Firewire Vader Review

DESIGN FEATURES: The Tomo Vader is the latest evolution of surfboard shaper Daniel Thomson’s early-planing hull designs. This shape is capped with a blunt nose and quad concave tail, with parallel rails and a concave bottom shape. Its other novelty is its completely symmetrical outline with a centered rocker line. Designed for traditional surfing in a huge range of conditions, Firewire produces their shapes in kite-specific construction, which gives them added durability suited to the rigours of kiteboarding. The Vader five-box set up allows for thruster, quad or five fin set ups, for versatility in all conditions and performance styles.

FREERIDING/FREESTYLE: The parallel rails and planing hull were adapted to increase speed, fluidity and function of the board while on a wave, but these features also give it ideal performance for riding with a kite at higher speeds. The Vader is very well-balanced and super stable, and with enough rocker in the wide nose and tail, it keeps the nose from pearling by stepping on the back foot. The Vader has good upwind drive and the concaves and soft rails provide a smooth ride through rough chop. It offers good control and launches off the lip with confidence delivered by its well-balanced nose and centered weight design. The wider blunt nose shape also eliminates the chance of being skewered on a strapless aerial gone bad. The parallel outline and wider tail make this board amazing in lighter winds as the whole board efficiently draws power when you need it from either the wave or the kite.

RIDING SURF: Despite its seemingly wider tailed, radical shape, the Vader is a gem on a wave. This shape is being used in a wide range of conditions from sloppy onshore surf to down-the-line drawn out power carves. The compact length lets you carve tight turns with your foot squarely on the back tail.

BEST FOR: Advanced level surf off-the-lip and in the pocket. Also user-friendly for any level of rider.

Length: 5’5”
Width: 18 .”
Thickness: 2 7/16”
Width 6” from tail: 14”
Width 12” from tail: 15 .”
Width 18” from tail: 17”
From tail to max width: 33 .”
Fin set up: Thruster or Quad

Editors Note: The Kitesurfing Magazine test team tested the Vanguard and Vader with wax only, wax and a rear deck pad, and with a full deck pad from WMFG. The full deck pad was the test teams preferred setup for ease of use, maximum comfort, and best traction.