Tiki vs Firewire

Any discussion on shaping, designing, repairing and riding surfcraft of any type or shape. Also a good place to ask the 'what board should I buy?' question.

Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby prjwebb » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:07 am

usedtobe69 wrote:
Jamez wrote:
Firewire wise ive owned about 6 over the last 10 years and the FST construction is the most durable strongest board out there....

This is misleading, there are many tougher/stronger builds than FST.

Fst will still suck water if gets dinged, like any other EPS cored board, apart from the newer surftechs it seems.


The good thing about FST is it has to be a pretty major impact to go through the outer glass, corecell skin and inner glass to actually get to the core for it to suck water.
If you do bust it open though the repair process is a little more work. It's still my preferred board construction though.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby usedtobe69 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:47 am

The main problem still Being water ingress from cracks on rails etc causing the internals to delam without you realising, then your foot goes through the deck landing a floater :-D and yes I have seen this in person.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Jamez » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:50 am

usedtobe69 wrote:
Jamez wrote:
Firewire wise ive owned about 6 over the last 10 years and the FST construction is the most durable strongest board out there....

This is misleading, there are many tougher/stronger builds than FST.

Fst will still suck water if gets dinged, like any other EPS cored board, apart from the newer surftechs it seems.



yes there are loads of stronger boards out there....but the extra strength normally = either extra weight or extra stiffness. The fst is the best trade off covering weight, flex and durability in MY opinion. However as i said you need to get the right board size shape. Hence why i ride custom jp's and an fst.

yes fst will snap, will crease, will ding. leave them in the car in extreme heat or do a shoddy repair such that water will get in then your asking for a disaster! The fact is if stored and managed / treated well over 95% of thier boards will outlast any other construction.

Regarding surftech's though iver owned a number of these and dont like em, very corky and repairs dont last well....still they have a place and or a great strong travel board!

Pity S-core's stopped getting made they had potential!

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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Jamez » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:52 am

ive hammered a number of firewires and never seen cracking on the rails?
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby usedtobe69 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:39 am

Any spider cracks anywhere on firewires are potential leaks, every used one I've seen has a few on it somewhere. Is what it is.

still, there are stronger, more durable, longer lasting builds out there than fst that are still light enough and high performance as anything, also ones that don't need 'babying' to keep them in good order, just saying.

Even a well glassed poly will last over a year of heavy abuse.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby prjwebb » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:39 pm

usedtobe69 wrote:The main problem still Being water ingress from cracks on rails etc causing the internals to delam without you realising, then your foot goes through the deck landing a floater :-D and yes I have seen this in person.


Yep this is the main reasoning for problems with FST boards, and it's often blamed on the quality of the build rather than lack of care by the owner. I look after my boards so it works out good for me, but I have makes that beat the hell out of their boards and don't bother fixing any cracks and dings. I'd never try and get one of them onto a FW, or any EPS board, because I know it would lead to problems and they wouldn't be happy. They are happy only their poly boards replacing 2 boards a year...
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby usedtobe69 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:09 pm

prjwebb wrote:
usedtobe69 wrote:The main problem still Being water ingress from cracks on rails etc causing the internals to delam without you realising, then your foot goes through the deck landing a floater :-D and yes I have seen this in person.


Yep this is the main reasoning for problems with FST boards, and it's often blamed on the quality of the build rather than lack of care by the owner. I look after my boards so it works out good for me, but I have makes that beat the hell out of their boards and don't bother fixing any cracks and dings. I'd never try and get one of them onto a FW, or any EPS board, because I know it would lead to problems and they wouldn't be happy. They are happy only their poly boards replacing 2 boards a year...

Eps definitely isn't the right choice for some people, in the right hands its amazing feeling stuff but if you're a board dinger then yeah, steer well clear or get your wallet out at regular intervals :-D :)
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Black » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:21 pm

Just out of interest has anyone got experience of a modern Tiki board? There's not much in this thread, yes EPS/epoxy in general but nothing Tiki specific?? As I mentioned earlier I don't know anyone who has one, yes they're an Asian mass product but so is what I'm using to communicate this with and the S-core which I also rate for a few reasons.

