Felix and FireWire found each other on the same path of looking to bring the best high performance kiteboards to the masses. After six years of this common goal in mind, Felix and FireWire have been collaborating to offer the highest quality and most progressive shapes available to the kitesurfing community.
We are really excited about the various kiteboard options and giving the rider choices on strapped, strapless and two different construction types within our lineup. FireWire works with some of the world’s best shapers including Daniel Thomson, Dan Mann, Nev Hyman, Jon Pyzel and others and incorporate feedback from some of the world’s best surfing athletes to validate these shapes. Our kiteboard lineup is derived from the exact same elite surfboard designs and reinforced to withstand the extra punishment of kitesurfing. Regardless if you choose our proven Futures Shapes Technology (FST) or beautiful TimberTek wood skin construction, our craftsmanship and quality is second to none as FireWire produces every board from its own factory. We pluck the very best of these shapes for our kiteboard lineup. Boards that are guaranteed to work well for kiteboarding keeping upwind capability and high performance maneuverability in mind. Every FireWire board is built with the environment in mind as we strive to minimize environmental impact through use of Paulownia wood skin decks, recyclable EPS cores and Entropy bio resins that utilize renewable plant carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 50% over conventional petroleum based epoxies. Give a FireWire kiteboard a ride and you will quickly understand how decades of surf design can elevate your kitesurfing!
FireWire Modern Planing Hull (MPH) rider guide
Here at FireWire we are really excited in the latest advancements in design with the Daniel Thomson (Tomo) shapes. While these boards have proven to be fantastic for surfing, the kiteboard community benefits have truly surprised us. We currently offer the Vanguard in a Kiteboard specific build and soon will release our next MPH shape, the Vader.
These boards give you the following benefits:
Superior upwind capability – The MPH design is a planing hull, designed to create more lift than a standard direction board which technically function as a displacement hull similar to a boat that sits down into the water. The MPH planing hull provides a ride that feels like your gliding as the board continually wants to accelerate giving the experience of forward drive which is being produced by this hull design. This forward drive translates to getting you upwind much easier than traditional boards which is beneficial for all riders, but particularly great for larger riders who used to have to sit on the sidelines on light wind days. Even in flat water riders enjoy how easy it is to get upwind and the board outline is great for practicing transitions, tricks and airs on this board.
High Performance ride – These are high performance boards ridden by some of the top surfers in the world. You get the exact same shape with the Kiteboard build of the Vanguard or Vader so you know it will carve and turn incredibly well.
Predictable stability – The Vanguard has proven to be a very versatile board. The parallel outline from nose to tail provides more overall surface area and make it a very stable platform. You will feel a
smoother ride through the chop and inadvertent weight shifts won’t send you toppling off the board like a standard surf shape. This makes learning on a Vanguard a snap! We recommend the Vanguard for beginner and intermediate riders or people who are new to strapless. But don’t worry, it will absolutely keep up as you progress and advance.
Durability – The MPH boards are made from our Future Shapes Technology (FST) that offers superior durability yet is still very light. You will get years of use out of the FST construction, much more so than a standard polyurethane board.
Environmentally conscious – Did you know that every FireWire board is Eco certified by Sustainable Surf.org? FireWire is committed to making the most environmentally friendly board on the market with new building materials such as Entropy bio-resin and Paulownia wood deck skins featured in our TimberTek models.
We have some rider suggestions regarding your purchase and board setup
Board sizing – The parallel outline of the MPH design places more rail line in the water than traditional shapes. This means the there’s similar amount of rail in the water at any given time on a much smaller overall board size. We use 185lb/84kg as a general guideline for sizing the Vanguard. For larger riders over 185lb/84kg the 5’6” or 5’4” is recommended and for medium/smaller riders under the 185lb/84kg mark, the 5’2” or 5’0” is suggested. Of course wind and other factors can be taken into consideration. More wind look towards the shorter side, less wind the longer side. The Vader is intended to be ridden 1”-2” or 2cm-5cm shorter than your preferred Vanguard size.
Small miracles – The parallel rail outline and MPH design allows you to ride a very small board size. Don’t be intimidated by the smaller sized models. We have a lot of customers that won’t believe they can kite a board as small as the Vanguard and will purchase a 5’6” only to come back and buy a 5’2”. Smaller in this case can be better. You can get a skateboard feel with tons of control. Felix and some of our other riders report that they ride 5’2” in triple overhead surf with no problem. In fact the board feels more stable in large surf than a traditional 6’+ board! And don’t forget, the Vader should be ridden even smaller and will get you the same dependable hold in any type of surf.
V vs.V – Vader vs. Vanguard Comparison – At first glance these boards look very similar with the tail the only noticeable difference from afar. Our endless hours of testing these two models revealed that the Vanguard is really stable and works well for the beginner/intermediate kiter. While the Vader is pure adrenaline and caters well to the intermediate/advanced riders. The reason behind this is the Vader has a bit more tail and entry rocker which translates to tighter, quicker turns. In comparison, the Vanguard will tend to draw out these same turns making it feel stable and slightly more predictable. The Vader’s bottom has deep channels allowing it to hold and grip on big turns so again, it can be ridden even smaller than the Vanguard. Both boards will want to drive forward and race quickly down the line but the Vader will offer a bit more vertical attack and tighter carves. Either board will allow you to experience the fluid feel of the latest planning hull designs and get you back upwind instantly!
Traction pad placement – The rear foot placement should be very far back towards the tail. When using a tail pad we recommend that you position the back edge of the pad approximately 1” or 2cm in front of the deck plug. These boards ride really well when even weight is provided on both feet. Or for an immediate rapid turning response, weight you rear foot further back on the board.
Fin suggestions – Fins preferences can be a very personal decision. The MPH boards come standard with Futures fin boxes. The Vanguard and Vader push a lot of water under the hull producing lift and forward drive so they don’t require a large fin to accomplish this. FireWire produces a very high quality fin deigned by legendary shaper Nev Hyman which work really well on our boards. If you want to try experiment with other fin models, the Futures TechFlex fin construction is durable, performs well and is nicely suited for kiting. Small and medium sized riders will find the smaller templates like the John John’s, F4’s EA’s all work very well for this size rider. Larger riders may require more fin if they tend to really push the tail on aggressive turns the bigger AM2 template works well. If you’re less concerned about tech and having high performing fins and more about saving money, the same model fins in fiberglass or composite white will save you some money and still work well.
What Size board? Which model? What fins? Where can I get one?
Questions? – We are here to help! If you have questions we have a number of our riders who regularly monitor the FireWire Kiteboarding forum: Click Here
You can also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact Us page
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We hope to see you on the water soon and thanks for your interest in FireWire kiteboards!
-The FireWire crew