board but it performs very well (but you do not get that skate/snow board feel you get on BP). I would get the 6'8" if it was thicker. Read the BP threads and you will see that my problem with BP was ME not the board!!!!


                • #11
                  I'd like to put my review on this. I've been surfing for 1 year. I keep progressing by switching the boards and making the surf trips. I live in NY, local break "Far Rockaway". The surf is not consistent. I'm 29yo, 165lbs, 5'9". I usually take SP 5'8" (Quad/SF4 Stretch) if I go surfing, It works perfect from ankle to chest high when there are glassy/mushy/weak conditions. I also have 5'10" SF Timbertek (Futures F4 RTM Quad) which I ride from chest to overhead. The board is just amazing. Very responsible and fast! You can also ride this board in thigh high! Recently I've got Hayden Shapes Hypto Krypto 5'6". The board is very fast but overall my choice is SF!!!


                  • #12
                    I usually ride 6'8" Unibrow or 6'4" Spitfire on a "little known" point break in northern NSW. The 7 foot Submoon gets used at below 3 foot beachies or as anti-crowd weapon! I will say that changing fins on SF really changes board and its performance. After 40 odd years of surfing I find it fun to mix it up board, fins wave conditions but in 4 foot plus I'll take the Unibrow with large scarfini quads everytime! Why? Low rails give it amazing looseness and yet positive drive and 2 7/8 thickness means easy paddle in. Nose shape means no catching off top - so I guess I am saying SF is great but in good conditions Unibrow greater!


                    • #13

                      Jambo, sadly I don't have much "great" conditions around here, plus I feel the unibrow would be too technical for me at the moment.


                      • #14
                        Then go with a spitfire as it will handle small to medium - you can use bigger fins or a nubster with quad setup in punchier waves. I have had a baked potato but was unable to ride it and feel comfortable and preferred SF in small waves. If you are always in 1 to 2 foot with occasional 4 foot max then consider a BP.
                        If you have access try the board comparison on Firewire's Australian page as you get to compare outlines, volume and surface area. It doesn't show rocker but you can see how Dominator has given rise to some later shapes UB tail is very similar to Dominator but thinner. Spitfire/Dominator shows board outlines are very similar.


                        • #15
                          Yeah, I think I've read the entire
                          SP, BP and SF sections...
                          I'm gonna try to get to demo all those three at the end of the summer, probably in SC or SD if I can. San Francisco OB would be great if they throw another demo here.
                          I'm still thinking 5'8 SP and 6'2 SF seems like my best 2 boards quiver option so far. :)