amen! You wrote my response for me. That being said..
I buy a shape, or something that i feel will work for me and be fun. If i feel like i can get it from my local guy, i will. But you can't just point out a board to your local guy and say "make me this". Well, you can, but it won't be exact without obtaining exact dims from the original shaper. If it's not exact, then it's not the same board.
I own local stuff, firewires, lost..etc.. And honestly the quality of local stuff is by far superior to the others, but it's not going to stop me from buying other stuff. Everything has pro's and con's.
My advice... Don't take anyones advice period. Try everything you can possibly get your hands on.. And figure out what puts the biggest smile on your face .... No matter what it ends up being.
well, theres' a good reason
dsup - straight up; you haven't tried one, have you?
Nope sure haven't, I wasn't knocking them just tossing out various reasons why some buy them, everybody has their reasons, some are good reasons, others are just trend followers, I bet they ride just fine if you get the right one for your ability and style. I'm a Coil guy and wouldn't consider any other type of HPSB if I were to get another, but that's just me, I fell I love with mine so I'm sold. Others fall I love with a FireWire or a Lost or CI. My point is buy it for the right reasons.
I ride coils largely for the same reasons salt notes that he rides firewires. They ride great and they are much more durable than traditional construction. I'm big and tend to cause delaminations in traditionally constructed polys. My coils are just as light as a thinly glassed poly, but they wear like iron and cost about the same. Only negative is the wait since they are custom.
I also think Mike Daniel is a great shaper. At least he's nailed it for my first two boards. Third is on order so we'll see if that trend continues. I was going to go the custom route anyway because I dont fit the standard surfer dimensions, so finding something with ideal dimensions for me off the rack is very difficult.
I wouldn't dismiss a firewire as a popout, or because its made abroad. I considered one seriously before stumbling upon coil. I was just trying to find something that I wouldnt be patching and injecting resin into delams a year after plunking down $600 plus. I imagine a Firewire would fit that bill, but I went the Coil route and have no regrets.
I think all of the new tech is a win for surfing. It keeps things moving forward. I wouldnt be surprised if some of it is not embraced by those on the construction side of things because extra durability means lower overall surfboard demand.
I can recommend Jimmy Keith for epoxy boards. my last was a handshaped EPS/Epoxy of his. Way more durable than poly, and surfs great too. It has a good weight-I've not experienced any of the same chatter as you do some other epoxy boards.
But a couple years ago I decided to pick up an epoxy board, it was a tuf-lite.
The board was great when there was no wind....but with an offshore wind the thing would lift on me as I was dropping in and really pissed me off, I then moved onto a shaped epoxy a/ a stringer...it was just ok.
Purchased a 5'6" FireWire Sweet Potato about 2 years ago and I have to say it is the best "epoxy" board I have ridden....would love to try out a coil, but I'm done buying boards for a while...
Anybody calling a FireWire a pop-out and trendy is just too much of a cheap a$$ to buy one.