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Quadraflex vs. Hellfire?

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  • Quadraflex vs. Hellfire?

    Hey FW Crew - diggin' the new blog site here - formerly JackSikma but couldn't seem to renew at this site with that name. Hoping you might be able to help me with a travel board dilemma. I currently surf my go-to 6'6" Quadraflex that I absolutely love in good punchier San Diego surf. It's an older model (#16500ish), so a bit thinner than the newer Quadra-5 templates. I'm guessing it is right around 36L or so in volume. I'm a bigger surfer at 6'3" and run about 210lbs (+/-depending on how many IPAs I'm getting into), surfing 10 years, maybe intermediate skill (+ on a good day).

    So... after saving up for a couple years I have the ultimate surf trip coming up in February - round-the-world, dream trip type of thing. So I'm looking for a single-board quiver that will perform well in the softer points of Ecuador to more hollow waves in Indo. I realize that no one board can do it all, but trying to come close at least.

    Because I'm going to be in so many types of waves, I have been thinking that a 5-fin setup would be ideal for the trip to give me the quad/thruster choice along the road. Seems like it would be really nice to have the option to switch up to the more solid feeling of a thruster when the waves get heavier. But while I know and trust my 606 quadraflex, and the 606 Q5 is probably quite similar, it seems like it would be a shame to drop $$ on a 606 Q5 just for the 5th fin option (and a little more float I'm guessing). The brand new 608 Q5 seems like too much float for me at 42.3L.

    With this in mind I've just recently been getting all fired up on the 604 Hellfire (36.7L). Based on the Nev vids and detailed posts from the guys in Costa Rica, this sounds like a really solid choice for good waves and might be what I'm looking for. Just held one today at SurfRide and it felt good under the arm. Feedback from one of my surfing buddies after some great head-high Cliffs sessions last weekend was that I look more comfortable on my 6'2" KG twin and that the board "isn't fighting me". Makes me think I might want to go towards a performance hybrid that gives me a touch more float and glide through the flat spots.

    OK, rambling and clearly been thinking about this too much! So if you were to pick a single 5-fin all-arounder from either a 606 Quadra-5 or the 604 Hellfire what would you go for? Maybe even the 606 Hellfire? Since I'm in San Diego, is it possible to hook up a demo for a day??

    Thanks for the great surfboards and all of the spot-on advice here!

  • #2
    Hey Surfpilgrim...

    Just call the guys at Surf Ride Solana and let them know what board you are looking for in a Demo, then say that Chris and/or Chuy offered to bring it by as long as we have it. Have them give us a call or an email, they have both Chuy and my emails....

    That's the fastest way to get a demo. if we don't have the board we can wrap a bit.

    FYI to others reading this post: we are located REALLY close to Surf Ride so unfortunately this service isn;t available to everyone.



    • #3
      Hell Fire for clean, performance to Hollow shoulder to Head +1/2 high waves.
      Quadra five for larger open face waves Head to Double over head


      • #4
        Hey Underrdog,
        The 610 was a more recent addition to the line so there aren't going to be many at retail. If you are heading to SD, give one of the shops you know out there a call and have them place a request. I am on the road so inquire at a few shops then if no luck, ask o e of your choice to call our offices. Thanks.


        • #5
          Will do...thx for the response.


          • #6
            Cheers and thanks!


            • #7
              Hey Chris (and anyone else). I was just looking at the Quadrafive as a potential new board. Not so long ago I was typically surfing a Webber Afterburner and similar shapes from folk such as Outer Island in Australia, and this board seems to be very similar (except a 5 finner and not a pure thruster). I take it this board is a close relative of the Alternator. Is that right? Can you spell out how the boards are different and how that impacts which surf the boards work best in?


              • #8
                hey buzzy...yep along the lines of the alt..tweaked outline etc to accommodate the configuration if i remember correctly...the afterburner feels a little fishy to me...haven't ridden the Q5 but imagine if its like the alt that its closer to a hi-perf feel...

                btw...gotta love mitchells guns....


