This is just a repeat of a review that I posted in the General News thread. I though it would be more helpful here...
Some differences really stand out compared to the Spitfire:
The first thing I noticed is that catch-ability is a little stunted compared to the Spitfire. When I paddle for a wave I really put my weight into the front of the board with my chest and it feels like the board hits the brakes. I have to settle my weight back a little and it improves. Similarly, when I stand up, if I put my front foot down and really start pushing off of it (like I do with the Spitfire) the board hits the brakes. I have to tilt it back a bit and then the board takes off. I think these things are just common differences between a fish outline and a hpsb. For me, it's a really good challenge because every time I venture into the hpsb range I have less fun.
It has much more grovel power then the Alternator. Once I adjust my initial weight back, the board has all the quick speed of the Spitfire but with much more control. I can take off early or late, use my weight, and really force the board to take off, even if there isn't much wave. It can do 2ft beach break no problem. I always found that I couldn't generate speed on my Alternator. I needed a fairly good wave to make it happen.
The tail. I've always liked the look of round tails but they've always felt a little dead under my feet unless the waves are overhead. This board is quick right on take-off. You can feel that flat area right in them middle of the board and it's a similar feel to the Spitfire. It also has great hold. I caught a couple overhead waves this weekend and noticed that I can bottom turn mid-face with confidence. With the Spitfire I would have to be very ginger about where I set my rail on a steep drop or the board would just flop over on me.
The tail rocker really helps me to the get the board back under my feet after going off the top. Sometimes the tail flatness of the Spitfire results in it drifting out from under my feet if I break the fins out over the lip. The tail rocker on this board keeps it under my feet. It's refreshing.
If I could change anything i would reduce the nose rocker just a bit because it reduces catch-ability and that's really important to me considering our crazy crowded line-ups. But over all I consider a good "next level" board for anybody who's been spending most of their time on a groveler.