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  • Poor quality fin system?

    Hi there

    I've got a Spitfire in bamboo decked Rapid-Fire board bought in the UK about 2.5 years ago. About a year ago the deck started to discolour like it would with water ingress but I couldn't find any point where the water could get in. This slowly got worse and there is now an arc of discolouration from near the tail to the nose. Finally, by chance, I have located a hairline crack in one of the fin-plugs (see photo) and I've started draining water out of here. Having spoken to a Firewire authorised repairer in the UK, he says I'll be lucky to have the board dried out by the end of the summer and then it'll obviously need a new fin plug.

    Having searched the forum it looks like other people have had this problem too. To me this is really disappointing from a premium brand like Firewire as I can't help thinking it's poor quality or faulty components. Looking at the fins you can see they've not had a big impact, but even they had the design of the fin tabs is such that they're supposed to break and save the board which they have failed to do. Either way it's either the plug or the fin tabs which are at fault and that feels unacceptable.

    I'm really keen to buy a Baked Potato for the UK summer but at the moment this feels like a risky option. I understand that the board is probably beyond any type of warrantee now but I emailed Firewire Europe to provide this feedback and look for reassurance that this problem has been addressed - unfortunately I got a very cursory response. I guess I'm posting this here to try and work out whether this is a common defect and in the hope that someone else from the Firewire world will be able to provide some reassurance. Assuming this issue has been fixed in new boards, some support for my local dealer in smoothing this episode over would be nice gesture....

    Cheers, Martin

  • #2
    Typical problem with two tab fcs system. Go with futures on your next board even if it's not a firewire and that won't happen. The reason it cracks is probably because you over tightened the screw. Also, keep in mind that nothing last forever.


    • #3
      yeah, FCS are rubbish in comparison to futures. cant comment on the new FCS2 though.


      • #4
        Thanks of the comments folks - I've always been a fan of FCS products in general and thought the debate about the different systems was a bit of a moot point but this little episode seems to have proved differently.

        I went to my local dealer who sold me the board this morning - they were very supportive and are going to pick it up with Firewire. All the other firewire boards in the shop were FCS with very similar (if not the same) fin plugs so I'd certainly be nervous about buying one of those till Firewire come up with some explanation i.e. they've upgraded the plug, I got unlucky and got a defective board etc. Not sure if I'd be able to get my hands on a Firewire with Futures easily?

        All I'm really after is some feedback from Firewire on whether I've been unlucky or whether there's a systematic problem (I'm hoping it's the former) - I realise these are both uncomfortable answers for Firewire but I'm still a bit disappointed than Firewire Europe have given me the cold shoulder and no one's picked it up on here yet....


        • #5
          Is it multiple plugs damaged? Front and back tabs or just the back tab of a plug? I've never seen that before, to me it looks like the fin has been dry docked and has pushed up through the plug. I can't see any other way of that happening personally, a bummer though as it can easily go unnoticed and lead to a water logged board.


          • #6
            Hi Phill, thanks for the note. It's just the front tab of the front fin and the fin itself shows no sign of being dry docked. If anything, it looks like it's come from a sideways force i.e. either surfing or over tightening of the screw as mentioned above. I'd contest that I haven't truly over-tightened it though as I only use one of the cheap little fin keys and not a ratchet tool or anything with more leverage and I'm careful with my kit. I've also put in and removed quite a few fins and never had any other issues. You're right that it's a bummer though - it did take ages to find and now I've got a leaky board for no apparent reason or mis-use...

            A quick search on the forum suggest these guys have had similar issues...



            • Phill
              Phill commented
              Editing a comment
              Have you been in contact with Myles from FireWire eu? Ultimately it'll be his call

          • #7
            Hi Phil, I've had brief contact with Myles and I think the shop will take it from there with him. I understand any call on compensation will come from him but what about a view on the plug technology itself? I can hear the conversation with the wife now...

            Me: "I'd like to buy a new Firewire surfboard, maybe one called the Baked Potato!"
            Her: "you mean like the one that's just started leaking and you've had to take back - why would you buy another one of those?"

            What do I say to that?!


            • #8
              Make a sandwich But seriously, it's most likely a one off situation. Could have happened to any board.


              • #9
                Ha! Thing is, it doesn't look like a one off given that there are others on the forum who've had exactly the same issue. As you guys said in the first place, I think Futures are the answer but I can't find anyone in the UK selling Firewires with Future boxes? Or indeed whether Firewire still make boards with Futures, Phill?


                • Phill
                  Phill commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think there's an even mix of FCS/Futures coming to UK/Europe from now on instead of purely FCS. I know a lot of the FCS boards will be FCSII now but ultimately it's down to what individual dealers order from Myles.
                  I know Down a The Line ordered all their June shipment with FCSII.

                  I don't think there's any problem with the FCS Fusion plugs, it could be worth bringing up with FCS though I didn't have great results with their customer service and have switched to Futures on all of my boards as a result.

              • #10
                All mine are futures. But I'm in oz. Go for fcs2 instead.


                • #11
                  Thanks Phill, that's encouraging. Sounds like FCS have got some issues to resolve. If You guys can't get through to them, I'm not going to waste my time - I'll just switch to Futures and vote with my . Cheers.