So is surfboard making a craft/art that can't be mechanised or a technofuture business product? Is it just fashion? Is there a "magic" board for you which is irrelevant to how its made, what about a shaper that knows how you funk? Ought to make these thoughts a separate thread as its a perennial topic... so the Tiki question, anyone got direct experience?
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby prjwebb » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:38 pm

A friend of mine has had 2. He seems to like them.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Black » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:03 pm

prjwebb wrote:A friend of mine has had 2. He seems to like them.

How did they fare for durability? What was it he liked, if you can say?

Come on wigsy you sold a prozac recently.......

North Devon Lad has an interest I believe but wouldn't like to drag him into an uncomfortable conversation.

Just trying for an open conversation here. :-)
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby prjwebb » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:23 am

I'll ask him next time I see him.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Kenny » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:44 pm

Leven wrote:For me, this is a pretty simple deal.


Why do you want bamboo/carbon fibre/all that jazz? If you want a long lasting board, just get it glassed right. 6+6 on the deck, and it'll last a fair while, or if you're a big guy/heavy footed get a little more. Carbon strips just cause stress /brittle areas where they finish. Bamboo is great until it comes away from the foam.


If you really want a long lasting board, double your budget and get a complete wood one.



Or for the price of a Firewire, you can pretty much get two boards shaped by a local shaper with a life of experience and water time for you, as opposed to one board made by 8 year old girls in Taiwan. You'll also get exactly what you want, with foam where you want and need it, rocker where you want it, lines where you want them, and performance characteristics where you want them too. I recently got a board shaped that was thicker than I've ever surfed, but kept the rails really thinned out. The result? Something that paddles like it's a foot longer, and surfs like it's a foot shorter!


Nothing to do with soul, just common sense, getting what you really want and need, and supporting someone local.

Yep , so many supplementary questions from this thread . Mine is "What were the dims of the board you got shaped Leven? "
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Leven » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:58 am

She was a 6'3 x 19 x 2 1/2, with the rails thinned right out, so she's got a real dome deck on her. About a 1/4 inch wider in the nose than a stock shortboard template. For me, it's the prefect balance of having lot's of volume and a great template to paddle quickly, but minimal rail area when you're up and riding to slow the board down. Shaped manly for Lev/hollow waves. I've never gone above 2 5/16 before, and was a bit nervous about that much foam, but distributed right, it's awesome.


My point is, you can't have a conversation and make changes like that with a mass produced, far east import.


Also, I'm intrigued by the fascination of people wanting super light boards. In clean, wind free, glassy/oil like conditions absolutely, but how often do we really get them in the UK?! I tend to favour a little more weight/glass....I mean it's not like we're all busting airs like Kelly is it?!
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Kenny » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:32 pm

So, not entirely similar to this one, then http://www.surfindustries.com/surfboards/walden_miniMegaMagic.php :-)
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Leven » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:21 pm

No, not entirely similar, nothing like!

Rounded pin, very slight single concave leading to a V through the fins, really narrow rails, pretty flat nose rocker, and quite a bit of rocker through the tail. It's a fast board for fast, hollow waves, but with the added ability to paddle well when you're weighed down by winter wetsuits, boots, hoods etc.


It's certainly not a "high volume longboard in a compact design"!! I'd never want to take something like that out in hollow waves....


I've already told you the dims of mine and you're comparing it to 6'10 x 23 1/2 x 3 3/4 with 72 litres of foam? My board has about half that I'd guess....What's the point you're trying to make? I'm just suggesting that if you're going to spend £600+ on a surfboard, I'd want to have some input into what I want, how it's made, and I'd want it to my specs, not a mass produced far east import. Incidentally, I paid a local shaped £350 for mine, and got all this.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Cuttlefish » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:14 pm

Have you ever ridden a FireWire in fst construction?
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Leven » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:05 pm

Yes thanks, a couple of them.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby royal » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:55 am

ok gents, back all this up a notch...

1st off, there are several grades of EPS available to board builders - and the public/backyard guys. The cheap, low density stuff found in most popouts will most certainly absorb water like a sponge, especially in places like the uk where the air is usually warmer than the sea, and the foam drinks it all in as it effectively shrinks due to temperature changes.

