Firewire – Spitfire (Helium Tech)
Welcome to Rogers Surfaries and Reviews! This a place where I can talk about surfboards and not bug my wife so much with talking about them. If there are boards you would like me to review feel free to comment down below.
Most of the boards I ride are in the 38L to 45L range. This Spitfire is 6’2 x 20 ¾ x 2 ⅝ and comes in at 38L. Being the new helium tech the first thing you notice is how light it is. I have had lots of PU and epoxy boards over the years and this is by far the lightest I have ever come across.
Before we move onto the review, let’s start off with a little history on the helium tech. Firewire have been working on this tech for the past 3 years as a construction to replace their ever so popular FST construction. The rails are now a mix of balsa and paulownia wood and the deck skin is infused with helium to reduce the weight and thickness. While this has certainly made a fast reactive board, I am not sure if it will be as durable as the FST. I’ve only had mine a month now and while there are no major foot wells or damage, I have noticed some cracking in the resin, though I think this was from a run in with a SUP. This aside, I cannot fault the construction. it still has the new board feeling and considering it gets surfed sometimes 5 days a week to have no signs of damage in the first month is a good thing (well except for where the car door blew into it and left a little ding, but that’s not anyone’s fault)
The Spitfire is a proven shape that has been in the Firewire line up just about from the get go. With the exception of taking a year off when they released some of the Tomo, Slater design and Pyzel boards. It falls under their everyday category and that is exactly what the Spitfire does best. It is your everyday board it handles everything from 1-2 ft wind slop to 3-4ft peaking barrelling beach breaks. I personally would reach for other boards once it got above 4-5ft but I think in the right conditions it would still feel at home especially if it was somewhere like Snapper on a full tide above 5ft and you have nice long lined up walls. I haven’t surfed a Spitfire in any other tech expect the helium so I can’t really compare them. However, one thing you will notice is the speed this board has. It makes sections you don’t think it will and pulls off turns with the best of them. It’s a board Firewire employees describe as being the marriage model, the board that paddles in easily, like really easily. The thing is a wave catching machine (when you’re not surfing twice a day due to family commitments or work). But make no mistake, it still rips, you can still pull in for that barrel, you can still jam turn and get a nice vertical if your surfing allows or you can just cruise doing nice carving cut backs and enjoying the surf.
Overall the Spitfire does everything it says on the box. Its paddles easily, it surfs easily, it will suit 90% of the waves most people who work 9-5 will encounter. I’ve surfed it as a thruster and quad but mainly I surf it as a thruster. I just can’t get used to quads, though I did have a good surf using a set of FCS 2 Mayhem quads on a 1-2 ft day that actually worked really well. Generally however I tend to used FCS2 AM-2 Large fins which gives a tail release yet are nice and drivey when you need them to be. I’m not sure the new helium tech will be as durable as the FST but it does create a more reactive fast board. If however you are looking for a board that will last for ages, I would recommend the Timber Tek construction. This however is known for being a little stiffer but if you’re not the type of person who doesn’t notice how boards flex as they surf or are trying to surf like Kelly Slater, then this will suit you just perfectly. It doesn’t have heaps of concave but it doesn’t need to with how fast it is and how well it planes. Anymore concave then what is has would make the board way too out of control as the more concave a board has, the more it wants to lift up above the water. The single flows into slight double through the fins which helps with turning and the step down rail that runs along from just behind the end of the front fins to the tail really does help with driving through your turns with plenty of speed. One thing I noticed is when you put this board on rail, you can feel the step in the rail bite into the wave which helps it feel stable as you push through with your back foot. The low entry rocker helps with paddling, though it can take a steep drop perfectly fine and there is just enough tail rocker to help with pivoting turns to keep the board feeling lively and fun.
I hope you found this review helpful and you find yourself checking out a spitfire to add to your board collection! If you want to see me riding my spitfire at Snapper, click the link below.
Below is the full list of sizes for the Spitfire.
|5′ 2″||19″||2 1/8″||diamond||23.3|
|5′ 4″||19 1/4″||2 1/4″||diamond||25.5|
|5′ 6″||19 3/4″||2 3/8″||diamond||28.3|
|5′ 8″||20″||2 3/8″||diamond||31.0|
|5′ 10″||20 1/4″||2 1/2″||diamond||33.5|
|6′||20 1/2″||2 1/2″||diamond||34.9|
|6′ 2″||20 3/4″||2 5/8″||diamond||38.0|
|6′ 4″||21″||2 3/4″||diamond||41.5|
|6′ 6″||21 1/4″||2 7/8″||diamond||45.0|
|6′ 8″||21 3/4″||3″||diamond||48.7|
|6′ 10″||22″||3 1/4″||diamond||55.4|
If you would like to know more about the new Helium Tech click on this link
If you would like to see how the Spitfire surfs you click here
If you would like to get a Spitfire of your own, I can highly recommend visiting Beach Beat Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast. They really know their stuff and are very friendly and honest.