Review: Firewire Quadfish

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The Quadfish is a refined, high performance fish that can take you and your surfing to the outermost limits of summertime fun.

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Part of Firewire’s Quadraflex series the Quadfish combines the retro-inspired outline of the fish tail with a four fin setup. Firewires are built using the company’s Future Shapes Technology (FST) which features Balsa rails to control flex and a high density aerospace composite vacuumed to both top and bottom decks which provides significant impact strength.

The Balsa rails are built from 3 x 4mm strips of wood, which not only control flex and add strength, but also act as a buffer against rail dings. Furthermore, the long-term flex memory supplied by the balsa rails ensures boards maintain their lively feel for longer.

The quad setup, for me, was like opening the fridge when you have the munchies and finding a large chocolate milk. It was exciting, satisfying and oh-so-smooth. I love the speed and drive that accompany a well-designed quad and I love the loose feel of a fish, so how did the Quadfish stack up?

We rode a 5′ 8″ x 20 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ which is pretty short but fine for my hefty 174.5cm proportions. You can get the same template ranging from 5′ 6″ through to 6′ 2″ for the bigger boned.

The full nose provides buoyancy and lets you wander up the board for summer styling through the flats, but don’t be fooled – this board is a high performance rocket that holds a tight arc in the pocket. In fact, the Quadfish enables you to bust out most of your short board manoeuvres and I even managed a few fun little floaters, reos and cutbacks, all with a dash of laid-back fun added to the mix. It’s easy to paddle, has excellent floatation and sits well in the water. It’s up to you whether you want to cruise it or turn her right round, baby, right round…

Summer fun

As with most quad boards you can generate awesome speed on the face with just a couple of pumps, which will provide for hours of fun in onshore mush where you can blast those oncoming sections. And then, if you’re really keen, you can cruise the whitewash and ride through the reform all the way to the beach. It’s a really fun, hybrid design and from the moment you get onboard you know a whole lot of thought has gone into this template. Nev, who designs the Firewire range, has had over 35 years in the business and the results are obvious.

I like to push things somewhat so took the Quadfish out on a slightly bigger day. It was around four foot and I immediately wished for her little sister, the high-performance Flexfire (review coming soon). The Quadfish isn’t a big wave board, of course, and I was frustrated by the flat, wide nose and my inability to draw smooth bottom turns on the hollow faces. I didn’t impress the girls on the beach that day. Lucky it was raining.

But my frustration was quickly erased when the next morning revealed a tangerine sky, gradiated with colours surreal, like a hazy scene from a 60s movie. I jumped from the rocks into the ocean’s warm summer embrace and found myself amongst friends, some known, some not, but all in awe of the crystal conditions. The oily sheen glistened as two foot walls spilt towards the long shadows on the rose-tinted sand. I slid down a wide one and arced back to the power source, then wove a simple path towards the rocks from whence I had come. It was heaven.

The best

  • Cruising along a fat summer wave then having the option to carve a turn when the wall lines up in front of you.
  • Cutbacks. Really satisfying tight cutbacks.
  • Speed and drive.
  • Fishy feeling.
  • The board lets you get excited about sections to float over. Surf with confidence, unlike most fatter fishes, which are fun but not performance orientated.
  • High performance rails (love the Firewire balsa finish).

The worst

  • Nothing!

That’s why we’re calling the Firewire Quadfish our fish of the summer season 2010.

Our Rating:

Check it out here: Firewire Surfboards