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  • 3rd snapped Firewire this year. With video of board snapping in 2 foot surf!

    I have had 3 5'5 El Feugos this year and love them. Best fun size board I have ever ridden. The problem is that they keep snapping in tiny surf.
    It is barely pushing 2 foot out the front at Miami (QLD) today and i have snapped another board. The other two boards were broken in nearly identical conditions.
    It usually takes alot for me to complain about a board, but I have been surfing since I was very young and have NEVER snapped 3 boards in one year. Usually I have only snapped them in bigger surf, or at least surf with a bit of push.

    I have worked in surf shops in the years previous to this and have sold many many Firewires, sometimes on the basis that they are a stronger board (as proclaimed by the manufacturer) so I feel like I've been ripped off and may have ripped off others in the process.
    If the boards were cheaper I wouldn't have such a problem with them, but these boards are very expensive, especially considering where they are made. The worst bit is, it's not even worth getting them repaired because of the way the are made.
    I'd love to keep riding these boards but I can't keep shelling out big bucks for a board that lasts only a couple of months.
    I know that you are going to say that all boards snap under the right conditions and I appreciate that, but if the right conditions for snapping a board is consistently 2 foot mush then I think there may be a problem. I have replaced this board twice now, so this cannot be a one-off defect. It is an inherent weakness.

    I have included GoPro footage of it happening, with the wave I was on for proof of how small and pitiful the wave was. Boards should not break on waves this small. (just to clarify, there was no crease or any visible damage on the board before the surf)

    Not a happy customer,
    Sammy

    Attachment

    http://youtu.be/PQbkj6RqYE4
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Wow thanks for posting this. I was just about to buy a Dominator, but this changes everything. I've seen quite a few posts about people snapping FW boards. Their customer service is no good either, I emailed them this morning, but go zero response. Even a "we'll be with you shortly" would have been better than nothing...

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Sammy,
      Since you're at Miami you're well placed to take the boards back into Firewire at Currumbin.
      What happened about the first two that you snapped?
      Did you take them back in and were they replaced?
      Taken the latest one in?
      Are any of the 3 boards from the "blem" racks by any chance?
      Asking because if I was down your way that's where I would be getting my boards.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by garek007 View Post
        Wow thanks for posting this. I was just about to buy a Dominator, but this changes everything. I've seen quite a few posts about people snapping FW boards. Their customer service is no good either, I emailed them this morning, but go zero response. Even a "we'll be with you shortly" would have been better than nothing...
        Nice try Sammy!

        Comment


        • #5
          No disrespect Sammy
          I feel sorry for your board dramas
          But buying the rapid fires isn't shelling out big bucks as opposed to buying in FST construction
          It's priced to compete with standard PU boards
          I'd advise a FST on your next purchase

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Sammy,
            You are welcome to email me at the address below in my signature and we can go through the customer service process. Happy to help there.

            I just want to publicly address the video you posted, on a general level, because it doesn't tell the whole truth to the other users who view this. Your board did not break on that wave. It sustained damaged at another point during the session but happened to finally fail during the one single clip you shared. Just like PU boards, just like any board, damage can occur unbeknownst to the surfer at an earlier time and then fail/crease at another.

            There is 100% no way the wave you are sharing is the one single event that broke your board and EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT. If our boards broke by paddling in to 2 ft waves, we would have gone out of business long ago. The board was damaged at another time.

            ALSO FIREWIRE HAS A FORUM WHERE PEOPLE CAN POST ANYTIME SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS. The forum has been active almost 5 YEARS and there are a collection of broken board issues on here. I don't disagree. But the percentage is so small compared to how many boards are in the water. We are confident enough GIVING the medium to our customers to bring issues to our attention because the incident rate is so low.

            I challenge anyone to go find a high performance light weight PU board that has been used for 3-6 months and compare it to a Firewire that has been used for the same amount of time. In most cases, Firewires will exhibit reduced cases of dec compression and dining. That is the durability we express to our customers. We never anywhere say our boards can't be damaged or won't break. In fact we even put it on the retail stickers that were on the boards when you bought yours.

            Your situation is unfortunate and i empathize with you, but its also not 100% fair to throw out a blanket statement.

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Garek007,
              Sorry to hear of your apparent issues. For the record, I have received no email from you. I have also checked with our AUS crew and they did not receive one either. I did however get two from people that didn't put their name or email address in the fields requesting them. Please resend after filling out all fields so we can respond to you.

              Additionally, our customer service happens to be really good too and we go well beyond the industry norm when it comes to our customers.

