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Potatonator or Spitfire - First Firewire Purchase

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  • Potatonator or Spitfire - First Firewire Purchase

    Hi All,

    Wondering if you can help me make a decision. Im 5'11, 90 kegs and have been surfing again for only 3 years after stopping for 10 years due to work. I am keen to get a small wave board that can paddle into anything and stops me having to lug a 706 around (I am really disliking anything over 606 now - the shorter the better).

    I have had a look at the Spitfire and the Potatonator and can't decide which I should get especially as this will be my first firewire (and first factory board as all my boards to date have been shaped locally). I've read all the commentary I can on the 2 boards and still cant decide which one to get.

    At 90 kegs, getting moving is more like a cruise liner than a speed boat, so when the surf is small or fat I tend to miss more than i get on my current 602 or 606 and regularly get pipped by the older chaps on their longboards.

    I've made the decision to go with a Rapidfire board and now just need to decide which of the 2 shapes I get. Either shape in 604 or 606.

    Any help would be awesome!

  • #2
    If its just for small waves I'd go the Potatonator. If you want a broader range the Spitfire is your choice.

    I use a Dom as my small wave board and regularly use it in conditions where I see others using a Sweet Potato. I honestly don't see any major performance differences between these boards in those conditions. Bear in mind though I use a 6'4" Dom, so I am amply foamed for small waves. I say this to make the point that if you chose the Spitfire and didn't go really low in volume it would work great in small waves.


    • #3
      This is why I am struggling - the spitfire sounds perfect, but the potatonator probably has the float I need for smaller days.

      We get consistent 1-3ft days. Odd 4 and over especially through summer. Would potatonator be the better choice for sub 3ft swell?


      • #4
        I have a dominator and pnator. The dom is similar to the spitfire only I believe it might be more user friendly so I can give you a little persepective. Absolutely love my dominator but only when the waves are solid waist high +. I've taken the pnator out in everything from weak thigh to waist and solid chest to shoulder and it rocks. I'm 41 and a solid intermediate, maybe a bit advanced when the waves are good . For my age and ability the pnator surfs small, weaker waves better for me than the dominator. For an advanced surfer in all conditions a spit or dom will rip in small stuff but I think for the average surfer the pnator gives you the ability to look good in the weaker smaller stuff. I've had a number of fun days in thigh to waist high waves that would not have been as much fun on a dom IMO. Again my ability level has alot to do with why the dom doesn't work well in knee to waist high stuff mostly because I was on a fish for 7 years. I was used to the volume and width. Also, with my fish I was surfing off my front foot and going down the line. To all of a sudden try to surf small waves on a hybrid that requires the back foot to come into play was a difficult transition. The potato and potatonator have really helped me develop my shortboard surfing. I'm more back footed now and surfing more top to bottom. The volume and outline of both boards has helped me surf the smaller stuff much more aggressively than if I was still on my fish and the float and width help me overcome the struggles I had on my dom (in small waves). It's funny, once I do get on the dom when its really good I find myself surfing it much better as well. If you go for the pnator just pick the right size. I'm 185-190 lbs six foot tall but the 6'0 is a bit too thick for me I think. Paddles great but when I'm sitting in the water, the water line is up to my belly button. Helps in the smaller stuff I guess but I think it does inhibit performance a little bit in faster, larger stuff (chest to shoulder) To be honest I usually would have my dom out in chest +. Right now I'm trying to surf the pnator as much as possible to get more dialed in. Yesterday was waist to shoulder fast and hollow and it surfed very well. I actually started thinking about staying with the 6'0. It was nice to have that paddle advantage in fast moving waves. Good luck


        • #5
          After reading Buzzy's post you might want to think about an oversized dominator. A larger DOM might compete with the pnator in waist high stuff and will without a doubt surf up to head high and maybe a foot overhead. The pntor is sketchy IMO in head high stuff unless it's a soft takeoff. Tough call.


          • #6
            Go potatonator!!!a bit more verstile


            • #7
              Well, a BP will give you way more volume then either board at similar lengths.

