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Firewire EVo versus Vader

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Firewire EVo versus Vader

Postby rleshem » Sun May 20, 2018 3:45 pm

I am starting to get into strapless and mostly ride in swell and chop. Still working on jibes. I mostly ride in 10m conditions. Which board is better for chop / swell and a beginner on the surfboard ?

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Re: Firewire EVo versus Vader

Postby Strekke » Sun May 20, 2018 7:07 pm

From my experience testing the Firewire boards (own Vanguard & Vader, tested Evo):

Vanguard (thruster): earlier planing than Vader, easier to ride through the lulls, tracks very well upwind, more stable than Vader, a bit faster than Vader. Chopwise OK, especially if you ride it on its edge. Turns are wider and require more input, so the board is less playful than Vader.

Vader (quad): definitely still early planing / efficient upwind board compared to other/regular surfboards, but its efficiency is not as easily unlocked as the Vanguard's. With the right technique still very efficient board though. More rocker than Vanguard so a bit slower and does not carry through the lulls as well as the Vanguard. But probably a bit more comfortable in chop (minimal difference with Vanguard I think). Not as stable/easy as the Vanguard, a bit of a more advanced board. However, it turns a lot nicer/tighter than the Vanguard, supersmooth and superfun slashing and carving. Ride it as a thruster and it slows down the board a bit, but gives you great grip for carving tight turns without sliding out - good for riding in really powered conditions. My standard setup is quad though.

Evo: only tested it once. Good low end with early planing because of its volume. Turns nicely (but probably not as nice as the Vader; not sure though). Because of its volume, I remember it as too bouncy in the chop for my taste. Only tested it in its smallest size though (too small for me) - maybe in a size up its less bouncy in chop.

So if you're going to ride sometimes underpowered and want an easier stable board with wider turns, go for Vanguard. If you are going to ride always nicely powered with awesome tight or wide turns with or without sliding out, and don't mind a bit of a steeper learning curve, I'd say go for Vader. Evo would be something in between I guess, but with a bit more volume so more float & bounce in chop (I think - have only tried it once, briefly).

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Re: Firewire EVo versus Vader

Postby NorCalNomad » Mon May 21, 2018 4:09 am

Strekke gives a pretty good rundown. But as a beginner any of them will work.

I'm about 150lbs 5'11"
Also do not be conservative on the downsizing. My 5'1" Evo is a dream to (paddle) surf even on small wave days, 5'3" Vader seems a little big for both kiting and regularly surfing. I've kited a 5'1" though and definitely liked the ride of that better. Before I snapped (non kite rapidfire construction broken while kitting) my 5'2" Vanguard that was even ok to paddle on some small wave days but I think I would have ideally had a 5'3" or 4". I've also owned a 5'6" Vanguard and felt that was way too big because it'd be hard to properly sink the tail/rail.

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Re: Firewire EVo versus Vader

Postby knotwindy » Mon May 21, 2018 6:57 am

For a beginner the Evo is a bit wider and a bit more stable and planes a bit sooner than the Vader. Almost feels like it levitates. Probably should ride it smaller than the Vader as well.
On the wave face, though, the Vader just rips crazy quick turns.
just my opinion, of course. you should demo if you can.

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Re: Firewire EVo versus Vader

Postby purdyd » Mon May 21, 2018 10:40 am

The evo is about a half size larger at a comparable length. So comparing a 4’ 10” evo which I own and a 5’ 1” Vader, which I haves ridden it didn’t think the Vader had any advantage slashing a wave. In fact I would give the nod to the smaller board.

However, the Vader was a bit better when the wind was lighter.

I switch between a 5’ 6” rounded pin and the 4’ 10” evo depending on the conditions.

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