One glassy morning on the Helium Spitfire

In episode #8 of The Wire Podcast Firewire’s Mike Thomas said the Helium Spitfire is ‘The Marriage Model’.

To Mike, that means you can be married. Have kids. Work 9 – 5. Handle the burdens of adult life. And STILL have a shortboard you can rip. Even though you’re not fit and trim and flexible. And surfing twice a day.

But Brent Reilly isn’t married. Doesn’t have kids. And on more days than most, he actually does surf twice a day.

In this clip Brent, one of our favorite O’Siders (that’s Oceanside, California), does a few laps on The Helium Spitfire in waves that may not look too fun until you see how fast and fun the Spitfire looks in them.

Brent rides a 5’4 Spitfire, but dimensions run all the way from 5’2 to 6’10.

Most surfers will enjoy this shape sized about 2 or 3 inches shorter than their height.

But the proper method for sizing a Spitfire is actually a point of friendly disputes inside Firewire…

Some say you should surf it at your standard shortboard volume, but others suggest surfing it a couple liters above your shortboard volume (more on that in this episode of The Wire).

The good news is that you may have some room to fudge your dimensions on this shape, and if you’re stuck between a 5’8 and a 5’10 for example, the consequences of getting the ‘wrong’ one won’t be dramatic.

If you do find yourself stuck in-between two lengths, we suggest viewing it simply: The smaller one will give you a bit more ‘rip ability’ and require a few more strokes when paddling into a wave. The larger one will have a bit more cruise to it and glide into the wave with less effort.

Brent Reilly gets lifted on his Helium Spitfire, shot by Eric Henderson.

With that out of the way, one of the curious things about this shape is how many people surf it from 6’4 to 6’10, making it a ‘transition to shortboard’ type of shape for folks who often surf longboards or mid-lenths.

When it comes to quiver building, the Spitfire pairs well as a daily shortboard with a groveler like the Chumlee, and a board for really good days, like the Sci-Fi.

Fin pairings are always a matter of personal preference, but the tail isn’t quite wide enough to say the best starting point is a quad. Most surfers will likely enjoy this boards set up as a thruster. Especially with a balanced set of fins that don’t rake back dramatically or stand too upright. For example the F4 by Futures or the Firewire Template by Futures.

Here’s the full lineup of Spitfire dimensions:

5′ 2″ 19″ 2 1/8″ 23.3
5′ 4″ 19 1/4″ 2 1/4″ 27.7
5′ 6″ 19 3/4″ 2 3/8″ 28.3
5′ 8″ 20″ 2 3/8″ 31.0
5′ 10″ 20 1/4″ 2 1/2″ 33.5
6′ 0″ 20 1/2″ 2 1/2″ 34.9
6′ 2″ 20 3/4″ 2 5/8″ 38.0
6′ 4″ 21″ 2 3/4″ 41.5
6′ 6″ 21 1/4″ 2 7/8″ 45.0
6′ 8″ 21 3/4″ 3″ 48.7
6′ 10″ 22″ 3 1/4″ 55.4


The Helium Spitfire (right) alongside two other new shapes built in Helium Technology. The Chumlee (top) and Dominator (bottom).