Got my baked spud yesterday 5,3 x 21 1/4 x 2 3/8 in rapid fire white.
First impressions: Nice shape looks better IMO than sweet potato more refined, dig the white rapid fire just looks like a standard PU board without a stringer, looks 100% better than the bamboo deck that IMO looks cheap.
First surf: Very Solid lumpy swell running with onshore, so only real option was a smaller reform reef, its a reef but its a mellow wave, starts in a onshore lumpy reform peak mostly around shoulder high goes fat then doubles up and runs off through a cleaner fast inside section about waist to knee high.
Paddling: Felt like i was back on my old 5,8 merrick gravy that i loved but only lasted six month before it was beaten up, id say it paddles about the same maybee has a similar volume, doesn't paddle amazing but good for a short wide board, easy to duck dive, board sits just under water when sitting on it.(its volume is 32.4L slightly more volume than my Hellfire @ 29.4 and Flex fire @ 28.2L)
BTW. i swear my flex fire paddles the best of the 3, perhaps its because of the length
Catching waves: early days but possibly doesn't catch waves as easy as I expected, i dont think i coud have gone shorter, perhaps could have gone the next size up, to improve the wave catching/grovel factor, but i think that would take away the performance aspect, so happy with the 5,3 as a compromise.
Surfing: took a little bit to get use to that kind of board again, real short boards like that are great when you get your feet in correct spot but, you can get a see saw action if you dont find the magic spot, i blew a few waves the take offs and first turns, but the tide was a little low at first and quite sucky, also im running a fin combination that are a bit small (got to get some of those Indo controller style fins) I dont have a huge selection of fins, but i put in the best i had FCS goods-1 at front and MR-TX trailer fins at back (might swap backs for a bit bigger fin) this combo felt super skatey almost to skatey almost sliding side ways trimming at times and really had to nurse bottom turns and turns, I did get one real nice wave got a bit keen and done a solid turn in the pocket was all good until towards the end of the turn i went into a huge tail slide with tail facing beach, wasnt expecting it and was way to hard/fast to control and fins took to long to catch back in so blew it.
After that i took it a bit easier, had to really concentrate on nursing it a bit on everything bottom turns, trimming and turns, ended up getting some nice little turns and the board planned nicely between fat sections, speed was not really a problem but drive perhaps was, maybe that sounds weird but i think there two different things, maybe it was just because i had to nurse it even trimming which sucked a little as i like to be able to really pump to hit the gas, board also felt a bit stop startish on some turns, fine going into turns but bit sluggish on the end of cut backs almost feeling like the board/fins needed to re catch the wave, like when do sliding 360,s, but waves could have also been a factor, going from hollow to very fat and weak swell.
Summary: board felt good considering it was first surf quality of waves and fin choice, think has lots of potential and for a board of that width felt quite high performance, but as expected i think i didnt have enough fin area, thinking of changing the back MR-TX to PC-2, like i said will get more suitable fins, but for now i only have a set of FCS goods-1 rear MR-TX trailers(no fronts) K 2.1, PC-2 and some G-5 all my quad fins are in futures :(
Will give an update as I surf it.