                • #9
                  Thanks Core. Sadly I've never had one of Mitchell's guns, just a couple of standard shortboards. Now that more of my quiver is Firewire there's a risk I won't buy an Outer Island again but the craftsmanship and skill in his boards is amazing.
                  Last edited by buzzy; 01-15-2012, 06:44 PM. Reason: Unnecessary blah removed


                  • #10
                    i'm the same, i ride full hp boards in all conditions...i DONT ride fish...i dont even like hybrids...until nev talked me into the hellfire..!!...probably because if ridden small it behaves as a full hp....

                    i've pretty much always ridden nevs...dont buy others...i hand them out to demo continually and that is how i test all the other boards...

                    oh, you just removed the "blah" that my post referenced.....


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by core personal training View Post
                      i'm the same, i ride full hp boards in all conditions...i DONT ride fish...i dont even like hybrids...until nev talked me into the hellfire..!!...probably because if ridden small it behaves as a full hp....

                      i've pretty much always ridden nevs...dont buy others...i hand them out to demo continually and that is how i test all the other boards...

                      oh, you just removed the "blah" that my post referenced.....
                      Sorry about that. Just for posterity for others reading I was saying how I didn't get off on the sensitivity or reactivity of a true, narrow, rockered hi-per shortboard. I preferred them a little wider. I was also observing that Webber was making his Afterburners wider as the standard shorty started getting a little wider more recently. I was also saying I hated true fish, and had a DVS epoxy fish which looked great but I hated surfing. I like a little more "neutrality" for want of a better word in my boards, which I think width and a slightly flatter rocker gives you, at least to a point. So I personally don't find say the Dom overly fishy (compared to a true fish) but just find it very neutral, and less reactive to minor pilot input. The Alt is a little more reactive, but still more neutral than a true Hi-Fi board.

                      Sorry, nothing worse than responding to a post and then finding the original has disappeared!


                      • #12
                        I bought a 6-6 Quadra Five FST last season, I found it ran best as a tri-fin in a large open faced wave, Over Head High to Double Over head no problem. Held its rail fine working bottom turns, snaps off the top which works in best in semi hollow and handles in Hollow waves.

                        My 6-4 Hell Fire FST on the other hand, as a tri-fin, seemed more responsive in all aspects of performance transitions, carved tighter and flew down the line picking up speed faster that my Q-5 on the same waves. I felt lighter on my feet on the Hell fire.. I would trade my 6-6 Q-5 for a 6-6 Hell fire So I could paddle into some double over head sets with some extra foam.


                        • #13
                          good stuff fritz.

                          buzzy, major differences between the quadrafive and alternator:
                          the quadrafive is a bit wider, overall, has the wide point pushed back slightly but the volume from the center to the rails falls off a bit more than the Alternator. The quadra5 has a very high performance feel to it while still having a little hybrid DNA mixed in. Also, the swallow really allows the board to bite. I feel they are close but the quadra5 skates a bit more and draws just a slightly longer line due to its width. The alternator just has a bit more of a traditional shortboard ride to it...

                          they are close and I am struggling a bit to give you MAJOR differences because there aren't any, but there are subtle differences pertaining to the width, wide point, tail shape and fin options.

                          cheers and hope this helps.


                          • #14
                            Hi Chris -

                            So I talked to the fellas at Surf Ride (a couple times) about demo'ing a 0604 Hellfire FST, but they said that they are having trouble getting FW demos lately mentioning that the flooding in Thailand was affecting production of Firewire boards. After all of the great input here and on other threads on the Quadraflex/Q5 vs the Hellfire, I've basically decided on getting the 0604 Hellfire but now I'm a bit worried that I won't be able to get one in time.

                            Do you have any 0604 Hellfire FST with FCS set-ups at your San Diego warehouse? I leave for my trip in about 10 days - thinking I'll take the 0606 Quadraflex to S. America, S. Africa, W. Africa, and Taiwan but since friggin' Cathay Pacific is trying to charge me $600 to fly the board home from Taiwan I'll likely just leave it over there with friends. Was hoping to pick up the 0604 Hellfire either before I leave on 2/5 or maybe in April when I'm back in SD for 4 days before heading down to El Salvador. Stoked!


                            • #15
                              Production had slowed towards the end of last year but from what I've heard it's all systems are go now.