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  • Unibrow...Love at first sight...

    When I saw first photos of the "proto Unibrow" I was "magnetically attracted" to it! Tail end - Dominator, and front part SHORT BOARD! In Hawaii, we label the "off-spring" between the union of an Asian and Caucasian as "HAPA" - and your first impression, "Wow! Beautiful and striking." Same thing for the Unibrow.

    I picked up my sexy looking 5-6 Uni at the same time that I got my 5-4 Vanguard. Positioned side by side, the Uni had ALL the right genetics...The VG while intriguing seemed to have "mutated genes." I surfed the VG for a week straight and felt like my surf experience was "turned side-ways." I was blown away by how fast and loose the VG was (see my "Session Notes" in the Vanguard posts). Meanwhile, back home on my board rack (along with my other lonely FW's) sat my brand new (but neglected) Uni.

    One week after exclusively surfing my VG, I finally christened my 5-6 Uni. The first thing I noticed as I paddled out was that volume is distributed differently then a Dom/Spitfire. To create the sexy short-board nose, the volume is pushed from under the chest down toward the center (or my core). So the nicely tapered front rails of the Dom is replaced with more of a domed-deck. This is not a negative, it took some adjustment to get accustomed to a fuller feel in the center of the board. I ended up surfing head-high waves at a slabby/ledgy South Shore spot that's very fickle, but when it's it's "ON" it's as close to North Shore power we get. This initial session was perhaps "tainted" by my experience of exclusively surfing the VG the week before. My timing and balance on my Uni felt "off." This I attributed to my Vanguard experience the prior week in which speed and looseness were abundant. However, once I self-corrected, I came to appreciate the good drive and consistent rail feel of the Unibrow. I only felt disappointed because I'd surfed well below my capabilities in very good waves on my new Uni. I'd redeem myself in the next few days.

    The 2nd session on my Uni gave me my "Aha!" moment. The waves had dropped to chest high and were softer & NOT breaking top-to-bottom as the day before (different surf spot). Paddling the Uni is definitely like paddling your Dom or Spitfire, the low rocker thru the tail allows easy paddling considering the very short length (5-6). My Spitfire is 5-4, and my 5-6 Uni paddled just as well if not better. That session allowed me to take off on the outside waves (along-side long-boarders), and connect the flat sections to inside reforms each time the opportunity presented itself. The Uni was plenty FAST when I needed to keep up with "running sections," it's short length allowed quick top-to-bottom snaps when the wave allowed it, and the round-house cut-backs with rebounds were easy (as I expected) with the rounded pin-tail. My 3rd & 4th sessions in the same wave conditions were as good as the 2nd, essentially, the Uni excels as performance groveler. My 5-fin array for these sessions were: FCS Carbon Fiber Twins, GX quad trailers, and "upright" Nubster.

    This past Saturday thru Tuesday a new E/SE swell rolled into the South Shore and our home-break LIT UP! I surfed my Uni each day with differing conditions...Easily over-head to double overhead, and breaking top to bottom. Each day we had speeding sections some makeable and many too fast unless you were on a jet-ski, BUT the Uni handled the steep take-offs, double-ups, late drop-ins, and barrell sections very easily. Granted I should've been surfing a standard short-board shape, but I'm always interested in pushing a board's limitations. For these waves I changed my 5-fin array to Simon Anderson Large, fiberglass quad trailers (like Rusty quad-trailers w/less rake & more vertical profile), and my upright Nubster. In retrospect, I could've gone to a thruster array with all the speed and juice, but the quad trailers allows for later more vertical take-offs with less "tail spin-out." Unibrow in over-head juice - CHECK!

    So, Unibrow...One board quiver for waist/chest hi to over-head. Sure why not. Test it's limits and you might be suprised too!

  • #2
    SOLD SOLD SOLD! Ladys and gentelmen! we have a buyer! (thats me :P)

    great feedback!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by luismx View Post
      SOLD SOLD SOLD! Ladys and gentelmen! we have a buyer! (thats me :P)

      great feedback!
      Hey Luis...Boiling down my long-winded disertation. Test the Unibrow in smaller, more manageable conditions first (if you can), and you'll be able to dial it in as you go up in wave size. Sometimes I tend to "dive head first" into situations, only to step back later realizing the error of my ways.

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      • #4
        get mine tomorrow:)

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        • #5
          Firewire is releasing too many boards that i want! ugh!! I wish I was rich! haha!

          ALOHA!!

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          • #6
            Yeah, my first surf on it was wild and woolly 3-5 foot (up to 2x overhead) short period storm surf - not fair conditions to test the board (although it was fine). As I've tested the board in more "normal" conditions I've really come to love it. As others say it's a super easy transition from a Dom. Chris says its a Dom replacement and that would be the case if you surf it the same or similar volume to the Dom. If you have a proportionally high volume Dom though (as I do) for use in really small waves by dropping down some volume the UB becomes a great step up, with absolutely no transition issues from the Dom.

