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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    321
    I have an 6'2" Spitfire RF and a 6'0" Spitfire FST. I have also owned a 6"1" RF Activator. I didn't like the feel of my Activator and broke my Spitfire RF in half in Southern Delaware. See Delaware is h e a v y thread (comical on a side note). The RF seems a bit soft - despite eps/epoxy combo. My FST has held up but I have mostly been surfing OCMD the most.

    LB, I agree man - vague statements on flex makes me wonder if this is a band aid for high failure rates?

    None the less. My 6'0" Spitfire is a good board. I liked my old 6"2" Sam Egan Resin8 better but that board is also in 2 pieces.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Atlantic City
    Posts
    1,307

    Question what flex?

    LB, I agree man - vague statements on flex makes me wonder if this is a band aid for high failure rates?


    neither of my f/wire stix exhibits any flex - i think. straight up - (cue whitney houston) -
    HOW WOULD I KNOW???

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    in the grace of the most holy FSM
    Posts
    3,067
    Quote Originally Posted by baddy trailerpark View Post
    neither of my f/wire stix exhibits any flex - i think. straight up - (cue whitney houston) -
    HOW WOULD I KNOW???
    flex is, IMO, what firewire is all about. by moving the stringer out to the rails on the fst, they managed to negate the stiffness that is inherent in eps foam & control that flex by tuning the stringer & rocker to work together (theoretically).
    turn it over (deck down) & lightly step in the middle. w/ fst, you can jump up & down on the board w/ both feet & watch (& feel) it flex beneath you. i've never tried that trick w/ a rf tech one, but theoretically, it should be the same.

  4. #14
    Springer technology.....

    Its not all hype, there's actually some truth in there. However its really nothing new with the exception of the term coined by Firewire.

    I was doing this about 5 years ago...... I had SurfBlanks in California custom build our foam blanks using bamboo stringers we pre-cut and sent out to them. Bamboo is highly flexible, lightweight, waterproof and very, very strong. It was a little difficult when shaping and wasn't kind to our blades.

    The end result though was titts! We did many different combinations of glass and cloth and also different types of resins. The overall final product though was a very flexible, lightweight, more durable board.

    I'll have to look more into the Firewire and see what combo they're using.

  5. #15
    It doesn't make any sense since flex and stiffness are determined by the outer skins. Unless the skins are more flexible than a glass and resin laminate the central 'springer' which is closer to the neutral axis will do nothing significant.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
    Posts
    2,412
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Stuart View Post
    It doesn't make any sense since flex and stiffness are determined by the outer skins. Unless the skins are more flexible than a glass and resin laminate the central 'springer' which is closer to the neutral axis will do nothing significant.
    ...especially when the springer isn't tied to the skins on both sides.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
    Posts
    2,412
    Quote Originally Posted by wavehog1 View Post
    Bamboo is highly flexible, lightweight, waterproof and very, very strong. It was a little difficult when shaping and wasn't kind to our blades.
    Even just trimming a regular bamboo stringer with a block plain is rough... those growth nodes are a bee-atch.

  8. #18
    Its a combination of both. The flex of the stringer is definitely noticeable. I've shaped some epoxy's with no stringer at all and you could definitely notice a difference and epoxy is a very rigid resin. To most weekend warriors out there it wouldn't make a difference. Unless you are a very experienced surfer or pro its not going to matter.

    Its just like foam density. Most of the average guys in the water aren't going to notice the density of their blank. Just like the stringer there is a softness or difference in the give of the board due to the blank. If you buy a Merrick of the shelf its a completely different blank from what the use for their guys. Foam density is the reason you don't see the pros using the eco-friendly blanks. They're too soft.

    Stringers are used to enhance the strength of the board. Nowadays with the new resins and high-tech cloths there's no need to strengthen the board with a stringer. Got ahold of some new cloth which led to us shaping a few of the epoxies with no stringer. The strength of the board wasn't an issue it was a good solid board. Problem being was the stiffness due to stringer. The stringer really adds to the board not just in flex but in actual spring back.

    Over the years if you've noticed the progression of Firewire's boards from indestructible with no stringers to the use of rail stringers and now to their "new" flexible stringers.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by wavehog1 View Post
    Its a combination of both. The flex of the stringer is definitely noticeable. I've shaped some epoxy's with no stringer at all and you could definitely notice a difference and epoxy is a very rigid resin. To most weekend warriors out there it wouldn't make a difference. Unless you are a very experienced surfer or pro its not going to matter.

    Its just like foam density. Most of the average guys in the water aren't going to notice the density of their blank. Just like the stringer there is a softness or difference in the give of the board due to the blank. If you buy a Merrick of the shelf its a completely different blank from what the use for their guys. Foam density is the reason you don't see the pros using the eco-friendly blanks. They're too soft.

    Stringers are used to enhance the strength of the board. Nowadays with the new resins and high-tech cloths there's no need to strengthen the board with a stringer. Got ahold of some new cloth which led to us shaping a few of the epoxies with no stringer. The strength of the board wasn't an issue it was a good solid board. Problem being was the stiffness due to stringer. The stringer really adds to the board not just in flex but in actual spring back.

    Over the years if you've noticed the progression of Firewire's boards from indestructible with no stringers to the use of rail stringers and now to their "new" flexible stringers.
    The blank might change the resonance, but changes in flex are insignificant.

    Flex as it is described by just about everyone in the industry is almost impossible to achieve on shortboards. One of the reasons for this is the pressure distribution under the hull, another is the position of the two fulcrums ( the rider's feet).

    We were pumping the whole board flex thing starting in '94 using what I now think of as first level or entry level thinking. In reality it is far more complex and although boards which flex in a land test feel different, it's almost always because of changes in resonance rather than the 'twang' which is being erroneously marketed at present.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    321
    Dang man, This is good stuff. I'm learning a lot about stringers and their role. Thanks for the great input.