I had my longboard (9'0) for 2 months before I snapped it on a wave during the aftermath of Danny. While I had it, it was a fun longboard to ride. It was responsive like a shortboard for a big guy Since snapping it, I have ridden an 8'6 with a thruster fin setup and loved it. But for the price, I don't think its worth it.
i have a 6'0 alternator first generation, bought it when they first came out, researched the hell outta it.... i absolutely love them, they are perfect for travelin since u are less likely to arrive w 2 3ft boards when u packed 1 6ft board. however they are not indestructable, i gaulged out the bottom of mine on a reef in puerto, but it was fixed and looks/feels brand new. also on a big swell on a drop in i somehow put my back big toe thru the deck, go figure... the important thing is they are more expensive and harder to fix so i get them done at my shop (heritage is great w these repairs)... also when the wind is howlin offshore, these boards are too light, u will have a tough time droppin in... the best feature is the flexibility, if u make a big turn and lose ur speed at the top, the board can kinda snap back at u, pushin u back into the line kinda like a snowboard... it may b weird to get used to at first, but they can b great additions to any quiver, if u got the cheddar...
The mastermind of Firewire, Bert Burger, left the company a couple years ago, and went out on his own to start Sunova. IMHO, the Sunovas are worlds better than Firewire, and include better "springer" technology, wood veneers for strength and flex, continuous grain balsa rails, and proven planshapes and rockers. I have the 6'6 Nitro, and it's amazing in fast, barreling surf in the head high range. Works best in lined up point break type surf. The feel is like nothing else you've ever ridden - the speed you get out of pumping it is crazy. If anyone in the area wants to try it, PM me. I can also hook you up with a distributor, since they're kind of hard to find. I have it with me today and will likely be going to LBI this afternoon.
I have a 6'10" Dominator and I absolutely love it for punchy waves over waist high. For mushy thigh to waist I am looking at their new AAdvance model. I ahve also had a 7'0" Rich Pavel SpeedDialer which I bought to be my groveler in small mushy waves - no success - my 6'10" Dominator paddles way better -
I like boards with alot of volume and paddle power for VB - I just got an 8' Infinity Secret Weapon which I think will fit the bill - it has a pulled in nose with tons of volume - should be great mushburger board.