i just bought one and dude there are sick for sure so if ur thinking about buying on they are really great boards. i traded a board in when i bought mine but retail with no trade in they usually go for about 800
I borrowed one from a friend in Costa Rica this spring and it was a fantastic ride, although for the $750+ i think you could get a locally shaped board or 2 of equal quality. Plus Bert Burger (now of Sunova Surfboards) left the company, and quality control at Firewire seems to have changed.
Firewires run 699-730 at Outer Banks Boarding Co. We have them available on our webstore as well www.obbconline.com. The quality control has changed, yes. For the better in my opinion as the new batches coming in look and feel much better. The new boards show the natural color of the core mat foam as opposed to the painted white version from the previous boards. Bert Berger left Firewire- this is true. But my guess is that he wasn't shaping any of the stocks boards for retail, as the vast majority of the Firewires come from the California factory because the Australia factory doesn't exist yet and isn't in production. I have a 6'0" Alternator and I have enjoyed it. The flex patterns are similar to the Salomon S-core, which Lynn and Robert and I all agree is the best "riding" surfboard we've ever surfed. Too bad the S-core thing went belly up. But, the Firewire is very comparable in the way it rides, plus you get the durability factor you never could get with the S-core. The Firewire doesn't ride anything like your local custom shape- unless you live in San Diego and your local custom shape house is the Firewire factory. Truth is- a local custom shaper can't manufacture the Firewire contsruction, as the hard cell foam is licensed out from a factory in North Carolina, the gortex membrane is specific to Firewire, and most local shapers don't have/or don't know how to use vaccuum bag methods to laminated dual density core construction. The availability of the parabalic stringer blank, eps foam, and dual density blanks are allowing local shapers to enter the market of progressive design and construction. In this, I think there is a strong potential for the revitalization of the local custom shaper if he can get in with the game of new materials and methods and let the polyuerethane blank fall to the wayside, as it appears it may.