              Plus, its very versatile.

              Not to throw in a monkey wrench but check it out.


              • #8
                Just to give some context to my earlier post by the way I'm 90kg last I weighed myself (per below) and my comments on the 6'4" Dom are in surfing a board at that weight. I could easily be surfing the 6'2" Dom if I wanted a more "all round" board. I surf volumes of between 35.4 and 40.8 in Firewire and each works for its intended purpose. It's also fair to say that in very small, gutless spilling surf the Dom would struggle but I'm not sure the SP or other boards would eba great advantage either. In those conditions I use a longboard.

                I do think though the Potatonator is most likely to be the board which fits your needs best provided you don't intend to surf it above head high. If you think you might cross that threshold the Spit is the go.


                • #9
                  Thanks for all the solid feedback guys - I am thinking PN over the Spitfire more now. I have several other boards ranging 6'2 - 6'6 for bigger days but to be honest my 6'6 doesn't get a lot of time in the water as the last 2 years there have only been a handful of days over 6' where its actually been surfable too. Now to decide on size for the PN. Im inclined to go larger (say 6'2 or even 6'4) to get as much float as possible - but will it make me a lazy paddler for those bigger days?


                  • #10
                    I'd suggest either the 6'0" or 6'2". I think the 6'4" would be way too much. Guys who have surfed the board more might be able to be more precise in their feedback.

                    The 6'0" is 21" wide, and the 6'2" is 21.25" wide and both with more than enough volume (40.2 and 44.1 respectively) for a guy of our weight. I'm on the 6'4" Dom which has about the same volume as the 6'0" Potatonator, and I find the volume of that board toward the upper limit. I personally think that planing area is at least as important as volume in small waves (more once you have paddled into the wave) with a flat rocker and width being the prime determinants here. So those two lengths would be the way to go as they have more than enough volume and are quite wide with flat rockers. Frankly I'd probably put myself on the 6'0" looking at those stats.


                    • #11
                      Go the 6.0 plenty of paddle power and float, gets in early, love this board


                      • #12
                        Thanks Buzzy. My biggest issue is paddle power - mates with bigger or thicker boards (and in the same or worse condition as I am fitness wise) seem to paddle into waves far easier. They claim its the volume of their boards compared to mine (all are thicker). My 6'2 is 6'2 x 21 1/4 x 2 3/4 - which isn't a small board really but definitely struggles in the less powerful stuff. I have a 6'6 which is 6'6 x 20 3/4 x 2 5/8 but its a 7S Superfish and is really quiet a rubbish shape. Paddling in is somewhat easier but when the surf is fuller or smaller its still harder than some of my mates experience (that and once your on the wave the shape of this board really takes the "Performance" options out of the equation). Basically the fatter the better without purchasing a boat. Ill have a look at the 6'2 as the 5l more volume over my 7S would be a good start... then to rid myself of that 7S!


                        • #13
                          Firewires construction in EPS and epoxy make them more buoyant than PU boards to start with, but also the plan shape (wider up front) and lower rocker make them paddle like turbo charged. My last board was a Byrne Mullet 6' 11" 22" 3" thick 47litres. My PN is 6.0 x 21 x 2 5/8 40.2 litres and paddles better and catches way more than the Byrne. If you can demo a 6.0 and 6 2 and see which you prefer. It's not all about volume when it comes to wave count I've found, too much volume makes you float over the wave rather than sitting in it and taking up the waves power to aid in momentum forward. Just my take on things


                          • #14
                            Yeah interesting point - Will see what demo sizes my local has and take it from there... can't wait to get my hands on one!


                            • #15
                              thanks for all the good feedback everyone. I too am thinking the Potatonator is the starting point. Then go from there, the spitfire for more of a challenge and the baked potato for smaller waves...



                              • Marklids
                                Marklids commented
                                Editing a comment
                                What if you already have a SF and want a small wave board? I am agreeing with bumper. Would a PN be a good complement to SF as SF doesn't really grovel that great for me. Needs a good wave then rips!