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Beginners Potatonator review. First try out on my PN 5'8" today.

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  • Beginners Potatonator review. First try out on my PN 5'8" today.

    Hi Guys

    First try out on my PN 5'8" today in 2ft offshore waves.

    My last board was a custom PU in the Rusty Pyranha shape with hips and a swallow tail, about 6'3" , 20 1/2" wide and 8.4lbs with quad fins and tailpad. I just weighed the PN with SF4 fins and tailpad at 7.0lbs.

    The volume at 33.9L felt slightly less than the other board but felt corky if that makes sense. I am going to have to work on my duck dives a bit, it felt like I was not quite getting under the white water like I'm used to. Paddling didnt feel much different than previous. However getting in to waves is easier, I didnt really have a problem with hollow waves either, just had to point the board down the wave a bit. I could perhaps be a bit further up the board when paddling in but with it being a fair bit shorter than normal I wasnt sure.The board felt a bit more skittish than I am used to, sensitive to foot and hand placement but it didnt take long to get used to. Now the good bit, Ive got some Indo controller fins on order but I definitely had more drive than I am used to even with the standard FCS SF4s, I've never hit the top with so much speed before. I'll have to work on my top turn as I wasnt getting the board back under my body but I was having a right laugh trying, I'm still wearing a grin on my face.

    Very pleased, the biggest problem I had with the previous board was I always felt a half second behind the wave, I didnt have that problem today :)

  • #2
    Nice review man, thanks.


    • #3
      great stuff notty!!


      • #4


        • #5
          Well 1 week on and 4 different sessions and I think I have gone too small. No doubt the board is great once I am up on it, an absolute speed machine, but I'm still struggling to paddle in to waves. This week I have tried offshore wind; struggled. Clean no wind; better. More mushy; absolutely crap. I um'd and ah'd between 5'8" and 5'10", being ambitious (read more ambition than talent!) I went smaller and this looks like a mistake.

          Got to get my wave count up, easier paddling out, easier paddling in to waves. I can sell the 5'8" but then what? I am tempted to go right up to a 6.0 or even something completely different. I absolutely love the short board feel when I am up and I dont want to lose that? I bumped in to the local custom shaper on the beach and he was all for something early planing high performance around 6'6" size but then he is biased toward me buying off of him so I am wary of just 1 opinion.

          I'm currently headed at the 40L ish size as per the sizing on Firewire:

          1. 6.0 Potatonator FST/RF
          2. 6'6" easy paddling custom PU board but would be difficult to sell on
          3. 4th Chilly Bean doing a bit of my own research

          Any help or comment greatly appreciated?


          • #6
            I'd keep with FW as the quality and support would be hard to match.

            Plus this community is a golden resource x order of magnitude.

            Just size up a bit and you'll be fine. I'm sure the board will still feel the same in a 6.0, just easier to paddle.

            I'd go FST.

            Forgot to mention, easier to re sell as the brand is loved.


            • #7
              Agreed, thats why option 1 is there. If I go this direction I dont want to get it wrong 2nd time around so I want to be sure this is the right board and size this time. I didnt say too much first time around as I had read all the articles and realised it is very much down to the individual. Unfortunately this individual still managed to go too small :). Its kind of put me off of the Potatonator I am wondering if the 6'0" will be that much easier to paddle than the 5'8". And if it is will it bounce everywhere with my weight once I am up? I am wondering if I have gone beyond my ability too soon.


