Firewire Alternator 6'8" review
After a great deal of deliberation and discussion with the crew at Onboard I decided that a firewire alternator 6'8" was definitely my next board. I normally liked to ride slightly larger thruster boards to get that extra paddle power, at 68 kg my 7'4" Gravelle was always a nice size for more west coast waves but I wanted to really start to get a board that was easy to throw around and with some extra width in the tail for less powerful waves.
The firewire mean't that I can ride a smaller board with good paddle power but still get the extra floatation due to the styro core and expoxy construction.
On riding the board I immediatley found it easy to pick up waves, and upon taking off it is fast on the trim and very very loose. One session had me used to the extra light feel and now I could not really feel that riding a heavier board again would satisfy.
the board is easy to paddle, easy to turn, very loose and responsive and very steady on critical take offs. the rocker is nice and I felt no issues taking off on more peaky waves.
I used some Kelly Slater K3s and on one session on the video when the swell was smaller I actually took out the trailing fin and rode it as a twini, It went surprising well, really loose of course but trimmed well.
Over all a great board from great construction
All Firewire action on my
home turf in South Australia
I'm not Kelly slater but Kellie
does make an apperance
Take 2. After 12 months of this board and using the JS Luke Egan.
The full experience of this board and having now gone down to a 6'5" 19" wide 2 3/8th thick board and having ridden many different waves here is my thesis on this board.
It is a larger rider or intermediate riders short board, if you want stability and paddle power but are getting ready for a short board this is the board. If you are a true short board rider then this board will feel a little large, therefore you will want a small size and something thinner which will lead to a true short board. the 6' 8" is not a true shortie, its as big as you can get with a shortie, if that makes sense.
If you want a real small wave killer with loose feel and confidence that you will ride your 2 footers then you should look at the 6'8" Dominator which is a great small wave loose boarder with heaps of floatation in the tail. The alternator is low in volume in the tail and therefore leans away from being a true weak swell 2 foot wave board but becomes a board that you can use in a stronger 2 foot wave or 3 foot - 5 foot swell.
But if you want a slightly larger 'shortie' that can cover as much different all round waves as you can then it will do the mix. I am happy riding it in small waves as I know I stand a chance of getting into a few of the larger sets and having a loose smaller board feel. The Dominator is such a good board and does feel light but it does have that larger tail and you know you have your foot over the extra foam. (Definitely try a Dominator)
If you want a good alround light shortie in this range then go smaller Alternator.
In the video I am on a stronger 2 ft swell about half way through, where it performed well, however in a weaker surf break I have found the board lacks a little power in the tail, as most short boards do. The Dominator however seems to work better in small weak swell. The Alternator will service you when the swell gets large and more powerful when the Dominator gets to be too much board.
You will notice in the video that I have to work on turns as this wave is a little fatter in most sections - it is a reef break and starts to power up quite well but demands work to get through the sections.
I changed the K3 fins to some JS standard fins and surfed a 2ft reef break recently and actually found the board worked lots better with more squirt and power through the tail. I don't think the K3s suit this board and will report later when I get onto some more smaller surf with the larger JS fins.
I have not used the smaller boards so I can't comment on them, I think they will have very regular short board characteristics.