i think the stealth is a little more refined and is ridden a little bit longer than the Hellfire. I do think, however, that they can and should be ridden in similar conditions. I think the major difference is the stealth will feel overall like a flattened shortboard while the Hellfire has, in my opinion, a more attractive curve and distribution of foam. You get great response and versatility.
That's my take, but I don't surf t he Stealth much, it just isn't one of my favorites.
I have the 6'0 Stealth and it feels like the best board I've ever ridden. The tail kick allows you to surf off the tail and throw it around just like any high performance short board. However, it paddles so well that you can catch waves early and beat out guys on little boards or even longboards. It's 30.5 liters on the stock 6'0 but feels like it's much smaller. I'm 5'10 and 165 lbs. Ride it as a thruster with pc-5's. I've progressed from an average intermediate game to a entry level advanced surfer in about 3 months on this boards. Took me from a solid carving game with some decent finishing hits at the end sections into blow tails on both frontside and backhand, small airs, and full round house cutbacks to vertical and a much smoother style. Board feels like a good combination of pocket surfing with some added drive. Real good tight radius turning and a slingshot like response out of turns. Its ok in knee to waist high surf but not really too much of a true groveler because of the tail kick. However if it's small point break (trestles, topanga, 3rd pt malibu) or decent beaches (Huntington or newport) it surfs well and makes you look good. But you could probably ride a traditional board just as well in that kind of surf. In head high points and a few feet above, it's insane! Lots of projection, and real loose if you stay on the tail. Great board for learning how to do airs with all the excess speed, so you eventually figure out how to launch since the board drives itself to the steep sections.
Mayhem says he shaped this board as a contest board for junk waves. A "secret weapon," and that's how it feels. However, since it's built to work in junk, it really moves when the points are firing and you have long steep walls to work with. Sort of lets you cheat with the extra speed and moves you up with the big boys on the rockered boards on the good days. That being said, it does feel like there would be some limitations on bigger days that creep up into the head and a half+ range where you need a bit more rocker and length for some control. I am currently searching on these forums for advice on possibly an MB for the head and a half to double overhead range. Any suggestions on models or size would be appreciated...
The 30.5 volume built into the stealth seems like to high a volume based on the stock dimensions for the Mb model. Thinking I need to lower the volume a bit, but without losing paddling power or foot placement and stance based on the stealth that i've grown accustomed to. Rode a 6'2 x 19 x 2 3/8 mayhem driver (poly board) in 29.4 liters (smaller than the stealths volume) in shoulder high rolling beach break in san Diego and it felt like a boat and that I was riding a coffee table. My feet had to shuffle like crazy to find the sweet spot and just had a horrible session on surf that I would normally be doing fins free turns and full roundhouse cutbacks without too much pumping. Could barely get the driver to move. Anyone tried the mayhem drivers? Made me want to look for another FireWire as the next size up from my stealth...
Thread resurrection!!! Thanks for the commentary Prayasurfer, and I'll try to weigh in since I just grabbed a 6'0 FST Stealth. I had been eyeing the 5'10 Hellfire, and I demo'd it twice, both as a thruster and quad in waves that were around 6' and fairly hollow. The Hellfire is a good board, don't get me wrong, and this is definitely subjective, but the Stealth really won me over. I think that the combination of low nose rocker and more dramatic tail rocker just works better for me personally.
I first tried the Stealth with a Nubster in the back (closest tab to the tail) and Stretch SF4s, and it was honestly terrible for me. I use the Nubster / Controller set in my groveler (5'7 stub nose), and it is absolute magic in that setup. Anyway, in the Stealth it felt like I was dragging an anchor while snowboarding through really deep powder, if that makes any sense at all. I ditched the nubster and replaced the front Stretch's with GAM's and kept the SF4s in the back, and the board lit up - super pivoty but definitely held well through turns - very predictable and insane speed. This was in 4-5' wedgy, juicy stuff. I even grabbed a few smaller waves that came through as an experiment (probably around 3'), and I was able to generate a ton of speed.
The thing that sealed the deal for me was how it rode in the barrel. Got two really clean ones that day and it was just effortless - the board held a great line, and I felt really confident overall. Came out with tons of speed on one and got a really solid grab rail cutback in.
I still have a ton of experimenting to do with different quad setups in the Stealth, and I'll post my results. I used to have a Lost SD IV, and the Stealth just slays it, not even in the same ballpark (again, based on what I'm looking for). Oh, and I whacked the nose soooo hard on the tailgate of my car - did a 180 when a friend drove by and yelled at me, but no imperfections at all on the board. I totally thought that I cracked it . . .
I'd love to get more time on the Hellfire, but I've just really bonded with the Stealth, so I think I will focus my efforts on demo'ing a 5'8 Spitfire!
Sounds sweet scotty, I'm looking at the same board and trying to suss out the best fin set up when I get it.
Out of curiosty what is your weight and height? Trying to figure out what size I should be looking at. Probab leaning towards the 5'10 myself at 150lbs
I'm almost 6'3 and about 158lbs, and a bit more with my full suit. Ideally, I would have grabbed the 5'10, but I got a killer deal on a slightly used Stealth, so I couldn't be picky (I really wanted a Futures setup as well, but mine came with FCS).
A lot of it depends on how tall you are, and the skill level of course. It's funny, since I'm really used to a 5'7 now, the 6'0 Stealth felt sooo long. Then again, I really grabbed this board to help me out when it is juicier and in the 5-8 range, so an extra few inches isn't the end of the world or anything.
I'm going to try a bunch of different fin combinations (mainly quad setups), and I'll try to report back over the next month or so as I try different combinations. Picking up some of those Q-1 side fins tomorrow, and will try the K 2.1 Quad with nubster as well.