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firewire too fish rob machado twin fin surfboard 2

REVIEW: The New Firewire Too Fish By Rob Machado

Eyeing up the new Firewire Too Fish by Rob Machado? Well here’s my full review (and video) of his latest twin fin surfboard!

If you’ve been following the blog or the YouTube channel for a while now you’ll know I do have a fondness for Firewire Surfboards, especially the shapes and alternative styles Rob Machado is adding to their varied lineup.

And they’ve just announced the latest quiver addition – the Rob Machado Too Fish.

I’ve managed to get my hands on one already for a full review s0 here’s what the Firewire Too Fish has brought to the table and my impressions of Robs latest creation…

REVIEW: Firewire Too Fish By Rob Machado

Who’s It Aimed At?

firewire too fish rob machado twin fin surfboardThe evolution of Robs original Go Fish, the new Firewire Too Fish is clean, refined and is aimed at a variety of surfers depending on the sizing you end up going with.

For less advanced surfers (from low end intermediate upwards), the added volume and forgiving outline of a fish is also going to help the transition to a shorter board, whilst keeping the fun factor and paddle power, you’ll just need to be a tad more generous with the sizing.

For experienced surfers looking for a fish, twin fin or small wave board to add to their quiver it’s going to tick all of those boxes and with a range of sizes it’ll be easy to dial in your dims to suit the waves you’ll be tackling and how you want to surf it.

Size up slightly for smaller, mushier conditions, or shorter if you want to maximise the performance end of things.




Board Breakdown and Dimensions

When it comes to sizing the Firewire Too Fish is available in a full run of sizing from 5’0 (coming in at 25.9L) right through to big old chunky 6’3 which packs in 46.2L.

According to Machado you’ll want to volume up the Too Fish between 1-4 litres, depending on your skill level and what your go to shortboard is, with less experienced surfer opting for something a little longer and more volume to optimise paddle power and the sweet spot on the board.

What I would say (and it’s true of almost every surfboard design) is don’t over inflate the board, as it’ll loose the feel and flow. Fishes overall are designed to be surfed smaller than your go to shortboard, so don’t be afraid to loose some length!

  • firewire too fish rob machado board dimensions5’0″ x 20 1/8″ x 2 3/16″ – 25.9L
  • 5’2″ x 20 5/16″ x 2 1/4″ – 27.8L
  • 5’3″ x 20 1/2″ x 2 1/4 – 28.5L
  • 5’4″ x 20 11/16″ x 2 5/16″ – 30L
  • 5’5″ x 20 7/8″ x 2 3/8″ – 31.6L
  • 5’6″ x 21 1/16″ x 2 7/16″ – 33.2L
  • 5’7″ x 21 5/16″ x 2 1/2″ – 34.9L
  • 5’8″ x 21 9/16 x 2 9/16″ – 35.5L
  • 5’9″ x 21 3/4″ x 2 5/8″ – 37.3L
  • 5’11” x 22 1/8 x 2 11/16 – 38L
  • 6’1″ x 22 7/16″ x 2 3/4″ – 42.6L
  • 6’3″ x 22 5/8″ x 2 7/8″ – 46.2L

I’m 185cm and 82kg and ended up grabbing the 5’7 version at 34.9L – a tad less volume than my Firewire Mashup, but also a bit chunkier than the original Go Fish I reviewed.

Keep in mind I do tend to add some extra foam to most of my boards though.

After a couple of surfs I can say I’m pretty comfortable with that decision and despite the fact it’s considerably shorter than most of my other boards, it still paddles well and didn’t hurt my wave count too much!

When it comes to the concaves, gone is the “board eat board” channels of the original Go Fish, replaced by a clean and actually pretty aggressive single concave running right down through the fins. Run your hands over it when you first get your hands on the Too Fish – its a lot more pronounced than you might expect!

As with most fish designs there’s a lot of width in this board, allowing you to surf it a lot smaller than your usual shortboard, but the wide point in the Too Fish is only a touch forward of centre, which keeps the performance of the board, and the low entry and exit rocker keeps the paddle power at an optimum level.

The other big thing you’ll notice about the Too Fish is than exaggerated Fish tail – which is pretty deep and wide and is pretty traditional in that respect. I was a little bit dubious about how this might affect manoeuvrability but as soon as I got up and riding it become quickly apparent that I shouldn’t have worried!

