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Dominator or Spitfire? 5'6 5'7 5'8.....

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  • Dominator or Spitfire? 5'6 5'7 5'8.....

    an age old question that has been asked many times but I'm REALLY having a tough time deciding so I figured I'd get input from the experts...

    AGE: 35
    Height 5'9
    WEight: 155LBS 70kg also wear a 4/3 or 5/4 with booties
    Years Surfing: 2.5
    Abliity: Early intermediate - surf 1-2x week unless its good then more
    Boards: 6'6 ADDvance
    Breaks: Mostly N. California beach breaks (typically messy surf, some spots mushy and some powerful but rarely hollow)
    Waves: waist to a few feet overhead

    I was ready to pull the trigger on a 5'8 SPIT (31L) for the added hold in head-high waves even though I have been eyeing a DOM for a long time. I'm just nervous its going to feel too big after a few months. The 5'6 Spit seems like an even bigger risk.

    I then saw that firewire is making the DOM in 5'7 at (29.4), which seems like the best of both worlds. I know the DOM/SPIT are the same boards from fins to nose but which will be more versatile? Can the SPIT grovel? Can the DOM handle 6 foot faces with power? Is the DOM that much easier to surf than the SPIT? Is the size more important than which model board?

    I've been searching craigslist for a year so I could try one out without buying new but its just not happening so I am going to place an order ASAP!

    Thanks for any/all advice!

  • #2
    I think the Spitfire will handle bigger waves - spitfire evolved from Dominator - slightly more "performance". So it handles 2 foot and up to maybe 8 foot but I get the Unibrow out for that. Dominator is probably on limit at 6 foot plus. Check out rockers (pity you can't line them up like board comparison) and I think you will find Dominator flatter so not as good in steep and juicy waves as Spitfire. Waist to OH waves that you indicate above makes me feel you need Spitfire. By the way they look very nice in Timber!!!!!!
    Can the Spit grovel - just had a session with my son in 1 to 2 foot - he has been in Norway 12 months no waves; catching anything he wanted - it can grovel. He is 6'4" 75kgs and was on a 6'4" Spitfire in 3/2 Steamer mid Australian winter - water 21 C air 20 C about as cold as she gets in Northern NSW - still using sun screen. Get the spitty and enjoy! Also Spitfire -noble name - great WW2 fighter swooping and diving - Dominator need a leather mask and whip!!!!!!! (Seriously though both very similar but Spitfire shades it slightly)


    • #3
      Rocker is exactly the same on the dom and spitfire. The only difference is the tail. Dom will be more fluent and carvy and slightly better on smaller waves, the spit is snappier and better in bigger waves. The step down tail gives extra bite when in gets hollower. At 90kg I had a 600 spit and it was epic.


      • #4
        Also, if you're not a pro, 1" in size you will barely notice. Just get what you're comfortable with.


        • #5
          Im worried that the 5'8 is going to feel too big in the SPIT or DOM after a few months. Lots of posts about not going too big but surfers around here seem to favor foam. If I go with the 5'8 and it feels clunky do you think either board would have a place in my quiver moving forward? Maybe as a pure groveler? But... I'm drawn to these boards for their versatility in the waves I usually surf waist to head.


          • #6
            Hey SF, at your height and weight, the 508 will max out at a smaller wave size, but be a little easier to use on smaller days. the 506 options will definitely be big enough for your, but offer a bit more performance. I would recommend that you go with the spitfire because you already have the small waves covered with the addvance. Then as far as sizing goes, i would just trust your gut! You'll likely be happy with either!


            • #7
              thanks jambo, justo, and chris for the responses. Spitfire it is! I'm still a bit torn between the 5'8 and the 5'6. I'm leaning 5'8 purely for wave count. If I need to go down in volume in the future it will be a result of my improved skills...cant get upset about that.


              • #8
                A good choice and a little extra foam helps when in wetsuit, crowded or a little lazy and unfit. No board performs well until it is ON the wave. Let us all know how you get on.


                • #9
                  After a year... How did it go? 5'8 Spitfire...??


