One of the benefits of working for Witch’s Rock Surf Camp is the ability to take an extended “lunch break” when the waves are firing out front. This past week, we had a series of powerful north west swells that lit up Tamarindo with overhead peaks, long lines, and cavernous barrels at the estuary. Undoubtedly the best Tamarindo of the season thus far. My boss said that I could only take my extended “lunch break” if I tested out one of boards in the new shop and wrote a review about it…
For my first review, I grabbed a 5’6 Greedy Beaver by Firewire. Here are the full dimensions for all the surfboard nerds out there.
5’6 height by 19 3/4th width by 2 1/4th thickness with 29.9 Liters of volume.
Here is how the board performed in chest to head high+ glassy right handers at the rivermouth.
Since the board has a compressed longboard outline with tons of beef on the nose, it literally felt like I was paddling into waves on an 8-foot longboard. I usually a ride a traditional, popsicle stick, shortboard so this new shape was more user friendly and I was able to sit further out and get into waves earlier. Also, the board doesn’t have a ton of rocker through the nose keeping more contact between the board and water. This low entry rocker gives you heaps more paddling power at the critical moment of stroking into the wave.
I understand why the board is called the Greedy Beaver (after catching my fair share of waves) but I would also understand if Firewire called it the Speedy Beaver. The board is downright fast. The single to double concave that tapers down to a rounded pin felt like a little jet engine propelling me forward and beating sections that would have normally ended my ride. Gliding into the wave early, I didn’t have to pump excessively to get in front of the section. Just keeping in a mid-face trim with the wave was enough to slingshot me forward.
With the rounded tail, I was able to do a few drawn out cutbacks that felt smooth. The board seemed perfect for wrapping power turns and hacks without getting too “tricky” or sliding the fins out. Going vertical to do a tight pocket snap was a little more challenging because of the width of the nose and the sand-sucking vertical sections that I was presented with. It was interesting to see how the board’s maneuverability changed dramatically with shifting my weight. With my weight forward, it felt like I was riding a longboard. With my weight over the tail, I was able to whip it like a shortboard.
Ideal Surf Conditions
I imagine the Greedy Beaver excels through a range of conditions, but the IDEAL conditions would be a nice lined up pointbreak like head high Ollie’s Point that has a medium pace. The mushy sections of the wave would be easy to grovel through and the fast end section would be easier to beat and maybe get a head dip on tube section. I don’t think the board would be that great in really heavy barrels as the outline is wide and might get not hold a rail when the wave is cupping out. If you plan on surfing waves under head high with a medium pace that are kind of mushy this board will undoubtedly enhance your session with an augmented wave count and actual stand up surf time.
First impression, the board was easy to paddle, fast, and easy to do sweeping turns. The one aspect that was difficult was doing vertical fins-out snaps or aerial maneuvers. Granted, these maneuvers are harder and I would probably tune into the board with more with time, but my best waves were the by far the ones where I gained a bunch of speed down the line and then put the board on a rail for a sweeping turn across the wave face. The Greedy Beaver model is ideal for a surfer who wants to catch waves like a longboard but turn like a shortboard. In other words, these are shortboards at heart, but have been beefed up to make them more fun and easy to use.
I give this board an 8.5 of 10.
Want to get down here and try these new boards out yourself? It’s as easy as contacting our reservations office and we’ll set you up with the surf trip of a lifetime. Witch access to aver 300 boards, you can dial into your perfect dimensions before spending money on a new board. I hope you enjoyed my first board review. Let’s hope there are more “extended lunch breaks” in the future.