I just thought i would post my thoughts on a recently purchased but soon to be sold dominator. After reading everyones glowing endorsements of the dominator i looked around the surf shops and found a 6'4". I looked in another shop at the 6'6" but it looked huge and i wanted more of a performance board for around head high waves. I am 52, 6'3" and 95-100kg, surfing for 38yrs. I have a 6'3" minifish and a 6'10" mollusc but wanted something in between. My first surf on the dom was in chest to shoulder high reef break lefts, on my forehand. I found it to be not a good paddler, but i still caught plenty of waves, and after the high volume boards i had been riding i was not surprised. It was not a board that had natural down the line speed, i found it was easy to pump small turns to get it going, but did not have glide when i stopped turning it. It turned well, and was easy to wrap around a cutback on the small faces, but in the waves i ride i would prefer it with less rocker. I could imagine it would go great in punchy beachbreaks or bowly reefs. I love the outline shape and the round tail which i havent had for a long time, and i think the tail lends itself perfectly to a quad fin setup.
I am still a believer in the technology and the shapes and i have decided a 6'5" El Fuego, diamond tail, would suit my surfing and the waves i ride, so after an expensive experiment i will try and sell the FST Dom and get an elf. After reading Nevs experiences im a little more confident i will get it right.
The other thing i notice on here is there are old guys like me who are light, and big guys who are young. Not many big old guys, and they seem to steer towards the addvance.
I guess not everyone surfs the same or surfs the same waves. I'm 38, 100kgs and have a 6'4 Dominator and love it. For me its super fast, especially with the quad set up. I catch way more waves on it than any of the "standard" 6'6s I was riding. I usually surf peaky beachies and have tried a few different fin set ups, I can understand what your saying about too much rocker though, for fat waves the El Fuego would be the go. I'm thinking about a couple more Firewires, a Spitfire or an El Fuego so let me know how the Elf goes.
Keith, I am 50, 6-6 190 to 200 pounds I could have bought a lesser rockered board like the Elfuego, but would have given up on performance on chest to shoulder high reef breaks , punchy beach breaks and points. The Dominator offered me that edge. I do not surf super mushy powerless wave days that is just too much work for me. I would rather work out with my core muscle groups on those days.
Thanks for the input guys, i am still going through all the forums and still not sure what would go best for me. Most of the time i ride slow full faced waves and have built my quiver around low rockered boards. It depends a lot on how you surf as well, i tend to take off and try and go as fast as possible down the line to get a face to turn on, and that is probably because i am not quick enough or flexible enough to go hard off the bottom and up into the lip. If there is a lip further along the wave i will try and hit it but the days of multiple lip smacks from takeoff are well behind me. I tend to enjoy a drawn out bottom turn and what i call a parko type carve under the steep part of the wave, probably not risky but when you get on a green wall with speed there's nothing worse than smacking the lip and getting caught behind it.
I dropped off the dom in the surf shop yesterday and the owner, who is a firewire disciple, was confused with my lack of stoke for it. I think i need a bit more volume if im going to ride a board of the doms rocker. In saying that i know most people think the dom has a flat rocker to start with, but for me it feels loose and easy to turn without much drive, quad fins would probably give it more but i would prefer to ride a thruster in decent waves, maybe?
My question then, assuming 45lts of volume is about right for me, would a 6'5" elf, 6'6" spit or 6'6" dom be the go? I want a board for chest to a bit overhead, offshore good waves like Lefthanders down Margaret River way. I rarely surf punchy bowly waves. I have also just bought a set of quad fins to try out.
Keith, not seeing the waves you surf on, or what size fins you are using, but hearing them sounds like the waves are very weak and lack any kind of power either dominated by long boards or low rockered fishs and hybreds. As a last chance for the DOM, Do you have a four fin set to try on the dominator (or a friend or surfshop fin tree? If you do then try out different fin combinations. I have some opinioned comparions in the FINS TESTED ON THE DOMINATOR" blog here http://www.firewiresurfboards.com/f/...-the-Dominator. you are close to my weight and height, but we do have different waves we ride. But give it a shot, you may want Larger fins or different combo if you are find the Dom is too loose and cant generate power/speed, I know I elimated use of smaller fins for the Dominator I could normally ride on PU boards.
keith, I was in much the same position as you when I bought the Dom. First surf was neither here nor there as I had no expectations, but as I surfed it more I started to think "meh, this board doesn't work for me", which was odd in that I'd typically enjoyed back footed fuller volumed boards in the past. I had been surfing the Dom in small, weak windswell around the 1-2 foot mark (knee to maybe waist/chest high) to this point.
I made some preliminary comments here and some people suggested I try a firmer fin. I'd been using the M7 fibreglass fins to that point, and following those suggestions went to the PC7 (and later GAM's as well). The other thing that happened is I surfed the board in really quite tiny conditions (knee to waist high that day), but breaking into a rip. Consequently the board had a wave with a little more power to work with.
So what I found is that the stiffer fins and more wave power allowed me to generate more drive from the board. I'm no board expert, but for the Dom I think the drive probably comes from the fins. Having now surfed the board how I think it works best (back foot, drive the fins, better in a wave with some shape) I could then apply the lessons more generally. So when I brought the board into weaker surf I was conscious I couldn't let the board track to pick up speed for a turn, I needed to generate it for myself by driving off the fins. So in weaker waves there's probably a fair bit of S turning from me as I work the board to develop speed. As you do this you'll also find that the rebound from the parabolic rails comes into play, itself generating some speed.
Having said all that if I was consistently surfing weaker, crumbly waves with a bit of 'down the line" to them the El Fuego is probably a better pick. But if there's a pocket to work the Dom would be better, with the caveat you need to drive the fins for speed.
I love a Parko turn. There's a you tube clip or similar somewhere of gecko on an El Fuego doing some beautiful Parko turns on a decidely non weak crumbly day! Check it out. You'll be inspired.
PS It's goanna on the clip, not gecko. Doh.