                  • #10

                    First off, the board paddles very well. Sure, it's only 5'8" but with a low entry-rocker and a lot of foam in the chest that goes all the way out to the rails the Spitfire works in waters with strong currents and longish paddles. I have been catching a lot of fun rides lately surfing the inside on crowded days when the outside set waves are closing-out and inconsistent. On these little gems I can paddle into a cleaner pocket and the Spitfire has nice speed at takeoff which sets up a fun bottom turn and a fast ride. Recently I had a left at a beachbreak that started off slow building some rail to rail speed before the inside section formed a peak which shot me out into a sweet pocket which I promptly stuffed the tail into before shooting out onto the shoulder. A day or two later I was surfing a wedgy right with a fast takeoff when I caught a nice looking set wave and the bottom dropped out. The Spitfire stuck the drop and I had so much speed it felt like getting shot out of a cannon. I thought I was about to get barrelled...then the wave reared up and smacked me down. Rad nontheless.
                    I find the 5'8 at 31L of volume a bit dufficult to duck-dive deep, but that's not much of an issue and I only really notice it when there is a ton of white-water headed my way. I can take the Spitfire out when it's waist high and still catch waves but there are other boards I prefer for the anklebiters. Firewire says the Spitfire is made for waves from chest to overhead or 2ft-6ft. I would say this is pretty accurate but the sweetspot for mine seems to be chest to head. That being said I don't think at this point I have much ability in waves bigger than that so the board certainly may. When the waves are overhead and fast I don't feel 100% the Spitfire is the right board for me, at least with the volume in the 5'8. I will be paddling hard but the board seems to get hung-up in the lip of the wave. I can't seem to get in early enough to get down the face before the wave breaks so I end up going for a late takeoff which the flat nose rocker makes difficult. If I'm in the correct position I can usually squeak out of it. I'm sure that more experienced surfers can negociate overhead waves on the Spitfire but I doubt it is their board of choice.
                    For me, the Spifire is MUCH better on a larger wave if the takeoff is slow or kinda fat and slopey, so you can drop in without a super critical takeoff. I surf the board a lot better off my back foot, which I've gotten better at. I think that has been the biggest hurdle, getting my foot all the way back on the pad and to drive off that tail. Overall the Spit has been a great learning tool for me and a reliable performer in average northern california conditions. It fits in my quiver between the Addvance and a board for bigger/better waves (which i don't own yet). I could have gone with the 5'6" and while that would probobly be a better fit for me now the 5'8" has been fun.
                    Last edited by SFsurfer; 10-09-2015, 09:10 PM.


                    • #11
                      Also, I read a lot on the forums about the SPIT/DOM tail sliding out on bigger more powerful surf...I have felt that at times, but more-so when I first got the board. Not sure but it seemed to happen if I was too far forward or with my weight or just plain in crappy position on my board. I surf the board with futures AM-1 fins as a thruster and the Stretch as a quad. Both fins have a good amount of area and/or rake for my size.


                      • Slowman
                        Slowman commented
                        Editing a comment
                        My dom didn't just slide out it jumped out! I could at times feel the spit slide a little during snaps at the top of the wave but it actually felt good, never had it slide during a bottom turn unlike the dom which could just come completely unstuck in a wave with some juice.

                    • #12
                      SFsurfer, was curious how you ended up choosing the Stretch quads for NorCal surf as I am looking to try out some quads on the 6'6" ADDvance, but not sure if I should just stick to the AM-1s I also have for winter surf here and try a quad when things get smaller.



                      • #13
                        Hey Enjoy, I only ride my ADD as a thruster with the AM-1s as I tried the ADD with plastic quad fins and liked the 3 fin feel a lot better. I never did try the stretch fins in the ADD. I use the SF4 (stretch) set in the Spitfire as it seems to be one of the favorite setups for the spit and dom. I'd try to borrow a pair of quad rears to see if you like the ADDvance as a quad before you drop money on a new set because I think most people surf the addvance as a thruster.


                        • justo
                          justo commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yeah, I think you're right. I know you he addvance used come as only a thruster. Wasn't until the last couple of yours they added the quad boxes.

                        • enjoy
                          enjoy commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Gotcha, will look for some rears. Thanks again!

                      • #14
                        Dropping 2" you'll find the spit handles better in steeper waves because it fits just that little bit better - flatter rockers fit better when they're shorter though it's rails will become the limiting factor because they are a bit soft (and meant to be for softer crumblier waves). I dropped from a 6'0 (34.9L) to a 5'10 (33.5L) and it still is my grovel board. Go the 5'6! It will probably handle better and you won't miss the volume. You have to at least try it!


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by SFsurfer View Post
                          Hey Enjoy, I only ride my ADD as a thruster with the AM-1s as I tried the ADD with plastic quad fins and liked the 3 fin feel a lot better. I never did try the stretch fins in the ADD. I use the SF4 (stretch) set in the Spitfire as it seems to be one of the favorite setups for the spit and dom. I'd try to borrow a pair of quad rears to see if you like the ADDvance as a quad before you drop money on a new set because I think most people surf the addvance as a thruster.

                          So I actually wrecked my AM1s on some rocks the other day and was looking for replacements. Was going to get the AM1s again but thought I'd try something different. Was leaning towards the F6 Honeycombs as I weight about 10-15 lbs more than you and they seem like a balanced fin. Did you ever consider those? If so, why'd you go with the AM1s (vs. other alternatives as well?)? Do you still use the AM1s on the ADD, or are you just pretty much exclusively on your SF now?

                          Also, why didn't you like the quad set up? Through some forum snooping it seems a lot of larger surfers liked the ADD as a quad.

                          Thanks man