There are several superfused EPS blanks available that do absorb some water when dinged, but no more than a poly build. Some are closed cells too, so they limit water ingress very well.

XTR/IXPS is good stuff, but it does delam if it gets hot, or gets crushed over time. Actually, it doesn't delaminate, it shears off of the foam due to the fact it is totally closed cell, and the resin doesn't penetrate it like other foams. I built loads of these in the UK, and as far as I know, they're still going, ahem, strong. Hard to shape, finicky to glass, but bomber strong if looked after.

FW and all their copycats are only a small section of the composite side of surfboards. The US has loads of guys(actual surfer labor...) building a better product IMHO - Hyrdoflex, Coil, Drew Tang, Stretch/Hess, and CoreVac all come to mind. In the UK/Europe there are bound to be other small guys doing stuff too.

You get what you pay for in the end, and most surfers opt for the cheap alternative - which is a false economy in reality. Better to pay more upfront and have it last twice as long, or even longer....
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:39 am

funny but I'm of the opinion that the best boards for me have always been the dialled in standard shapes of shapers without any input from me! I've had magic boards from shapers and thought if it was just tweaked for me etc. it'd be perfect... so gone back and ordered a similar board with slight changes and low and behold it's nowhere near as good as what I had in the first place... my experience is that shapers perfect their shapes over years and if I can get the right size in that shape it's good to go!

I was always rather disturbed about this until a couple of years ago I watched this great little short film (below) where I found I was in really good company with a certain Mr Dan Malloy who had similar experiences... feel much better about it now....

http://vimeo.com/5427543 - if you're interested he talks about this just after 10m30s.... however, if you've got time and haven't watched it before it's defo worth a watch (or a watch again!)

To make my post somewhat relevant to the original question.... I have a definite leaning towards custom made boards but have no problem with riding a firewire/tiki/surftech etc. every now and then... I had a sweet potato for a year or so in what is considered the worst firewire construction (bamboo deck) and surfed it loads... sold it on and it was still in great condition... I'd defo consider another if I was ever looking at a shape that they produced which fit the bill for me....

just my experience.....
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Kenny » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:44 am

Leven wrote:No, not entirely similar, nothing like!




I've already told you the dims of mine and you're comparing it to 6'10 x 23 1/2 x 3 3/4 with 72 litres of foam? My board has about half that I'd guess....What's the point you're trying to make? I'm just suggesting that if you're going to spend £600+ on a surfboard, I'd want to have some input into what I want, how it's made, and I'd want it to my specs, not a mass produced far east import. Incidentally, I paid a local shaped £350 for mine, and got all this.


Sorry Leven. My "Not entirely similar" should have been read as "diametrically opposed" . I was genuinely interested in the dims of the board that you described. I later came across that aforementioned Walden board and thought it so extreme that it merited an inclusion somewhere (admittedly now, not this thread 8) )
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Jamez » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:19 pm

to summarise then

The whole OP of tiki v firewire isnt really a valid question

Both good and the question should be about shape

both produce solid boards and i would conclude you need to find one that suits u sir!

dont be put off by the chinesse import aspect and quality control both produce solid goods which like any ohter manufacturer will break given the correct situation and scenario
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Black » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:50 pm

As far as I'm aware Firewire & Tiki are mass produced boards. Mass production is a strategy of big business and doesn't require any specific knowledge of the product from those people who make it, it is simply a process, at the end of which a product has been manufactured. If you buy a mass produced board you pay "the Man", if you buy a handmade board you pay a man (or woman!). I'm introducing a moral aspect to the topic here because now and then it bothers me! :-)
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Cuttlefish » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:04 pm

The trouble i have with many surfers is they only seem to extend this moral concern to locally made surfboards and still happily purchase and use mass produced goods in every other facet of their lives.
The response is it is too late for all the other stuff.
But quite often its not.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Jamez » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:05 am

disagree with that Black

firstly there arent that many handmade boards out there....most are now machine shaped and glass and you could say all the top shapers in the world and uk produce "mass" produced boards.