            I have also found there were few transition issues from a Dom to Alt although the board differences were obviously more pronounced. By contrast I have found more significant adjustments were required between a Dom on the one hand, and a Futura on the other (which surfs quite differently). Still a good board mind yiu, but it asks for a few minor adjustments to technique.

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            • #7
              Myles808 & @buzzy, awesome test reports! Also, thanks for making me even more jealous!!

              ALOHA!!
              Last edited by hawaii_boi; 04-11-2013, 08:51 PM.

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              • #8
                Myles808 I think you've just confirmed it for me. After buzzy's suggestion and your glowing feedback I'm sold. Hoping local stores have one in the right size in FST and FCS lying around somewhere.

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                • #9
                  Myles808,

                  Could you talk about how your unibrow is different than the Spitfire? I am really curious as to how this board is similar or different.

                  Thanks,

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                  • #10
                    Firewire Evolutionary Chain...Dominator - Spitfire - Unibrow...

                    Originally posted by hwork50 View Post
                    Myles808,

                    Could you talk about how your unibrow is different than the Spitfire? I am really curious as to how this board is similar or different.

                    Thanks,
                    Aloha HWORK. Let me say right off the bat the Spitfire IS IN MY TOP 3 of favorite FW boards. To this day my SF is my go to board when the surf is in the 1-2 foot range. Essentially, I sold my Dom and replaced it with the SF even though I truly love how easily the Dom can be surfed in a variety of conditions and wave sizes. I just felt having both would be redundant. So, essentially the DOM and SF have the same genetics, but the back end (tail section) is where the SF is designed to allow for quicker release and a "looser feel" then the Dom (which it does effectively)...Thanks for hanging with me HWORK - I'm getting to your question now.

                    That brings me to the Unibrow and it's similarities and differences to the Spitfire.

                    Similarities...Both are: easy to paddle and catch waves (low tail rocker profile and good volume), good glide and able to fly thru "flat sections" with ease, both have "tons of speed" when the waves start to go more round or vertical (always a good thing), versatility - both boards are designed to be grovel boards but if you have the skill & confidence you can take both boards out on bigger days (especially if a bigger swell sneaks in when you thought it would be small), both boards have 5/4/3 fin option.

                    Differences...SF: has step-down rail in tail section allowing for good "bite" in the wave, has more subtle single concave all the way thru the board (maybe slight double in tail near fins?) - generally easier to surf, has roughly 1/2 to 3/4 liter more volume then the UB allowing for a little more float (easier paddling) as well as little more glide thru flat sections then the UB, fuller tail & fuller nose area which facilitates easier paddling and allows you to surf a little more front-footed then the UB & this also means better grovelling but less control on steeper faces and hollower waves.

                    Differences...UB: has pulled in short-board like nose and a pulled in round-pin tail - allows for better board control on steeper & later take-offs, also easier to go top to bottom on snaps/re-entries with less "stick" (better release) on bottom turns & at the top, more of a domed deck with more volume under your core - versus SF under chest (UB feels fuller in the middle then SF - which is where the displaced volume from nose & tail went), deeper single concave and subtle double out thru the tail - deeper concaves create more lift under the board which can make it faster and some say a little looser (however some say deeper concaves makes a board feel "squirrelly"). The UB's slightly longer rail line/length combined with the round pin also makes for very smooth turn transitions which is especially noticeable in cutbacks and check-down turns.

                    So HWORK in the final analysis...Spitfire is MORE of a groveler than the Unibrow, but the UB does great in grovel conditions. The UB will allow you to "step-up" into bigger and hollower surf - while the SF will make you wish for your short-board (or a UB) in bigger/hollower surf.

                    If you haven't already, I encourage you to use the "Board Compare" for the SF & UB using "graphic view" overlay which will show the overall plan shape of the SF is groveler (wide nose & tail), and the UB is more short board (pulled-in nose & tail). Good luck HWORK. If you like the SF (or Dom), you're gonna like the UB!

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                    • #11
                      Doesn't the Uni have quite a bit of tail rocker?

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                      • #12
                        Yeh prj, I would say now that it does, but nothing like a Taj or suchlike. It's weird how in a couple of years you adjust to new norms in terms of shape. The Dom seemed a flat slab when I first saw it, but after the SP and P/nator it started to look relatively refined. So with the Unibrow, much more [relative] exit rocker than the Dom, a little more than the Hellfire. Does paddle pretty well tho despite it's much more "pointy" nose.

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                        • #13
                          PRJ...I'd describe it as a little more rocker in the tail and the nose, compared to the Dom/SF. The deep single concave from the nose to the start of the slight double concave in the tail straightens out the rail line allowing for good speed & momentum thru the flats.

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                          • #14
                            but Myles, ive seen u w the VG, so the real question is VG or UNI?

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                            • #15
                              Hey Fokai, if I had to choose right now - I'd have to go with the Uni. My ability on the VG is not at a level where I'm confident in surfing it in a variety of conditions. Maybe if I dedicated myself to surfing it exclusively I'd change my mind. What's your take on the VG as a the go to board for small to small/med waves?

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