A trendsetter in the mainstream explosion of tiny wave groveler surfboards, the Firewire Sweet Potato surfboard will get you up and going in the tiniest, weakest conditions.
+ First commercial success in the movement towards drastically oblong groveler shapes: the trendsetter
+ Catches waves easily and generates speed in tiny surf
+ Bottom contour allows the board to perform at a higher level than the outline suggests
– Rocker-less outline makes steep drops a challenge
– I find the Sweet Potato lively but temperamental. Sometimes I felt I could do no wrong riding it…and sometimes nothing right
The Firewire Sweet Potato surfboard at 5’10 x 22 ½ x 2 7/8 @ 46.8L’s of volume. See the full standard Firewire Sweet Potato dimensions with volumes at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
Tiny, weak waves. Nothing too steep.
- Channel Islands Average Joe Surfboard Review: a fun, cruisy tiny wave option by Al Merrick
- Nick Blair Cab Sav Surfboard Review: great, versatile performance tiny wave board
- JS Pier Pony Surfboard Review: catches anything but will handle slightly larger surf, too
I have a love-hate relationship with Firewire Surfboards generally and the Sweet Potato specifically. Some models have gone well for me at some times and not at others. And there are some models that I just could not gel with, full stop. In fact, the love-hate I have for the Sweet Potato drove me to buy and trade not one but two Sweet Potatoes!
I picked up my first Sweet Potato in San Diego not long after it had been released. At that time, no one had created a shape with mass appeal so directionally targeted at tiny, weak waves (NB, I’m sure there were other shapers doing this already and, of course, there is the Mini Simmons and all of its offshoots. However, there was nothing on this scale and, again, aimed at the masses) and I was very keen to try a board that I could ride on days where the surf was so small that only a longboard would have sufficed.
My first trials on the Sweet Potato were at waist to shoulder high, onshore, dumpy Blacks Beach and I actually enjoyed most of my surfs although the outline, completely devoid of rocker, was difficult to stick into steep drops. When I brought my Sweet Potato back to Australia, I had one or two surfs on knee high, clean days that were nothing short of spectacular. Pop up, set line and the Sweet Potato takes off like a thoroughbred racehorse out of the gate. And, despite the wide, thick outline, when I was in the zone with my Sweet Potato, it felt surprisingly nimble. However, interspersed with these bouts of small wave glory, I had surfs in similar waves where I could not stick a takeoff for an entire session. GRRRRR! Sure, I could have just been having an off day or it could be that fact that I’m just not good but the bipolar nature of my experience led me to trade the Sweet Potato.
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Eventually, other shapers brought out their own versions of the Sweet Potato and my next über groveler, the Pier Pony by JS Surfboards, consistently performed better for me. But my love for the Pier Pony in tiny surf was eclipsed by perhaps the best groveler I’ve ridden to date, the Cab Sav by Nick Blair.
UPDATE: since writing this originally, I’ve now picked up a Channel Islands Average Joe by Al Merrick. The jury’s out on whether this will unseat the Cab Sav to become my favourite groveler surfboard but man o man, the Joe is fast and fun to ride in small waves; a great evolution in groveller design. Here is the Sweet Potato, Pier Pony and Average Joe side by side:
Have you ridden the Sweet Potato by Firewire Surfboards? What do you think?
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Firewire Sweet Potato dimensions and volume from the Firewire Surfboards website:
|4′ 8||20||2 1/8||24.9L|
|4′ 10||20 1/4||2 1/8||26.2L|
|5’0||20 1/2||2 1/4||28.9L|
|5′ 2||21||2 3/8||32.2L|
|5′ 4||21 1/2||2 1/2||35.7L|
|5′ 6||22||2 5/8||38.6L|
|5′ 8||22 1/4||2 3/4||43L|
|5′ 10||22 1/2||2 7/8||46.8L|
|6′ 2||23||3 1/4||56.6L|
|6′ 4||23 1/4||3 1/4||58.9L|
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Possibly the funnest board I have every owned. Flat spot? What flat spot? With one pump this board devours and flies over insipid wave faces. The speed perfect for laying down some spray, putting it up on the foam or making you hoot like a grom as you race that inside drainer. Its your perfect summer groveller and will make surfing fun - like you remember it
I love my sweet potato it's I found steep drops have worked out surprisingly well. I often think I'm about to get a nose full but it pulls through. The duck diving took a while to get used to I push at shoulder height and shift my weight a decent amount. The one thing I dislike is how stiff the board feels to turn I feel like you have to put some serious effort to pull of the bottom turn I often find myself shooting too far down the line.im currently running as a quad and yet to try as a twin or thruster. This board is so much fun though, last night I rode a walled of beachy a good 40m into the beach which dropped down to about a weak ft going through a gutter by hanging 5 over the nose. Haha was so stoked