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  • Inserts vs. No Inserts - What is your take?

    Firewire riders,

    1. Lighter, more flex, strength still there withOUT inserts...

    2. Or...heavier, bombproof with inserts?

    Note without inserts you will always have the choice to add a strap/pad system such as NSI or surf tech.

    Inserts do limit foot placement to certain areas and not all kiters can adapt.

    Throw in your thoughts!

  • #2
    The same strength and the choice of inserts or without. So you must have a choice. I would choose a board without inserts for most sessions and a board for more difficult situations with straps!
    So I would love a board without straps!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Stayfan View Post
      The same strength and the choice of inserts or without. So you must have a choice. I would choose a board without inserts for most sessions and a board for more difficult situations with straps!
      So I would love a board without straps!!!!
      That is the perfect world Stayfan. There is a balance we must achieve. Most of the kiting world, at least here in the Western states in the US is pushing more towards strapless for the technical tricks and purest stoke similar to surfing. I think most riders out there would be frothing over a board that was lighter, just as strong, more flex, and the traditional Firewire feel we see in the surf lineup.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Grant,
        most of the time I go strapless, but if the waves go double over head, I usually get the straps...
        How lighter would be the difference without the inserts and less stronger lamination? more than 30%?
        Are we talking about 1-2lbs? If it's just that, leave the inserts on... and let it bombproof!!!
        Maybe FW would have a specific hi performance model without the inserts...
        Actually, Firewire should sale the straps+pads, for sure more than 50% of the buyers would buy the board and the straps too.
        Here in Brasil the market demands the assemble, and here there is a huge kite market!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          What shapes/sizes are you targeting? What will the cost be ... cheaper?
          I'm still strapped in large surf/high winds and strapless in the smoother lighter conditions.

          Comment


          • #6
            We would try to have a few different models to cover various rider size and preference. The cost would most likely be lower than the current models.

            -Brian

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BIRDZ View Post
              Hi Grant,
              most of the time I go strapless, but if the waves go double over head, I usually get the straps...
              How lighter would be the difference without the inserts and less stronger lamination? more than 30%?
              Are we talking about 1-2lbs? If it's just that, leave the inserts on... and let it bombproof!!!
              Maybe FW would have a specific hi performance model without the inserts...
              Actually, Firewire should sale the straps+pads, for sure more than 50% of the buyers would buy the board and the straps too.
              Here in Brasil the market demands the assemble, and here there is a huge kite market!!!
              As Brian said we would cover different models as a lighter strapless model but still keep a few bombproof for those who demand the straps/weight for gnarly conditions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi

                Same question as Birdz above: how much lighter?

                I would not mind a strapless Dominator - I rarely strap that board, and since I use it in lighter conditions, the lighter the better, but I'm not sure about a strapless Taj - I use straps more often in strong wind/big waves, and I would care less about the weight of the board.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Dom has a ton of volume and width so it's going to perform well in light wind even in the existing construction and falls into our performance hybrid line. We will most likely introduce new models that are based off of our high performance line with more traditional surf shapes for strap free riding and keep the majority of our current kiteboard offering for a strapped/strapless solution.

                  Hope this helps,
                  -Brian

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok, now I can write after riding my KHF 510 for 1 week - 2ft and 6ft swell:
                    First of all, the shape is amazing!!!
                    The board is fast and goes rail to rail like a skate!
                    It's a big guy board, over 180LB. I'm 200LB and felt gooood!
                    But in the other hand it does have some issues.
                    Yes, the board is a way too heavy. Firewire must take out 2LB urgently!!!
                    The inserts are perfectly positioned! Right in the balance point of the board!
                    Although, the plastic material is undesirable. Firewire must work with stainless steel inserts, and be competitive.
                    Again, the inserts are essential for a guy that wants a 1 board quiver!
                    The other issue is about the screws that came with the board.
                    They are the worst quality possible!!! In the very first time that I've tried to assemble the straps, one of the screws had the head damage and I had to sand the head off to remove the screw.
                    I went to Home Depot and bought 4 good stainless screws that cost me less than U$ 2.00 and worked well.
                    Please don't send that bad screws for your costumers, I had a very hard time dealing with it!
                    Overall, it's an excellent board, but needs some improvements fast!
                    I would give another chance, and recommend the board, but if in 1 year I don't see the changes/improvements, I wouldn't buy it again.
                    I'm happy with my KHF, but I could be very very happy, and become a loyalty costumer, if I see the changes.
                    Thanks!

                    about me: 6'1 / 200LB / IKO INSTRUCTOR - SPECIALISED IN WAVE CLASSES / STRAPLESS UNTIL 8FT WAVES COMFORTABLY

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Birdz,

                      We are working on the weight issue...so stand by. We have some good stuff coming. Some boards are meant to be strapless...some strapped. Regarding the screw issue...we will take a look at that and correct the problem....if there is one. I have had no issues if I put on straps (which is rarely). Hellfire does rock!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BIRDZ View Post
                        Although, the plastic material is undesirable. Firewire must work with stainless steel inserts, and be competitive.
                        There was another conversation about strap inserts in the forum - Can't find it at the moment, but Felix' points for the current system made sense. I'd rather have plastic inserts than stainess steel. Does any kitesurf manufacturer use metal inserts on their surf boards?

                        The difference between twin tip board and surfboard is that you're always using your straps on the same side with a twin tip - the strap does not rotate and the screw does not move. There is a bigger risk for the screw to come off on a surfboard, hence the force-screwed screws. I however agree about the quality of the screws - I've killed the heads and I've only screwed them 4 or 5 times - you have to be very careful.
                        Last edited by effisk; 10-31-2012, 12:23 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think having a two (or more) board quiver would be the ideal situation. Having a board without inserts for the added weight reduction would be sweet. But sometimes you just need those straps to keep you locked on for those hairy days in the waves. I haven't had many of them yet myself but I see Dimitri always going out on big days and I know he is happy to know his board is glued to his feet. I myself have only had three days to test out the KHF 5'6". I feel like the board wants to find its way under my feet most of the time but I also don't go out much when its big yet. I can imagine how losing the inserts and cutting some weight would be nice but I think the board performs extremely well as it is. I think it would also be interesting to feel the difference in flex of a board with more or less flex.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            All your points are all valid. This is why you can look forward to a few boards in the kite line remaining with inserts and a few without. We will see how the kite population reacts, especially to a lighter and more lively board without strap inserts. Lighter is always better for the most part, but we do understand that those hairy days just feel better knowing that board is locked under your feet. More experienced riders will venture to the strapless models. I myself will never go with straps unless the surf is flat and I just need to get some boosting out of my system. Over time you will see that strapless in big surf can be just as fun as in small. Sometimes a leash as well will keep that board close, sometimes too close :)

                            Keep a lookout on the future models. We have a proto KP1 out right now that Brian and Felix are testing and it is about 1-2 pounds lighter than the current production insert model. Whether his board withstands the brunt of kiting, only time will tell, but we can assure you we are testing as much as possible to find that magic formula. Keep in mind, Firewire is dedicated to building a board that lasts where the owner can rely on this board for many seasons. We don't want to compromise weight with strength, but at the same time there is a fine line and a realistic point where a board will snap under certain conditions. We are trying to zero in that recipe so that you riders get the best product possible.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Grant, I'm totally in love with my KHF 510, strapless all the time, even on a big stormy days...
                              I can tell, that board is a war tank bullet proof machine! I've been beating the sh... of it, and so far it's holding on!
                              Please, 2 LBs less will be all I need to have a dream board!!!
                              Thanks for the effort!!!

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