I hate how these threads always devolve into custom shapes vs firewire. Nothing trendy in my decision to buy a firewire. After years of buying custom, some local some not, I got tired of spending $500 - $600 for a board that fell apart under my feet after a year of surfing. This might be fine for a guy that gets out once a month but for me who rarely misses a swell and surfs hours on end multiple sessions everytime there are waves, it made no sense. By chance a friend bought one first and let me try it. I loved the board but didn't buy one for years. Finally broke down and bought one and have been on them since. Not one pressure ding in any of them, they still ride like new. Every other board I have ever ridden would be trash after this amount of time. Now tell me how they are garbage?
...Firewire Baked Potato 5'5 x 21 3/4 x 2 1/2 36L FST Surfboard=$749. If a normal human being rides this board...it'll last 3-4 years and still look and feel pretty new. The deck will hold-up and these are very resistant to pressure dings/delams/etc.
Channel Islands Average Joe 5'7 x 21 7/8 x 2 5/8 Surfboard= $649. P/U glass and foam, shaped by a robot and finished and glassed by a human. This board will last about 2 years until the deck has dents all over it (or delams), and it starts to have that dead lifeless feeling after surfing it a lot (under normal circumstances).
Lost Couch Potato 5'8 x 22 x 2.5 36.05L 5-fin Surfboard= $679. Same thing as the C.I longevity.
So, the best bang for your buck is the Firewire if you are a regular surfer like me on a budget. You'll get more out of if in the long-haul. Suq it.
well, you're dead on about the average joe...anything with that weak ass UL glass is going to break down quick.
The couch potato, on the other hand, is glassed heavy, so it'll last much longer than a standard poly...plus, it's one of the models offered in Hydroflex tech.
I have 12 boards in the garage...11 are traditional hand made and 1 is a firewire. I ride the Firewire by far the most. It just goes the best. I really think it is about time that companies like Lost, CI, etc get some real durable technology. They are dabbling but nothing that is proven, although the hydroflex is interesting. Having to buy a new board every year and a half is not sustainable for most folk's budget or the environment. I am happy to ride my firewire popout and would gladly buy another although I would gladly shell out another 50$ for the same board made in the US
New EPS board technologies. Here’s what I wanna know. There’s a lot of knowledge on the board. Lets hear it.
First the manufactured production boards…mostly Asian due to labor costs. 3rd World exploitation, Global economy, f*** yeah.
I've read the Firewire tech pages... they use not-too-dense 1 lb eps....which according to some swaylock experts is alot lighter than the 'recommended' 2lb eps . (don’t tell me about swaylocks- I don’t care) I guess that the FW sandwich construction with the NASA creepy deck s*** (soylent green?) and the parabolic rails probably works to strengthen up the weakass blank so it doesn;t crumble or snap (although they do apparently fart- order the whoopee cushion option). Seems like a nice balance of new technologies – durable with flex. Also, I appreciate some of the edgy designs being offered. Manufactured in Thailand. A lot of you folks like em, right?
Also, I am correct to say there is a consensus that tuflite is too stiff with little flex and doesn;t feel right? Considering that Tuflite was the first generation sandwich eps superboard, its not surprising that there were problems with performance. But they are light and mostly indestructible. Anybody have experience with Tulfite II? Also, made in Thailand (?)
Global Surf Industries (more Thailand boards)…..offers a bunch of eps processes. Everybody seems to luv the Hayden Shapes future flex boards, how do they feel. I’ve seen em in the repair bay so I know they break. Can anyone offer a comparison to firewire.
Then there are the hand shaped vacuum bagged processes that local guys are getting into. Supposed to be light and strong.. Any reports out there on the feel and durability. From what I’ve found a locally shaped and vacuum bag eps board will cost as much or more than a Firewire or Haydenshape. USA, USA, USA.
Finally, regular eps/epoxy type boards, what I’ve seen these cost about $100 most than the same PU model. Still pricey. Are they anywhere near as durable as a sandwich construction board? Are they $100 better than a PU board? I held one of these recently and it was sooo light it seemed like I would crack it if I gave it a good squeeze.
I’m sure I’ve butchered some of these descriptions and missed some of the technologies (Libtech – I read the site and have no idea what they are) …
Any additional insights appreciated. Thanks in advance
My wife purchased an epoxy popout longboard for me for a wedding present. She knows nothing about surfboards or surfing, just knows that I like to do it, and needed a new lb at the time. Whether that's what I would have picked notwithstanding, it has turned out to be a really fun board. All my other sb's are poly, and my old lb was poly as well (someone relieved my truck of it while I was in target). Having ridden my epoxy lb for a few years now I will say that it does feel a little different/lighter, but when I am actually up trimming on a wave, I can't tell a difference. I do know my board is incredibly durable and has been the source of a bunch of fun sessions.
We make epoxies with a 45 degree layer of 6oz bi-axle cloth on top and bottom of a standard 4 x 4 4. You can put Corecell high density foam on the rails also. Add a layer of bamboo veneer on top and vacuum bag it and the board is 2-3x stronger than normal and 1/2 the weight. Firewires, Hayden's and all those boards are overrated and vastly overpriced in my opinion. Buy/support local from someone who knows what they are doing, b/c you cant top a hand shaped, fine crafted work of art made custom for you.
i had a firewire at one point, the thing didnt ding at all, everytime i make a big drop or something on a pu board i get a huge pressure ding. some times i slam so hard on a board i get like a 5 in ding its crazy.
Yep. Hey, I ride boards hand-shaped by local guys in NJ. I also ride Firewires, and I happen to like them a lot. I've ridden Coils before, and i wasn't a fan of the model I rode. I ride what I like, period, and I don't give two sh**ts if it's made by Mr. Loc'ed-out down the street guy or from Nev Hyman's company manufactured in Thai sweatshop. I been doing this here surfing thing since 1988 and been through too many boards. If something feels good under the feet and lasts THREE TIMES AS LONG, sign me the F up. Call me a trendy a-hole, etc.
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.