If a guy is sat in thailand and all he has ever been taught to do is glass boards and he is doing 30/40 a day (thousands per year) surely his skills set will now be up there with the best and thus he knows his trade (glassing) better than anyone.

Do the guys working at McClaren know how to drive an F1 car.....no, but they know how to make one!
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Black » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:55 am

Yes you have some points there. I wouldn't say when shapers get their blanks done on a machine its the same as mass production, its their shape, they are still in control and free to tweak it, then its probably one other involved to a finished board. I imagine on the mass produced boards its one guy glassing, one guy cutting the fin box, one guy installing the boxes, one guy sanding etc. To me that's a different kettle of fish and has a different motivation. Do you think the person cutting fin boxes all day really gives a hoot?
A single guy at McClaren can't make a F1 car and I'm not sure I'd call an F1 car mass produced?? Some things do need a team of people to make 'tis true but surfboards? Does a milk bottle need to be mass produced, probably, I just don't understand someone who thinks "Today I'm going to build a factory to make thousands of paper bags"!!
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Leven » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:24 pm

I might be completely wrong on this, but I'd assumed (you know what they say about assumption!) that those type of boards were all mass produced, in the sense that as much of the manufacturing process was automated as possible? Not sure if this extends to glassing as well? I've always imagined fin boxes etc being cut by machine, balsa rails attached by hand etc.


It's a real interesting moral argument. I'm lucky enough to live in a part of the world where there are several guys who shape and glass by hand, albeit from a mass produced blank. No machine cutting out the template etc. To me, that's the real art, and it certainly gives me that very unscientific sense of a board being shaped for me, personally. I've seen the blank it came from, and now I can see the finished article, complete with my name on the bottom.


The other side of it, is that local shapers rely on word of mouth and a quality product to make a living. I'm not so sure that's the case with mass produced boards etc. Personally, I think it's mostly brand/trend etc. Dane and Kelly ride something shorter, wider and fatter, and all of a sudden everyone is.


I'll tell you what really gets me though (a little off topic!), is Channel Islands (amongst others that do this too) and how they shape boards. I can buy an Al Merrick and it'll cost me the best part of £600. As I'm in Europe, that's been shaped by machine and finished/glassed under license in France. To me, that defeats the point of buying an Al Merrick! What do I get for my money? A French guy running a machine and an Al Merrick template. I may as well go to someone local, and pay half that for the same template, just with a different sticker on. I do try and apply this philosophy to most things in life....I buy bread from the local bakers etc. Unfortunately, it's not always practical or convenient to it though!
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Bearded Gimp » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:48 pm

Leven wrote:I'll tell you what really gets me though (a little off topic!), is Channel Islands (amongst others that do this too) and how they shape boards. I can buy an Al Merrick and it'll cost me the best part of £600. As I'm in Europe, that's been shaped by machine and finished/glassed under license in France. To me, that defeats the point of buying an Al Merrick! What do I get for my money? A French guy running a machine and an Al Merrick template. I may as well go to someone local, and pay half that for the same template, just with a different sticker on. I do try and apply this philosophy to most things in life....I buy bread from the local bakers etc. Unfortunately, it's not always practical or convenient to it though!


It's not just the template though is it, it's the whole board. So rocker profile, bottom contours, rail sharpness etc etc. As you found (I think it was you) with your local dumpster diver copy that was a piece of shit, just copying the template gets you about a tenth of the way there.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby flacky » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:54 pm

I've never understood why you would go to a local shaper and say "Make me a copy of a biscuit or dumpster". You should just say, make me a board that does "x" or that will let me do "x", I want it a bit wider and fatter, etc. Let him do his own thing, or just buy a original.

Once you try to copy, you open a whole other can of worms.
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby Bearded Gimp » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:13 pm

Indeed, and then it comes down to whether you believe it's worth paying that extra £300 for a Merrick/Biolos etc etc shape. Personally, having grown up surfing at a time when there was no choice other than locally made stuff, I think it's fantastic that places like Down the Line are committed to bringing in boards from world-renowned shapers
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Re: Tiki vs Firewire

Postby usedtobe69 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:44 pm

...lost have to be the most over rated boards around at the moment, fantastic marketing though...
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