The FST VG does not come with inserts.
This keeps the weight down. The board also has many sweet spots so to find the magic one for everyones different riding style would be a hard thing to do.
Once someone rides it for a while and figures out their magic foot placement- by all means inserts can be put in by an experienced board builder if desired.
The kite version boards are way more durable than the stock surf version.
You can go either way. If you are riding in a windy location go for the 5'2 if you are riding in more light air go for the 5'4 you will be riding more waves than any one.
I have not tried any of the newer models.
How ever they look super interesting.
Should be some really cool thing in the works for firewire.
How ever these Vanguards are really amazing when it comes to planning and fitting it to tight sections on the wave and feel like a skateboard in the air.
While waiting for the vanguard in kite construction I found a 5'6 in the local surf shop board had been broken twice & repaired so I got it for $150 it was worth it to demo before spending $700 on a new one,put a nsi pad on it with inserts this board can be ridden a lot smaller than most boards but with straps you do not get the full potential of the board you can move your feet just a little & it's like stepping on the gas up wind is effortless awesome lightwind board & if the wind gets to light just put my surf leash on & go surf
But now that the kite construction is available I'm defiantly going to get a 5'0 or 5'2 for kiting waves& jumping but keep the 5'6 for surfing and lightwind
Checked out the Vanguard 5'4 in a local shop today and decided to order one in the kite layup. Trying to decide what size to get and keep going back and forth between the 5'2" and 5'4. Kiting in Florida and we get lots of different conditions. Would be great if I could surf it as well (no kite).
Me: 6'2 and 155 lbs. Current board is a custom epoxy 5'11 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/8, pretty standard short board shape (not sure what the volume is). This size works for me in pretty much everything we have here, and I can surf it. Volume is a bit low for normal surfing but still fun.
At 155 you will have no problem surfing the 5'4'' . You will be able to glide into the biggest mush burgers.
As for kiting it you should be fine especially on the lighter days that you guys get in Florida.
5'2 might be a little too small for a combo board but that really depends on your surfing level.
If your surfing level is high you will be able to surf the 5'2.
Hope this helps and if you have any further questions let me know.
Thanks Felix! Still trying to decide what to go for. These boards are so different compared to a standard shortboard. If surfing the board is taking out of the equation, still think the 5'4 would be the way to go? Normal conditions are 15 to 20 mph side-on to onshore and waist to head high waves. I mostly ride hooked in and depower the kite when surfing a wave. I have been riding strapless surfboards for 5+ years. My current board at 5'11x18.5x2 1/8 seems perfect size/volume wise. The shaper estimates the volume at 20.1 Liters, but not sure how accurate that is.
Would the 5'2 be too short for me since I am 6'2 (155 lb), or does rider height not matter that much? How does the upwind ability of the 5'2 compare to a normal 5'11 shortboard like your Felix pro model?
How does the construction of the kite layup hold up compared to other brands such as wainman, slingshot etc.. for doing some strapless jumps? Sorry for all the quesions