I frequently visit this forum as a multiple Firewire owner and enjoy the benefit of learning a tremendous amount about so many different models. Usually I do not post but today I simply have to!
Here is why. After a long deliberation I decided to buy a Sweet Potato. It was a 5'4" size for a 5'11" tall guy, 78kg, 42 years old of intermediate skill. My main concern was the length of the board as the shortest I surf is a 5'10" Twinny Fish. Nevertheless, I decided to open my mind (paying attention to the board volume rather than unusually short length) and get one.
So, I took it out on 2-3ft clean conditions. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed. Well, indeed as expected, the board paddled beautifully. It also straightaway felt a part of my body despite the small size, which was a nice surprise. It duckdived well and, again as expected due to the previous forum reviews, it turned awesomely. So why disappointment? Well, despite all the advantages the board simply did not feel to have enough acceleration from the start. Every single wave it just felt it needed time to pick up speed unlike my twinny. Another disheartening find was lack of looseness. It simply did not feel loose enough however hard I tried to move it about. I remember thinking:"Oh we'll, maybe I am expecting too much by wanting it to be as skatey as my twinny." So, I settled with that. The hope was, of course, that the next session would be different.
Unfortunately, it was not. 3-5ft slow moving junky conditions this time and although the board negotiated a number of flat sections incredibly well whilst maintaining all the above mentioned advantages, once again it just would not pick up speed fast enough. Once speed generated it did go though but that feeling of initial sluggishness was driving me nuts. So, I settled thinking maybe it's my surfing style that is incompatible with this design after all. The thought of parting with it definitely entered my mind but not before I try it with much acclaimed Indofins, Controller Quad model.
Today was my 5th consecutive session with the Indofins. And?
GOD O MIGHTY WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!
From the first wave with the Indofins, about a week ago until right now, I cannot stop smiling. The difference I found is profound to say the least! The board now picks up speed immediately. And every time. It turns as well as it did with SF4's but now it skates too!! It's beautifully and ever so effortlessly loose. Finally, no more hard trying or stressing when riding this board. Its intuitive, seemless and easy. I have surfed it now in 2-6ft conditions of various quality waves (approximately 40 rides) and have a strong feeling this will be my most frequently used stick. I am absolutely amazed that a board of this size commands such drive, speed, manoeuvrability, and control (particularly in a larger conditions than recommended).
I in no way intend to regard SF4's inferior to a Controller style fins for this board. I accept in most likeliness the Indofins simply suit my surfing style more. However, the difference experienced has been nothing short of shocking.
Firewire guys, I thank you for this, if not the prettiest, certainly the most intriguingly effective water craft I have ever had a pleasure of using. Cannot wait to get out on it again tomorrow!