The long awaited Dominator 2 from Firewire surfboards has landed in the boardroom... and we think you'll be (almost) as stoked as we are on it!
The return of the OG single board quiver..
The Original Dominator
The first Dominator was one of a kind back when it was released in 2008.
A chunky shortboard that could be ridden much shorter than what was considered the norm. The board would work in smaller waves - waves in which normally you wouldn't entertain the thought of riding a shortboard.
There really wasn't anything else like it, and being one of the first models to really catch on in Firewires cutting edge epoxy based technology made it even more unique.
What made the Dominator on a level of its own was the fact that it was designed for the average surfer. It wasn't just another "potato chip" performance board.
After warming up to the idea of alternative tech and a different outline, surfer's around the globe fell in love with the Dominator and watched their surfing improve dramatically on the board.
12 years later and we finally have...
The New and Improved Dominator 2
One of the first things you'll notice that is different on the Dominator 2 is the tail.
The Original Dominator featured a rounded "thumb" tail with a bit of meat to it. This gave the board some stability through the extra thickness, but also gave a bit of hold for when the waves got a bit steeper.
Switching to a squash loosens the Dominator II up a bit, adding a bit of release to the tail. This helps the board perform better in sub par conditions.
In addition to the the tails shape, it was also thinned a bit to give more sensitivity and responsiveness.
You'll notice that board has some slight "hips" in the outline right by the front fins. This does a few different things.. It keeps extra width forward of the hip for speed and stability, and pulls in the tail a bit to give it some performance. It also gives you something to pivot off of, allowing you to perform turns easier.
Like the original Dominator, there is a good amount of foam pushed forward on the board to help with paddling. This, combined with an overall medium rocker, helps you get into waves early and easy.
Overall, the Dominator II packs a good amount of foam.
You can ride the board a bit smaller than a traditional small wave performance shortboard, which allows you to put the board where you want on the wave. You can get the Dominator 2 nice and vertical in the pocket.
The bottom contours also enhances the maneuverability of the board. Moderate singe concave through the front of the board, coming to a subtle double concave around the front fins, with vee out the tail.
The single concave through the front of the board provides lift and helps generate speed when you're on your feet and speeding down the line. The double concave to vee out the tail help redirect the water around your side fins, giving you control and also allowing you to snap from rail to rail easier.
Fin Options The Dominator 2 comes stock as a 5 fin setup, giving you the option to ride as a quad, thruster, or even a 2+1.
For most days, we think running the Dominator 2 as a quad will help it perform better in a wide variety of waves and conditions. The quad gives the board a bit more speed and flow especially in racy waves.
If the waves start pushing and you find yourself out racing the pocket, toss in the thruster setup and the board will be feeling good. The thruster will also make the board feel a bit tighter on turns.
If you really want to get funky and loosen things up, you could give it a go as a 2+1 setup with a set of upright (MR style) twins with a trailer.
Helium Tech Lightweight and Strong
The new Dominator II is built with Firewire's patented Helium technology.
Helium is the lightest technology offered by Firewire (hence the name). It's got a lightweight EPS core, with a mixture of paulownia and balsa wood rails that helps control the flex of the board from nose to tail.
This is then wrapped in an aerospace composite deck skin that has great feel under foot as well as added durability. Finished off with glass and Entropy Bio Resin - making the Helium tech a level 1 "Eco Board" , verified by the crew at Sustainable Surf.
This tech gives the board twist and torsion - making the board feel explosive through turns.
It will also never lose it's "pop" which is a common occurrence in poly boards. This also leads to a more sustainable surfboard, reducing the need to replace the board after a few years of regular use. And when it is time to try a new board, the Firewires can be sold second hand on our used rack!
How Does the Dominator 2 Fit in Your Quiver?
Being a surfer on the east coast, I'd be willing to bet your quiver probably looks a lot like mine.
I've got a couple of boards that I surf when the waves are on the medium to small side. Let's say 1-3 feet.
Then I have my performance board (the Firewire Hydroshort) that I take out when it's pumping... i.e. not that often. Basically just Hurricane swell and a good Nor'easter.
My quiver is lacking the crucial board that falls in the middle. A board that I can ride when the waves are around waist to stomach high with a little punch, and keep riding when the surf picks up to the head high zone. A board that is perfect for those quick moving windswells that can get fun but lack the juice.
This, I think is where the Dominator 2 shines.
Dominator 2 Dimensions
Length x Width x Thickness @ Volume
5'2 x 19.13" x 2.13" @ 23.4L
5'4 x 19.38" x 2.25" @ 25.9L
5'6" x 19.75" x 2.31" @ 28L
5'7" x 19.88" x 2.38" @ 29.4L
5'8" x 20" x 2.38" @ 30.1L
5'9" x 20.13" x 2.44" @ 31.5L
5'10" x 20.25" x 2.5" @ 33L
5'11" x 20.38" x 2.5" @ 33.9L
6'0" x 20.5" x 2.5" @ 34.0L
6'1" x 20.63" x 2.56" @ 36L
6'2" x 20.75" x 2.63" @ 37.8L
6'4" x 21" x 2.75" @ 40.9L
6'6" x 21.25" x 2.88" @44.4L
6'8" x 21.75" x 3" @ 48.6L
6'10" x 22" x 3.25" @54.5L
"The Dominator II is a revisited version that I’m super excited about. The Dominator has been a staple in my quiver, and the Firewire line, since its inception in 2008. The DM II is meant to be a clean update of the original with design features that allow it to work well in a wider range of conditions and enhance its performance.
The obvious outline change is the tail going to a squash from the round tail. Also, the rails are slightly more refined and performance oriented. The concave is the same under the front foot but splits into a subtle, double-barrel and V out the tail in the last 5”. I normally look for a round tail to provide smoothness in transition from rail to rail and during turns, but the squash tail is proving to not only have that quality as well, but also a bit more release in the turns."