              • #8
                I can probably help you out a bit here. I bought a 6,0 Potatonator a few months ago, and im the same weight as you. I love the board, i went from a 7,6 minimal to the 6,0 pnator. Ive surfed it in my windbreak to really good offshorewaves in portugal. The board paddles super easy and catches waves easy. Its easy to turn and it doesnt "bounce" around. BUT! I feel that i need to downsize if im gonna be able to progress, got a really hard time with the duckdives. Its just way to much volume (and i got bad technique) So beachbreaks is just a pain for me.
                Just a question how are you positioned on the board when you paddle into waves? It took me some time to get used to being more forward on the board (nosedives) Im thinking about selling my 6.0 to go 5,8 just because i want to be able to get out more easy. When i bought mine i first wanted to go 6,2 i was affraid to go to small. Now im actually happy that i got the 6,0 because i think i would have had the same problem as you if i went 5,8 directly. My advice would be keep trying and go harder be further forward on the board otherwise you will just end up like me and want to downsize. How do you find the 5,8 regarding duckdives?


                • #9
                  While I see what Hyper is talking about, the problem I personally have had is picking boards to grow in to.

                  I now choose boards that suite me today and worry about tomorrow when I'm ready.

                  Diff strokes but I think many ppl over estimate there abilities and growth.

                  That being said, do the 6 and when ready, do a smaller more HP board when ready.

                  This is all prefaced by the last part of my sig, I'm 1 to 3, 1 part gooood fun surf, 2 parts sucky goofy.
                  Last edited by aurfalien; 11-04-2012, 12:44 PM.


                  • #10
                    The advice I have had from a buddy of mine who is a decent surfer is keep trying because I am not that surf fit at the moment. I thought I was buying a board for my ability now but unfortunately my calcs were wrong. My cheapest and most convenient option is to try and stick with it for now. I can stick with it for a couple of weeks and then have another think if it's still not working.

                    Hyper I think I am pretty far forward but I'll keep an eye on it. The board duck dives fine for me, prob the least of my problems :)


                    • #11
                      Well, I certainly understand the $$$ perspective.

                      Few things to help;

                      1) Stretch 2x day for 20-30 at a time. Focus on the back and legs.
                      2) Drink lots of spring water.
                      3) Pick a great multi vitamin, I love Tangy Tangerine.
                      4) Confidence.

                      Good luck man, I too struggle and think of surfing each and every day, many times a day.

                      - aurf


                      • #12
                        Hey Notty

                        hang in there man. I'm quite a bit heavier than you at 91kg and ride a 6.0. I'm older and only get to surf each weekend. by no means an advanced surfer, probably very average. I can't see the 5' 8 could be too small. Your first post you said that the 5' 8 seemed "corky" and you would have to work on your duckdive, so you would have heaps of probs with a 6'.0. Last week I had a sucky session when I just could not do a thing right, where as Saturday was a pretty good session, takes a while to dial in a new board, paddle position feet position etc


                        • #13
                          Notty is thinking about a 6'0" Potatonator, and has a 5'8". Hyper has a 6'0" and is looking for a 5'8". Coincidence? :)


                          • #14
                            Notty I actually think the issue is not volume but the type of board you are riding. I dont see the PN to be a particularly easy board to ride for beginners. It is also very far removed from a regular board so if you improve on this board you will struggle when you make the transition to a regular board. For me you would be better off on a Dom, Spit or maybe a Stealth. If you were thinking of changing boards then I would be considering a different model. I have a PN and love it but it has a unique ride that is not what a relative beginner needs in my view.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the help everyone, very much appreciated. I know the main issue is my own ability, fitness and probably confidence at the moment. I actually like the board but prob didnt realise how advanced it was pre purchase. Small dimensions are still small even if it is thick and wide, for a beginner. The word beginner is relative in surfing, I have had a few enforced breaks in the last year. I'm just going to hang in there, I have other boards I can turn back to for a comfort blanket if the going gets tough.

                              Rahsoul - Yeah that had occured to me as well :)

                              FW-Fan - Thanks, thats kind of where I had got to as well. I may just hang on to the PN I'm not rushing at the moment. I've got a 6'3" custom hybrid superfish as well that might be a good idea to jump back to for a while to get my confidence up. Then again that Spitfire looks very nice....
                              Last edited by nottyR6; 11-06-2012, 11:36 AM.