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Firewire LFT Hydronaut surfboard 5ft 11 FCS II - White
This is Daniel "Tomo" Thomson's first proper step-up designed for big powerful waves and barrels. Although already revered as a beast in barrelling beach-breaks, the long awaited Hydronaut is no one-trick-pony. According to the Firewire website the Hydronaut's ideal wave size would be 3 - 6 feet but this sounds a little limiting to us. Sized right this step-up will thrive in sizeable waves, perfect for Bali and the bigger days in the Maldives, right at home in the chunkier barrels of France and Portugal and now having had the opportunity to tuck it under an arm we think the Hydronaut would be fun on those chunky winter days here in the UK and Ireland.
The elliptical outline is pleasing on the eye and the rounded 'torpedo' nose significantly reduces the 'swing weight' making for a memorable, faster turning 'big-wave board which can still perform on the open face of a walling wave. The Hydronaut is unique in the step-up shortboard realm in that its 3 or 4 inches shorter than the norm. In fact it paddles like a much longer board but reacts like a board 3 or 4 inches shorter and is surprizingly fast to turn for a step-up. It feels floaty and free underfoot thanks to Tomo's Quad Inside Single Concave and inteligent rocker line.
Both Tomo and Stuey Kennedy have surfed the Hydronaut all over the globe, from Blacks and Baja to Hawaii and all over Australia. This pairing has brought Tomo's step-up philosophies to the wider 'Joe public' and are expecting big wave surfing to reach new heights in 2018. Tomo says he is also expecting average surfers to really enjoy the Hydronaut's ability to do the simple things easily; drop in...pull in...spit out...kick out!
The Hydronaut has a 'beefed up' version of the regular Linear Flex Technology (LFT), with a higher density core and slightly (barely really noticeable under the arm) heavier glassing to give it more durability and resistance to snapping in heavier waves.
LFT replaces the Rapidfire internal carbon rods with an 18mm wide composite Springer HD Suspension System that runs from nose to tail and includes a top-deck sheet to improve compression resistance. This high density insert creates additional strength through the centre with increased flex through the tail. The EPS top sheet buffer above the HD Springer allows for some compression but without the raised ridge and cracking that can occur with traditional wooden stringer surfboards. LFT delivers plenty of 'TWANG' in and out of your turns and creates the fast-twitch flex response that gives the surfer the feedback and return desired. LFT at last brings the perfect blend of a brand-new traditional PU 'board feel' with the added durability of modern sandwich construction.
Boardshop is stoked to be a premium Firewire stockist and key partner for Firewire surfboards throughout Europe and across the globe. Boardshop brings you the very latest Firewire models as soon as they land in the UK and aims to give you the very best information and feedback based on our own experiences and that of our loyal customers across the planet. We carry the largest selection of Firewire surfboards anywhere in Europe, if we don't have it and Firewire have the stock we can usually get it within a couple of hours!
Boardshop runs a dead-easy "trade-in" program, a painless way for you to offset your old or unwanted surfboard against a brand new stick. If you have any questions about this or anything else surfing related drop us an email
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Overall Customer Rating
Bobby (reviewed 22/12/2018)
The next surf was 6ft with the odd 8ft freak set at Stimpies pretty crowed and clean, most people were surfing there HPSB or Hyptocryptos etc, watching other chaps they were really struggling to get onto the waves and having to take incredibly late takeoffs lots getting worked, the opposite was my case easy catching and more time again to get to my feet, a couple of times I took off very deep and late and got dropped in on. The board is so fast it would surprise the offender and i'd fly past them. Having discussions with the offender afterwards they either said they didn't see me or thought I was way too deep. The board was perfect for these 2 conditions and wouldn't have wanted to be on anything else. Towards the end of my trip I damaged my Gamma and I just had the Hydronaut to surf, I surfed it a few 3ft days it goes and you can do the moves on it but feels super slow and unresponsive compared to the Gamma (around 2L difference in volume) even with some medium fins on it. If you're into cruising maybe surfing it in smaller waves is for you but for me I'd leave it as a step up for 6ft+. I'm 5'11 and 78kg debated the size for quite some time and think I got it right for the 6-10 range if I had gone any bigger the turning would have been even more limited which I don't think I would have enjoyed. More wave size than that you'd defiantly need a much bigger one for extra paddle speed. Also its super easy to travel with due to the reduced length and is much more solid than normal LFT. Epic Boardshop service as usual.
Fred (reviewed 28/09/2018)
I’ve had a couple step ups that were all disappointing. This board is so far ahead in terms of design youn can’t even compare. Actually beyond being a step up I could imagine myself buying a shorter version for those perfect days on big pointbreaks or nice hollow waves. I am 1m80 for 85kg and got a 6’6. Of course the boardshop service is outstanding as usual.
Hendrik (reviewed 29/08/2018)
I had a Monsta 8 previously as a step up and never got warm with it. I am hooked on Tomo,
5 stars for the epic service of the BS crew. thanks
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