The Firewire Greedy Beaver is a surfboard that excels across a range of conditions. While this board may seem the ideal choice for learners or those transitioning between long and shortboards, it has far more to offer and will suit many intermediate surfers.
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Don’t judge a board by its name (or shape)
This board’s name hints at two things:
Greedy = tendency to grab more than its fair share Beaver = an industrious animal that wastes no time to get a lot done
If I was to name the board I would call it the “Speedy Beaver” as I think this describes it more accurately.
Case in point: I was walking along the beach and saw a lady sitting on the sand with her Firewire Creeper. We looked at each other’s boards with the mutual admiration Firewire owners exhibit towards a fine Timbertek specimen. I asked about her Creeper and she said it is awesome until waves get bigger than 6 foot. She also said it’s not really suitable as a groveller. She asked me about the Greedy Beaver and was shocked when I told her that, no, it is not slow and it doesn’t ride like a longboard. She said she’d had a similarly shaped board in the past and found it impossible to turn and manoeuvre. I fear many of you may feel the same.
Let me make something crystal clear: the Greedy Beaver is not a mini-mal. It is a high-performance wave-catching beast that somehow works like a shortboard. It reminds me a bit of the discontinued Firewire Unibrow, but actually rides better and is easier to paddle.
What is a Crossover surfboard?
From Firewire: The Crossover Series combines tremendous paddle power in a relatively short surfboard, with contemporary outlines that encourage rail to rail surfing. These models are ideal for a surfer who does not necessarily want to ride a longboard, but who also enjoys catching waves with ease while throwing turns on an open face.
In other words, these are shortboards at heart, but have been padded out to make them more fun and easy to use.
Speed and flow on the Greedy Beaver
When you look at the board’s outline you know that it is going to be a good paddler. Firewire boards generally are, so with that added width to the nose, you know you’ll get extra momentum with fewer paddle strokes.
What is unexpected is that this board is only getting started. The single to double concave that tapers down to a rounded pin offers what I can only describe as an authentically shortboard-like surfing experience. With high-performance, bevelled rails there is no clunky latency when you shift your weight from front foot to back. Pick a line and the board surfs as your average performance shortboard would. Seriously, on a clean wall you can perform top turns that send a fan of spray to the heavens and leave other surfers confused.
“Did that guy / girl just kill it…on a mini-mal?”
These things are possible, because it turns on a dime. And you’ll be winning when the wave reforms, or in average conditions because the Greedy Beaver glides effortlessly over fat sections. You truly can use it in good waves and bad.
The surfing experience
The Greedy Beaver is super fun to ride. Yes, you do catch a lot of waves and paddling is a breeze. Depending on your size and surfing ability you have a lot of options, ranging from the 29.9 litre 5’6″, which is fun central for good surfers, to the monstrous 52.1 litre 6’10”, which might suit someone like Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. the Rock) or a big-boned surfer.
My testing was done on a 6’2″ (40.9 litre), which I purchased as a birthday present for my other half. I usually prefer sub-30 litre boards, so was not expecting much from what I assumed would be a boat. Were my preconceptions shattered.
This board got me into more waves than I’d catch on my Sci-Fi or similar shortboard. It is especially good on crumbly waves when extra paddle power is needed to drop down the wall. However, on critical waves it doesn’t nose-dive. How is that even possible with a big, round nose? It’s down to the significantly accentuated rocker, far more reminiscent of a shortboard than a mal, and that finely rounded tail. Push back on the tail and you’re riding a shortboard. Step up the front and glide like you’re on a mal.
What a combination for everyday surfing!
Who is it for?
In my opinion The Greedy Beaver will suit:
learners, who are transitioning from a longboard to something shorter and more versatile
those who are hanging up the shortboard due to age or lack of fitness
a shortboarder who lives somewhere with average waves
a good surfer who hasn’t surfed for a while and is looking to get back into it
anyone wanting a performance surfboard with extra paddle power
all fans of crossover and hybrid boards who enjoy riding alternative crafts
“The Greedy Beaver has a real shortboard feel with a compressed longboard outline, a true crossover board with midlength retro glide and shortboard maneuverability. Put it on rail while engaging the single to double concave, step on the rounded pin and it surfs like a shortboard in the pocket. Or take advantage of the single to double concave and large planing surface to trim effortlessly over dead sections. The beveled rail reduces the overall thickness, adding performance including rapid direction changes. Raise your wave count every session with the paddle power of the Greedy Beaver while turning on a dime as you thread your way through the pack.
Ideal Wave Size: 2-6 foot”
I can’t find any shaper listed for the Greedy Beaver, either on the board or on Firewire’s website.
Reviews from around the web
“A user friendly hybrid, the Firewire Greedy Beaver is the ultimate crossover board. Offering the best of both worlds, the Greedy Beaver delivers the feel of a shortboard with a compressed longboard outline. This truly versatile shape can be used deep in the pocket, leaning into deep cutbacks or to simply make the most of lumpy summer junk. A true crossover board with mid length retro glide and shortboard maneuverability means fun in the surf no matter what the waves have in store.
The Greedy Beaver is fairly similar in shape to the beloved Takayama Scorpion save but a few notable differences. There is slightly more nose rocker for easy last second drops, a modern concave on the bottom, and a five fin set up. Also the fullness of the nose has been pulled in, reducing swing weight while retaining stability and glide. The popularity of these type of mid-length hybrid shapes continues to rise as surfers discover the potential in varied waves and conditions.”
“The Beaver is all about fun, loads of waves with a little dash of performance thrown in”
“What an amazing board!”
– Donnie Brzuska
“My general impression was good. It was all lefts today, about 4ft@9sec and clean. I rode a 6’6″ – I’m 220 lbs – and the board went well backside. Good pocket (pumping) action. Duck dove well and re-surfaced damn fast. Caught waves fine. I started with one single fin w/2 trailers. Can’t wait to see what it does frontside. Oh I also noticed it backside bottom-turned well.”
– Acnjusa on Surfer.com forums
“The Greedy Beaver surfboard is perfect crossover board. It’s perfect for any skill level of surfer as it packs a load of volume in it’s bigger sizes. This board will raise your wave count in a matter of seconds and also help you progress into learning those turns and cutbacks we all want to nail.”
“The Firewire Greedy Beaver may look like a longboard on the outside, but it is actually a shortboard at heart. This crossover surfboard offers all the benefits of a longboard, but its rounded pintail offers the excellent maneuverability and agility of a shortboard. Its thinned out dropped rails allow you to start your turns more easily and the single to double concave throughout helps maintain speed through flatter sections.”
Greedy Beaver in action
The Firewire team show what this board is capable of.
In good waves
A refined board that would surf like the Dominator if you hacked a little width off the nose. Even with the added volume and surface area you get performance you can rely on, even on steep faces where mini-mals don’t go.
In bad waves
Good times. Glide and flow like you’re on a fun board. Hang five and rock out with your… feet positioned wherever you like. Catch more waves than everyone except those on seriously long crafts.
This board is perfect for anyone looking to add a solid all-rounder to add to their quiver. If you are of average ability and live in a place with average surf then you can really consider this as your single board quiver. Yes, it is that good.
From the Ecoboard construction to the Timbertek veneer it’s a beautiful creation and exudes Firewire pedigree.
If you are a good surfer, looking for something a little different you may prefer a Creeper, Dominator or something fishier, like the Moonbeam. But if a wide-nosed board floats your boat (and believe me float you will!) then you will be pleasantly surprised by the versatility and performance of the Speedy… um Greedy Beaver.