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  • Session notes on my new 5-4 Vanguard...

    Here are my observations with the Vanguard after 4 sessions…

    1) For myself, the most obvious attribute of the VG is...when you get up
    and riding and you engage the rail – the board takes off (almost like a squirting
    forward feel). It’s fast as hell.

    2) The nearly parallel rail lines have a different feel when you make rail
    to rail transitions (I don’t know how to put it into words yet…It’ll come to me
    when I test the board more). I nearly caught a rail on a “turn-down” maneuver
    because the front part of the board was starting to catch or getting stuck (it
    was a choppier wave). Not having a rounded or curved nose makes the VG
    susceptible to getting stuck or catching a rail...Or I need to be more balanced.

    3) When the wave is steeper and has more juice the board goes even faster!
    DARN! Oh wait...Speed is GOOD! I out-ran a barrel section yesterday at LH…
    I could see the bowl setting up in front of me and so I did a slight check turn
    toward the shore to scrub some speed, and I immediately felt off-balance, so I
    quickly turned back onto my inside rail and the next thing I knew, I’d completely
    sped thru the barreling section – however all that speed set me up for 2 really
    solid off-the-top snaps on the inside section (I really wanted to see how it
    worked in the barrel – that’ll have to wait).

    4) This morning’s session gave me some new revelations:
    a) Coming out of a round-house cut back, the VG transitions very easily off
    the rebound on white water
    b) On a big lined up wall – going top to bottom seems easier than a
    standard shortboard
    c) When you put heavy rail pressure into a turn with good speed the board
    definitely rockets thru the turn…It caught me off guard – I ended up almost
    completing a carving 360 when I was simply trying to kick-out – freaky.
    (the wave continued shoreward as I sunk down with my board - but I had come
    completely around).

    What have I taken away thus far with the Vanguard? In really good,
    lined up waves the VG works like magic. In less than clean or choppier
    conditions, you have to be balanced on the sweet spot or you become susceptible
    to being off-balanced or catching a rail. The board seems to work best when
    you’re WELL balanced over the fins – you don’t want to be surfing too heavy on
    your front foot. Despite the volume of my 5-4 VG being about 1-litre more then
    I’m accustomed too, I’d rather have more volume then less. Having said that, I
    wish the length of the board was either at 5-0 or 5-2 (I’m 5-5) and MY ideal
    volume would be about 25.0 liters. A shorter length VG would definitely be a
    benefit when re-directing the board (rail transitions) so as to limit the
    chances of the front or forward part of the board catching. So unless you’re
    confident that you can paddle like a pro, more volume is better than having a
    lot less (then you’re accustomed to). You don’t want to be sitting on your new
    VG wishing and hoping you could be surfing, because your VG volume does
    not float you enough to even catch a wave!

    The BEST PART of the VG…Is it’s different, but not so much that you can’t adjust
    to it. Basically, it’s really fun “unlocking the secrets” of the VG. The WORST
    PART about the VG? Other surfers constantly stopping me to ask about the
    “space-aged” looking surf craft under my arm… More explaining and testing to
    come!
    Last edited by Myles808; 03-21-2013, 11:51 AM.

  • #2
    Nice review Myles, so overall would you say it's easier to get up to speed, than your normal shorty ?

    Comment


    • #3
      They are faster than a traditional board for sure. That's the whole concept. But bare in mind you need to be pretty back footed to get the best out of them. As soon as I attempt to drive off my front foot I catch rail and lose all that speed. Similar in a way to the potato, but maybe more unforgiving because the spud at least has some curve in the tip of the nose.
      If you're weighted back and keeping that nose up, you're flying.
      Last edited by Phill; 03-21-2013, 08:13 AM.

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      • #4
        catching the rail sucks cus it happens when ur flying. i had a guy drop in on me yesterday further down the line, blew pass him high when he bottomed turned, then caught the rail while doing a cutty ripped the tail out of the water cus i also lost my outside rear quad. super lame. still yet, we got a good swell today and the 1st board i'll load will b the VG.

        btw, u were pretty on point w ur review.

