The Seaside is a take on the ultra popular and timeless fish surfboard design, with a widepoint pushed forward, mellow rocker, and a wide(ish) swallow tail. Though to the naked eye it it may look similar to many boards you see on the market today – there are a number of truly unique design and build aspects that make this board one of a kind.
First off, the Seaside distributes volume differently than other similar boards – blending the foam perfectly from wide to narrow, thick to thin. That is what gives this board high performance packed into a groveler shape. Rob describes it as ” The Seaside is about refining… less area in the tail, narrowing the tips of the swallow, creating more curve and narrowing the nose. All elements for ripping while the Go Fish stays cruisey and fun. They’re both in my van all the time.”
The build of the Seaside is also what makes it unique. It is built with Firewire’s new Helium technology, which takes an alternative sandwich skin composite atop an EPS foam core and combines it with a redesigned parabolic wood rail that include Balsa and Paulownia wood. The result is one of the lightest constructions Firewire has ever made, with great flex and rebound characteristics, and a high breakpoint. Rob had this to say about the construction: “The first one [Seaside] I made for Tahiti was LFT and I was riding it in 6-foot tubes. The thing is, most everyone wants to surf a shape like the Seaside in beach break peaks and point breaks, so we made it in Helium because it’s really light, very responsive, really flexy with a softer feel and very durable. It’s the best option for a shape like the Seaside in smaller, weaker waves, I think”. The Helium is so light and responsive, it make the board feel like an extension of your feet giving you complete control.
The nose + forward volume of the Seaside allows you to get into waves easy and float the board through fat/weak sessions with plenty of speed. Shift your weight back to the tail slightly and you will feel the board want to pivot and respond like a performance board. For this reason the Seaside will be so much fun in small waves, but will also have plenty of speed and control when the waves start pumping. The bottom contours on this board were designed to be complimented by a set of quad fins, which is the only fin configuration you will find on the Seaside. Rob actually went ahead and designed a set of quad fins that work perfectly with this board – which will soon be released by both Futures and FCS.
Firewire surfboard guru Chris Grow (@shredshow) had this to say about the Seaside: “Ride it about 1.5 to 2.5 liters above your shortboard volume…that lands you around four to six inches shorter than your height. I’ve ridden them as short as 5’6 and as long as 5’9 and had fun everytime. I’m most interested in how thinly foiled the tail is because I think its the reason the turning comes co quickly and immediately on this shape even though it’s so wide forward, and so easy to catch waves on.”