Just rode my 6'4" spitfire and I am super stoked!!!! *Wave conditions were waist to shoulder high, pretty weak swell and tide was rising.*
I weigh about 185 lbs, 5' 10", 42 and am an intermediate surfer that needs all the help I can get paddling*getting into waves (have short arms, slight rotator cuff issues and my fitness isn't what it once was). I get out 1 or if I am lucky 2 times a week and surf South OC, from T-Street, Cottons, uppers, lowers, middles, church and some San-O. I wanted to change my quiver so I have less boards, but smarter and more purposeful.
These are the board I sold, to help reduce my quiver, I sold all 3 of these and replaced with ONE spitfire:
1. 6'3" Griffin 5 fin ModFish (really fun and great backside board, but if you put a slight bit of too much pressure on front, pearl city, was my #2 board). *This board seems like it should have been perfect for me, but it doesn't handle putting much front foot pressure on it at all, it's a bit heavy and doesn't paddle as well as the spitfire due to the increased rocker.*
2. 6'5" Stretch F4 quad-epoxy (probably was my favorite board, super fast, easier to catch waves than one would think based on dems, my go to). 6' 5" x 19.5" x 2.63". 33ml volume (that seems low). Not as pivoty as my higher volume spitfire (guessing the step down rails really help).*
3 6'6" Merrick Red Beauty. (I thought this would be my favorite, had wide and thicker rails, beak nose which gave it lots of volume, but I loved my stretch so much more, sold it just doesn't suit me for some reason). Also, even though it had lots of volume and a flatter rocker, it didn't catch waves or wasn't nearly as fast as I was hoping.*
My 6'4" rapidfire spitfire, ridden as a quad with AM2 fronts, futures 375 rears and an insert to fill the 5th fin box (I hate leaving the last fin box exposed and hate to think of the drag it would create).*
Surfed T Street tis AM and at the time ONLY long boarders were out, so I thought I was in trouble. Waves were weak too, but the first 3 waves I paddled for, just before I was ready to give up, I could feel my board start to pick up speed and ended up catching them. Super happy!!!
Some initial impressions
I am much more of an old school flowy surfer than the really aggressive kids now, so typically fish and hybrids work better for me.*
1. *Wave catchability: excellent for a "short board". Better than my stretch F4, Merrick or Modfish, pretty similar to a much larger 6'4" Hanel Quad Fish that I own.*
2. *Speed: *very good+: *some people say it isn't isn't a board that is front foot heavy, I would say it is very very well balanced for me. The F4 was a little more front foot, Modfish and Merrick much more rear foot.*
3. Pivot: *Very good+: *seems to cut, hit lip, carve and perform round houses better than my F4 and Modfish, maybe not quite as good as my Merrick, but hard to tell at this point. The light wt construction of the FireWire and 2" shorter might make this as good or better than the Merrick.*
All in all, I can tell this is a great board for me. Most all of the positives of my Red Beauty thruster and 5 fin Griffin Modfish in the cutting, pivoting and workability while at the same time have similar speed and better wave catch ability than my F4 and Modfish.*
I have a sweet potato I still have the stickers on, but something tells me I want to keep riding this for a while and am in no hurry to get off it. You know how you ride a board for the first time and sometimes it doesn't go as well as you hoped and you just tell yourself "it was just a bad day" or "the waves just weren't good enough" or "I just need to get use to it". Then on some boards, the ones you really end up being a "magic" board because it works the very first time you try it. That is where this board is, *I am very very happy!!!