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        • #5
          Thanks Fokai...Your earlier post on surfing it at Lani's made me a little envious knowing how good the VG feels going "top to bottom." Lani's a dream wave for surfing the VG - when not over-crowded. Would love to sit inside (down the line) watching you flying thru the Lani's sections.

          Vortex, as PRJ points out the VG's plan shape (parallel lines) is designed to minimize resistance (very little outline curve), which makes it easy to gain and maintain speed. So, getting up to speed faster then a standard shortboard? All things being equal (board volume of your VG compared to the volume of your shortboard), the VG gets up and going faster (in my opinion).

          Knowing that Dan Thomson and FW are now partnered (joined at the hip), I can't wait to surf a Firewire Raptor (pulled in nose!). Hopefully sooner then later. I recall seeing a FW Raptor proto-type photo a couple of months ago...Hmmmm.

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          • #6
            Myles I have a 5'2" IF you're interested in a trade, thanks.

            PS

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            • #7
              Yeah good stuff everyone. I think one take home point here is you definitely want to be on your back foot, partially because of the tail shape, but also because I think the shorter rails perform ideally with a centered or back foot focuses stance.

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              • #8
                Thank you for the "trade offer" PS - I'm going hang onto the 5-4 as I'm not getting any younger (haha). Despite my 5-4 volume & length both being a little more than ideal I DON'T think the volume of the 5-2 is going to work for me (the town spots I surf are notoriously crowded).

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's cool Myles. I just think the sizing chart is really screwed up but at least in time they will come up with more options as well as a custom approach.

                  Going to sell my custom 5'2" Tomo and order a 5'4" Firewire version asap. I'm in the 24.7 cl camp.

                  Aloha -- PS

                  Comment


                  • Ethan G
                    Ethan G commented
                    Editing a comment
                    How much would you sell your tomo for?

                • #10
                  Yeah PS, the variance between the VG lengths and volumes are pretty substantial (i.e., 5-2 VG vol @ 22.9 versus 5-4 @ 25.9, that's 3 liters!) Like you, my ideal volume ranges from 24.5 - 25.5 liters. I've learned my lesson in the past that going too LOW on volume makes you a spectator not a participant! LOL.

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                  • #11
                    @Poker- u might have to order. i know STABL didn't get any and i was told that none were coming unless ordered. some shops might have, but not ur size.

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                    • #12
                      Myles I love how Firewire pioneered the whole "cl" gauging, look around now EVERYONE is on the bandwagon! Found by experimenting in the past with other Firewires my "comfort zone" rating. Just sold my unfortunate "undersized" beautiful custom 5'2" Tomo and ordered a 5'4" Firewire Vanguard online, will give a FULL report when she arrives!

                      Cheers -- PS

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Thanks Fokai for the information. It's funny I talked to STABL and according to her IF you PREPAID then you have priority IF you didn't then you weren't guaranteed one. She also said MAY come in two weeks but Rip Curl Ala Moana told me 12 weeks! Forget that I'd rather get mine asap for the summer, lol. I actually never wanted to be in this predicament because afterall I just received my BRAND NEW custom Tomo for New Year's but after several sessions realized 22.9cl just won't cut it for me @ 152lbs.

                        Cheers -- PS

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          i go to STABL a lot. i forget her name, but i dropped off the JP quads on yesterday and she said the same thing. Lonnie always hooks me up if i like. asking me if i wanna DEMO boards and fins. He had mentioned to me that they never received their batch because "prepaid" had priority. They're cheaper than the others. Rip Curl is comparable tho. Enjoy ur ride. hope u get it soon.

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                          • #15
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                            A few pics of my very first sesh on the Vanguard yesterday, needless to say the wave was pretty bumpy, levels really low and she behaved like a champ. Notice how the "nose" looks like is about to pearl... Not the case, somehow it comes right out of the water, I guess the single concave running from the very nose combined with the little " things" under the it ,is what makes the magic
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by iggy; 03-31-2013, 10:46 PM.

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