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  • V4 as a step up?

    im looking for a step up...for big slopey (morro bay) waves and for mexican barrels. i was looking for a board with more volume aka paddle power. right now my go to for chest to a little overhead is my 5'4" vanguard. that thing is magical so i was of course interested in another tomo shape. im 145 lbs plus wetsuit and i was looking at the 6'0" with like 31 liters volume or something like that. i also have a 5'8" quadfish with roughly the same volume that i ride in waist to head high waves and it doesnt feel corky at all...but different shapes with the same volume can feel totally different. so will this board at this size work for the big days (a couple feet to double overhead) could i go bigger? smaller? different board altogether?

  • #2
    Hey Wrobo - I have been riding a 6'4 MD which has been creased and repaired and had 2 pairs of plugs ripped out and replaced. She still goes good but last week I got a 6'4 PD to replace her and a 6'6 V4 as a step up for a Ments trip. I rode the PD last Saturday at Boranup and despite the waves mostly being less than great (and it was super crowded - didn't get enuff before the wind snuffed it out) the early indication is that she's gonna be sweet - as promoted it feels livelier than the MD and it's a great paddler. I'll post something once I've ridden the V4, hopefully soon in bigger waves. I rode a 5'10 or 6'0? VG once in crappy waves and wasn't so impressed - enjoyed a 6'2 CC far more during the same session. Hoping I like the V4 - chose it over a 6'9 HR ( I had a 6'7 previously and snapped it - liked it very much), simply because it has high vol and shorter and touted as a performance board which could be considered as step up of sorts. Prolly ride it in 2-3 times overhead max... oh, I'm 51yo, 94kg, been surfing for 37years.


    • #3
      yeah i was looking at the MD previously but i've heard mixed reviews...mostly saying that the UB was a better way to go. i did demo a 5'9" UB in head high surf and it felt that timbertek looks sweet...but we're not all about aesthetics here. id like to hear how the V4 handles the bigger stuff and i hope you get it piggo.


      • piggo
        piggo commented
        Editing a comment
        Wrobo, I haven't had a chance to ride anything 'large' yet on the V4 but I've surfed it once in some small punchy beachie waves and recently in some chest to overhead reef stuff... I'm really stoked with this thing!! I got the 6'6" as a step-up but I can see myself surfing it more than my Pile Driver (maybe that's not fair on the PD - really loved it last surf). I held off riding the V4 because it kinda didn't "look right", huuge and straight looking lol... I was wrong about it. It feels like I could make the take-off on anything, it's very, very fast and it turns pretty much wherever you imagine it going. I especially love that when you drive into your first bottom turn you can give it a second pump and it just leaps out over the water and straight up at the lip. It's really exciting - even at 6'6" it's so much fun and I haven't even got it into anything scary yet. Doesn't feel like it'll spin out at the bottom of a wave under heavy foot pressure and yet it just flashes off the lip. Has that perfect mix of drive and release - if that makes sense. I'm riding it as a thruster with AM2 Techflex Futures. I just can't wait to go surfing on it again :) Woohoo!!! (I was out for over 5hrs and would have stayed out but my mates were standing on the cliff waiting for me to come in - no doubt muttering nasty words and my name in the same sentence.)
        Last edited by piggo; 03-23-2014, 03:46 AM.

    • #4
      Hi Wroboman,

      I wanted to help you out with my experience with the V4. I have been riding the Vangard 5'6" and V4 5'10, V4 6,'0" all winter. Me 150lbs 5'11 tall and surf good. I live up in Santa Cruz and surf mostly Moss Landing, East & Westside SC as my normal spots. I would not recommend using the V4 as your step up board. I have messed around with many changes with fins and have got all 3 board dialed as best as possible. Specific to your question is that I found that when using the V4 as a step up it works fair, it does do the job of catching waves like a step up should but what I find is the main issue for me is that with the V4 line of boards is that as the board gets larger the proportions just keep growing as well. You should only have one of each model that fits your style, ability and general surf conditionals. While the 6'0" does catch waves well, it has way to much drive down the line and is difficult to pivot off the tail during a bottom turn. I have played with the fins to back out the drive and help with the pivot I'm just not getting the results I want. The reason I had the 6'0" in the first place was it was a going to be my step up from the Vanguard. Lucky for me my friend had bought a 5'10" V4 and let me ride it to see what I thought about it. As it turned out it was much better for me than the 6'0" V4. I've owned the 5'10" for 6 months and ride it about 1/2 the time. I tend to ride the V4 when the waves have a bit more power and have steep drops basically a step up.

      VG likes lined up waves & works best when it is glassy. Best in 3-6 ft on the face. Mushy walls & step walls it does not care.
      V4 5'10 likes lined up waves I use it in 3-8ft faces.
      V4 6'0 I only use it when it is 6-10 ft on the face. But up here when it is 8-10 I use a 6'10 as there tends to be much more water moving at that size and have plenty of power. Thus best to use a board that can deal with it better.

      That said if some one is looking for a 6'0 V4 please feel free to contact me. I would suggest that if you are only an average surfer you could use this if your weight is 150 as it is does catch waves very well for a 6'0" and you will not notice it not being as loose as I would like. If you weigh in at 170 to 185 I would think this board would be in your sweet spot as you will sink the rail and likely have more power than I do. I still and shock that just looking at the two boards that there is such a huge difference. I would like to drop down to the 5'8" but I'm waiting for a demo day to see how I like a board with 25-26L in volume.

      I hope this helps you out. If you have any other questions let me know.



      • aurfalien
        aurfalien commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for this post, very informative!

    • #5
      There was talk late last year of a V4 Thunderbird which Stu and some of the others were riding in Hawaii as a step up. Looks to be similar design but elongated and more rail line, if you look at the instagram section on website you can see some pics. Given it wasn't shown in the FireWire 2914 catalogue not sure if it is going to be released though, may just have been a team board. I would have loved to give it a crack. Can't comment on upsizing V4 in standard shape as a step up but think it might get too wide for those big days.