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  • riding 506 Spitfire looking for step up

    I wanted to get some opinions on boards as I am "considering" getting a 2nd board.
    Some facts first: 5'3, 140lbs, surf North County San Diego, low intermediate (newer to surfing but improving quickly), currently riding 506 Spitfire and sometimes feel like a need a board with a little more manueverability. Although it very well could just be the operator and the need to improve my skills further.
    I tested the 508 Hellfire last night, nice board but maybe feels too much volume, and am going to try the 506 Hellfire this weekend.

    I want something that can still paddle well and catch waves in the 3 foot range but allows me to surf more aggressively, start to go top to bottom, etc. especially as waves get bigger. As of now I pretty much surf 3-6 foot max.
    If I were to step up what boards would be recommended and what size? What would some of the characteristics I could expect?
    If I am totally off base and I just need to keep improving on my 506 Spitfire before stepping up let me know.
    Thank you all in advance for your opinions.

    By the way I love the Spitfire and maybe could have gone 504 but my 506 catches a lot of waves, especially this Summer, and has helped me improve alot.

  • #2
    510 Alternator?

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    • #3
      My opinion is that you are riding way too big of a Spitfire. You're at the absolute top of the recommendations for the your volume. I started off with a Dominator that was 1 size too big. The thing was sluggish, slow, and hard to move around. I came down 1 size (with a Spitfire), which is in the middle of my volume recommendation, and everything changed. I surf the board 5 times a week (on average) in knee to slightly overhead waves. It still gets into waves very early, but with the smaller size it's much more of high performance board. Now I'm looking to go down 1 more notch and give it a try.

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      • #4
        If you're looking for something with a bit more whip then maybe have a look at the 5'9 hellrazor, I think if you already have a spit then the hellfires are too similar. That or like prj mentioned the alt in a 5'10. Don't be tempted to go too low on volume else your wave count and enjoyment could suffer. You could also just try a 5'4 spit to liven up things.

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        • #5
          csarqui - According to the FW Volume Calculator and an Intermediate skill level I am right in the middle (it says 25-31 liters). I imagine those are basic guidelines and a lot more plays into it.
          I must say I agree that sometimes things feel a little sluggish, slow and hard to move around and I wonder if it's the board, my ability or a combination of both.
          Since I am 5'3 it doesn't sound like me going with a 5'4 Spitfire is out of line at all. If I were to do that do you think the board would begin to feel more high performance?

          My main concern is that I go too short or can't paddle into enough waves but it's probably not that big of a step down once you paddle on it a couple of times.

          Any thoughts on what I may notice performance wise would be appreciated.

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          • #6
            Delmar, i'm 5'10 and 150lbs and the 5'6 spit paddles like motorboat for me...and i'm 40! Okay so i've been surfing for 20 odd years but i don't think you will have any issues with the 5'4 if that's what you really want.

            The main thing is; can you catch waves easily and are you having fun? Don't try and change boards because you think it will help you rip more, you're much more likely to progress better and quicker on something isn't suited to the likes of Gabriel Media. When you get there, then maybe look at changing to a performance model. When i was younger i rode boards that were 6'0 x 17 7/8 x 2, that was what people rode in AUS back then, but i would have caught a lot more waves and probably had more fun on something shorter and wider, unfortunately no boards around like at the time so making up now!

            Don't know what fins you use but with your weight maybe try M2's or M3's or like i do M5/GL as a quad. You'll be surprised what the right fins in the right board can do.

            Comment


            • Marklids
              Marklids commented
              Editing a comment
              Amen to that!
              I wish I had my spitfire 25 years ago, catching way more waves and rediscovering "the stoke" now
              Totally agree with Baker, don't be too quick to pull the trigger on a hpsb. These hybrids are awesome, us old guys didn't have this option back in the day. Master that SF then later on you'll know what you need.

          • #7
            Baker - great advice. The 505 Spit definitely allows me to catch waves easily and have fun. However, it seems most are riding the Spitfire size at or below their height. Mine is 3 inches longer than I am.
            Well, I am supposed to be able to test a 506 Hellfire soon so maybe that will give me a little better idea of what the 504 Spitfire would be like.

