My experience has been that flat bottoms can get very "slappy" or skippy when you start going fast, or when there's some surface chop. A single concave, on the other hand, will give different kind of unstable feeling... more like a sort of "rumble" feeling under the back foot.... kind of like there's marbles under there. Vee or belly will help smooth things out.
I'll also add that if that board has the Future Shapes Technology, it has perimeter stringers that are tied together at the ends. This adds to that feeling, because the whole board works as a unit, and transmits energy throughout... in other words, not much dampening. If that board has Firewire's carbon rods, which are not tied together (I think), or if it had the kind of perimeter stringers that are set in from the rail, and not tied at the ends, there sould be better dampening, and less "vibration."
How much does that board weigh? If it's in the 6 lb. range, the core material has nothing to do with what you're feeling. If it's in the 5 lb. range, Brian could be right, and the lack of weight is playing a part.
Not sure how much the board weighs, but its a combination of both no doubt. the flat in the fins was a contribution as well as eps foam. And, it is not part of the futures shapes design with the perimeter strigers. Don't get me wrong, I like the firewire and have had great sessions with it, pop out or not.
Firewire=CNC shaped over seas, hand shaped by Thai (from Thailand) who don't surf (reference?)
pic of thai surfers
CI=CNC shaped in US, hand shaped by a quiver of hand picked jedi shapers by lord Al Merrick (reference?)
Sith Lord Al Merrick
Surfboards are one of the few things left where a functional piece of art can be crafted by someone who cares as much as you do about how it works for you. There is soul in buying local and handshaped boards. This is a personal choice.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with you, here. While there may be soul in creating something, I find no soul in purchasing anything. That being said, it's what you do with it (and how you act) in the water that is the true definition of \"soul\" for the surfer.
Support a dedicated shaper if they make something that works for you and you can afford it. Otherwise, find stoke with the product of your choice. If it's a FireWire that puts you there, enjoy.
I like perimeter stringer boards. And I like CI boards. But I'll never buy either one. I'll copy, cheat, steal... their designs and tech, because they're smarter than me and better shapers than me, and I've learned a lot over the years by studying and riding their boards.
Balsa rails tied at the ends give great impact resistance to tender parts of the board, and add great rail set and stiffness to the rail, while keeping that trampoline effect to the overall flex. Perimeter stringers set in from the rail don't provide the impact resistance, but have better dampening. They still provide excellent resistance to torsinal flex, like solid balsa stringers, but not as well. Without wood skins, these are my favorite kind of stringer. But perimeter stringers, with wood skins and an ultra low density core with springer panel (a la Sunova) is superior to both, IMO. Firewire has something similar. But they're so expensive they're out of reach for most of us.
The CNC does not cut a board to 1/1000. It leaves groves on the surface that are roughly a 1/16 of an inch. The "ghost shaper" must remove these groves, add certain design elements not left to the CNC including concave and rail transitions, edges, etc. They basically fine tune the shaped blank. Most companies require a ghost or "finish" shaper to be able to hand shape a board from start to finish before they can become a finisher.
Thanks for pointing this out. It raises some curiosity on my end though... If a titanium heart valve can be cut, sanded, polished, and assembled in a single machine, why are pop-out/ carbon copy makers not using these machines for more than just foam removal? I would think the machine is capable of switching to a sanding screen, laying cloth and using a squeegee, but with the advantage of a vacuum environment.
Back to it... I have ridden a firewire. It was a very nice board. I would never consider buying one. Support your local industry, not the foreigners and the burton owned sporting good cooperations. Dont buy a collection of CI's and Firewires and then wonder why your local shapers and mom and pop shops are being replaced with coastal edges. Parabolic stringers and modern core technologies are indeed the next level of technology, but that said, only a small % (if any) tour riders are found on anything other than glassed foam boards. Dont fix what aint broken.
I am as old fashoined as they get . I rather have my boards shaped and made by a person who knows what I want and what type of surfer I am . Not some MIT nerd punching a program in a computer. Yes maybe its or acturate in 1000th's of a inch but like said your not gonna notice it.
Firewires, Coils whatever they have there place in surfing aswell as bic and 7S. What I dont like is Surftech making crappy rip off's of name brand boards. Walk into Kona and buy a real Surftech Hobie for 500 bucks LOL you get your moneys worth LOL . You would Swear Tom Cena ows Kona with how many cheap poop out he sells
you guys think Taj is actually riding an EPS foam board during competition?
I dont see why not, many people like the quick flex pattern of a firewire. His foam blank is probably hand tuned by Nev Hyman and glassed to certain specs but I dont see why he wouldnt be rididng the same glassing methods and Balsa rail boards as one you can buy. I know that Noah Snyder (east coast pro from outer banks) rides off the rack Firewires. I demoed one he had, they are a diffrent feel for sure, but I believe for many the flex pattern on the Firwires is fantastic. I know that I have never really liked the EPS/Epoxy glass set ups, but i also havent tried one in the last 5 years and they have evolved alot!. I have a grovler coming in EPS and my shaper said you can get the same sensation and flex from EPS boards but it comes down to the glass schedules so theat its not too stiff. ANyway back to the point yes I believe Taj is on a firewire construction stick , its not an off the rack firewire, its hand tuned by Nev Hyman and glassed to certain specs but I am sure its "similar" to what you can buy off the shelf in contrcution method anyway.
Epoxy construction isnt bad. Firewires are an EPS foam blank, in either 1lb or 2lb foam
depending on which construction you get) then its vaccum bagged glassed basiscally. Lynn Shell at OBBC uses the same vacuum bagging tech on his EPS boards, but because he usues 2lb faom (less air in the foam) he doesnt need the valve thing in the decks.