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Chris,
                Just like to affirm the exact opposite experience with my Firewire FST tech boards. 6 boards, 3 years ownership, Fiji x2, Bali x3, Lombok x1, Sumatra x1, Maldives x1, Aussie x2 and every week at Piha NZ, often in big, powerful surf. When I scrape the wax off them I am amazed at how well they are holding up for light-weight, performance boards. Only 3 repairs in all that time, two from baggage handlers and one fin gash in the balsa from an idiot who ran straight into me while struggling to get to his feet. No wear and tear issues at all. And the resale is fantastic. Are you able to publish total board sales since the company started or is that a trade secret? It would give perspective to the small number of issues that get aired on this forum from time to time. Love your work guys. looking forward especially to the Unibrow!

                Comment


                • #9
                  In over 40 years of surfing I have never snapped a board (touch wood!). I have been rag dolled across the sharp reefs of Panaitan Island and my FST HF only sustained some scratches. I tend to agree with Chris - no way that wave snapped the board by itself, there had to be prior or latent damage, and you mention you have a history of snapping boards. Sammy, would you say you snap more boards than your mates? Might need to look at other things as well, how you treat them, surf them, store them, transport them and the like. Maybe there is something to be learned and avoided.

                  In the cycling industry there's an acronym for those warrranty claims - JRA (just riding along) and it broke. Time for the birth of JSA!
                  Last edited by Slowman; 12-04-2012, 02:19 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In fairness to Sammy no one was there and no one saw the board before the break so I think its a bit rash to make claims about it but ...I will say this...while that was only a 2 footer at best look at the way that sand is dredging up and the lack of "peel off" in the white water...clearly just a shore break close out and not ideal conditions for any board.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry but very hard to believe there is not a bit of spin here...

                      Im placing my money on this is not the third snapped FW board but the first!

                      Putting aside the fact is hard to believe anyone could snap three FW,s in a year unless you either keep on doing one of a few things.

                      1. Started to learn airs and trying to land them in the flats or extremely shallow water, like a shore break, this will snap/crease any board.

                      2. Trying to do other turns on almost bare sand shore breaks or reefs.

                      3. Surfing very heavy waves.

                      4. duck diving in very shallow water or letting you board go in very shallow water

                      Sure you can snap boards in tiny waves but most of the time if you do the board is hitting the bottom in some way

                      And if its true than you would surely be snapping just as many if not more PU boards.

                      Sorry but I do find it hard to believe anyone who has also worked in a surf shop and has a degree of knowledge would after snapping two FW's, not buy a third one in FST instead being well known it is the stronger construction.

                      Its actually hard to believe anyone would actually buy the third FW board after already snapping two within a year, I love fW boards but i know i even wouldn't.

                      BTW. I lived on the Gold coast for years and surfed almost every day often a few times a day mostly burleigh, south straddie and the beachies in between and i only ever snapped one board a PU DHD in a 2ft shore break trying to do something silly that one last dry sand turn.

                      Anyway thats just my 2 cents worth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have had 6 FW FST boards over the years - since FW started really and I have had two experiences. Five have held up so well its mind blowing, like its really amazing and these boards are a credit to FW. I have had one board snap after been ridden approx 20 times in small average surf, it snapped at the same spot across the deck about 2/3 the way up where i have seen other FST boards snap. I still belive this board was not build correctly(it didn't feel right from the first surf) and passed through a quality control loop hole as i have punished my other ones so much more sever and nothing and this one had a easy life and snap. i know its all based on physics of the wave force on the board etc etc. But i still belive it was quality control and all i ask has anyone else experienced this and if so perhaps FW could look at thier quality control and see if they could improve it to avoid this perhaps they are missing something sometimes. i am not complaining I am suggesting as i hate it when a product you have so much faith in fails you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I did read in the latest surfing life that during the trip for the 2013 board bible that they creased the Vanguard after its 2nd surf
                          They mentioned in the magazine that FireWire rushed the board out the door and didn't allow the board to cure properly
                          Not good publicity for FW as its in a national magazine
                          Too impatient
                          Goes to show it still happens

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wandi View Post
                            I did read in the latest surfing life that during the trip for the 2013 board bible that they creased the Vanguard after its 2nd surf
                            They mentioned in the magazine that FireWire rushed the board out the door and didn't allow the board to cure properly
                            Not good publicity for FW as its in a national magazine
                            Too impatient
                            Goes to show it still happens
                            My understanding is there is no "cure" time on epoxy boards post the initial curing...unlike PE/PU that continues to cure for weeks after the initial flash cure...correct me if I am wrong but I believe thats one of the attractions of epoxy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wandi View Post
                              I did read in the latest surfing life that during the trip for the 2013 board bible that they creased the Vanguard after its 2nd surf
                              They mentioned in the magazine that FireWire rushed the board out the door and didn't allow the board to cure properly
                              Not good publicity for FW as its in a national magazine
                              Too impatient
                              Goes to show it still happens
                              Yeah saw that, not a good look at all.

                              Comment

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