            I am using K2.1 fins as a thruster. I also have a set of the JW-1's in a thruster. Any other fin recommendations for the Spitfire?

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            • #8
              gotta throw in the SF4s as a good quad set.

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              • #9
                Hey Chris - got anything to throw in on the sizing question I started with?
                What will I notice performance wise with the quad SF4's?
                I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thanks.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Chris View Post
                  gotta throw in the SF4s as a good quad set.
                  SF4s Standard!! love em! might even treat myself to some PCs

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                  • #11
                    I think everybody has put in some good advice here. It's difficult to know what makes a board "turn on" for somebody. There are so many variables and everybody surfs differently. I can only offer my experience which is, at 180lbs I started with a 6'0 and found the board to be a bit dead. I gave it another change with a 5'10 and it's been the best board that I've every had. I surf it in everything. I've also borrowed a friend's 5'8. It had the same liveliness and catch-ability. Maybe a bit more hold in the pocket and a bit more bog in the flats.

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                    • #12
                      I've decided I will stay with a Spitfire and it's probably best to go down one more size.
                      This is all new to me...Can someone tell me what performance differences I may notice going from a 5'6 to a 5'4?
                      Again, I am 5'3, 140lbs, intermediate, surfing off and on for 5 years but a lot now & improving daily, surf SoCal in primarily knee to head high.
                      It seems like my 5'6 is maybe a little slow and at times hard to get around the corner. I am wondering if this a characteristic of a board 1 size too big (as people on the Forum have mentioned) and maybe a bit too much volume or if it is lack of skills on my part. Will I notice a difference with the 5'4?
                      I was able to pick up a 5'4 the other day at the shop and it felt good under my arm, better than my 5'6 so hopefully it will surf that way too.
                      I'd love to hear from anyone. Baker and csarqui...your thoughts? Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by delmarsurfer View Post
                        I've decided I will stay with a Spitfire and it's probably best to go down one more size.
                        This is all new to me...Can someone tell me what performance differences I may notice going from a 5'6 to a 5'4?
                        Again, I am 5'3, 140lbs, intermediate, surfing off and on for 5 years but a lot now & improving daily, surf SoCal in primarily knee to head high.
                        It seems like my 5'6 is maybe a little slow and at times hard to get around the corner. I am wondering if this a characteristic of a board 1 size too big (as people on the Forum have mentioned) and maybe a bit too much volume or if it is lack of skills on my part. Will I notice a difference with the 5'4?
                        I was able to pick up a 5'4 the other day at the shop and it felt good under my arm, better than my 5'6 so hopefully it will surf that way too.
                        I'd love to hear from anyone. Baker and csarqui...your thoughts? Thanks!
                        ...At your service!

                        Well Delmar i've not ridden any other board apart from my 5'6 spitfire for the last year, for me the size works perfect, I'm 5'9 and currently 65 kg. I don't think there's any doubt that the same size board is too big for you, i have a friend 20 years younger and he rides the 5'4 at the same weight as me, but if i were that age i would probably do the same. If i thought 5 years ago i would be on a 5'6 after riding 6'0's all the time...well FW make anything possible. Go for the smaller board, as with anything in life it may feel weird at first but you'll just adapt. It will cover you from knee to head high.

                        Have a look at this video of NOAH ERICKSON HERE on the 5'4 - a good insight of the boards performance!

                        Baker.

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                        • #14
                          I think it's just something that you'll have to try. If you have the same disease that I do, you won't be able to get it out of your head until you get one. I know that it's difficult because the of the price tag. I usually do the craigslist swap. When the board I want comes up for sale, I jump on it, try it out, and then sell the other board. Sometimes it doesn't work out though. No promises.

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                          • #15
                            Thanks. Yeah, Noah is ripping on that Spit! I love that video.
                            I agree on Baker's assessment on sizing and feel like I am getting close to the proper volume for my weight. Just trying to gather some more information before I make the plunge and investment.
                            csarqui, I must say I agree with what you said about just having to try the board. In the meantime can you (or anyone) shed any light on what performance characteristics I may notice going down a size and another 2.6L in volume?
                            I am assuming more manueverable...does it also make it a bit faster (assuming the wave has enough power)? I am surprised my 5'6 doesn't seem to generate more speed but maybe it's simply operator error.

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