Just as with Laird StandUp’s The Surfer we reviewed last issue the quality of finish on the Fire Fish 8ft is superb. Looking more like a custom surfboard than SUP Bob Pearson’s small wave performance shape would make a worthy addition to any serious wave head’s quiver – regardless of performance.
At 8ft x 95L x 28” it’s a more technical piece of equipment than many ae going to be used to. And on paper you’d think it was a board designed for bigger waves – not so. As long as there’s a degree of punch and power in the swell the Fire Fish can be ridden from 2ft up to overhead – good news for riders frequenting less than perfect spots.
Coming with five fin options, and skegs to tune your ride, the Fire Fish can be set up as either a quad or thruster. In quad mode it’s extremely loose and skatey – possibly too much for some. With three fins the drive increases and stability is improved, although paddling out to the peak feels slightly draggy.
Once on a wave, however, the fins engage and help thrust the rider back up towards the lip. You’ll need to be right on the tail with the Fire Fish to get any degree of carving performance out of it – the FF doesn’t respond so well if paddlers are further forwards.
In dynamic surf stance, however, it’s possible to rip, shred, tear and throw the Fire Fish about with some serious gusto. The Laird is so manoeuvrable you can actually use it as a surfboard, minus a paddle.
The Fire Fish responds well to ‘working’ and you can pump it into the next section and escape tumbling white water. Slashy turns are easy to achieve although the Fire Fish 8ft really loves a vertical hit in the vein of more power surfing.
Laird StandUp’s Fire Fish 8ft is a really lovingly manufactured board that appears more custom than production. Being fairly technical to ride in choppy conditions, if you’re on the mid to heavy weight spectrum, it suddenly lights sessions up when conditions improve. If you ride at small but punchy breaks then the Fire Fish 8ft is a serious piece of kit for full on performance surfing. Nippy and fast on the wave you can squeeze moves into the smallest of pockets. Use thruster fins for increased drive or quads for skate inspired performance – having the ability to tune your sled is a definite plus point. For bigger waves look to the brand’s The Surfer model as the ultimate quiver partner (See review last issue).
Price: 1299 Euros