Even though that tail is pretty wide, I actually think the balsa rail stringer that runs the full outline of the board (part of the Firewire Helium construction) actually accentuates this, and it’s a bit of an optical illusion in that respect.

Overall the lines and curves of the Too Fish board mirror how it surfs – clean, refined and aesthetically pleasing. 




Helium Construction

The Firewire Too Fish comes in Firewires Helium construction, their go to for shortboards.

Personally it’s my favourite surfboard construction – strong, light, lively and feels great underfoot. In fact of all the boards I’ve tested over the years, the Helium ones are by far the most durable and robust, which makes them ideal for travelling too.

Find out more about Firewire Helium technology here.




Fin Setup

firewire too fish rob machado twin fin surfboard keel finsWhen it comes to fins in the Machado Too Fish, it’s a dedicated twin fin.

Not only that, but Rob designed a new set of fins specifically for this board – the Too Fish Keel.

Essentially the fins find the perfect sweet spot between a traditional keel fin and a modern performance twin – giving the drive and hold of a keel, but all the liveliness and pivot of the modern performance twins.

They’re the first set of Endorfins I’ve used too and I’m pretty blown away by how light they are whilst still retaining a really great balance of flex.

It’s also worth pointing out that since Firewire announced a move to a Futures only box, it’s only available in this setup. That’s no worries for me as I’m a massive fan over Futures v FCS, but if the rest of your quiver is FCS2, then it’s something to consider, unless of course you don’t have any twin fins yet!




Tail Pads

I don’t usually talk about tailpads in my reviews, but I thought I’d add a note about it in this one as I’ve already been asked about it a bit.

For fish boards some people love a kick pad, some people opt to go padless. At the end of the day though it really comes down to personal preference.

I decided to whack one on my Too Fish as I wanted to make sure I had a bit of a helping hand with my back foot placement. In the end I the Machado Go Pad, which was originally designed for the Go Fish and has just a gentle bit of arch and kick, so it’s nice and minimal.

What I would say if you do opt for that pad is that it’s worth cutting out an extra bit of V from the kicker, so you can move the pad right back without overlapping the deepest part of the fish tail – allowing for your foot to sit comfortably right over the fins.




Ideal Wave Conditions

When it comes to the ideal wave conditions for the Too Fish, you can pretty much surf it in everything!

Even given the foam in the 5’7 I was a bit dubious about how well it was go in smaller, less favourable waves – but I needn’t have been.

My first surf on it (on my birthday of all days!) was in a thigh high beach break and it flew. Even at my size (6 foot and 82kg) it effortlessly glided along the small reelers and I’m frothing at its small wave capability – so if you’re looking for a grovellor or summer board, the Too Fish is ideal.

I’ve since ridden it in a range of conditions and it makes short work of mushier, junkier waves whilst still having all the performance you could want when the swell builds and the waves start reeling.

For me the sweet spot for the Too Fish is the thigh to shoulder/head high range – anything above that and I’m grabbing something different out the quiver, but it can certainly some size, although more so in fatter conditions.

Rob has apparently tested out the board in everything up to overhead on the North Shore, with than thinned out tail providing plenty of hold in bigger, punchier conditions.

Of course this is Rob Machado we’re talking about, but it’s good to know the board can handle it, if your surf skills can!




What’s It Like To Surf?

If there’s one overall word I can use to describe the experience of surfing the Too Fish it has to be flow.

It just feels great underfoot and that lovely deep single concave provides plenty of speed right of the mark, as well as allowing the board to beautifully pivots and manoeuvre underneath you – even in the mushiest of conditions.

I was also really pleasantly surprised how well the Too Fish went on my backhand too. I usually struggle a bit on my back hand when it comes to twin fin boards, especially in smaller waves where generating speed isn’t as easy.

On the Too Fish I didn’t really feel I had that issue at all and linking together a quick succession of whippy turns is no worries at all, and the fact I’m then riding a much shorter board than usual mean it flicks around in the pocket with little effort.

For quicker, punchier conditions it’s fast from the get go and those Machado Too Fish Keels deliver on their promise of drive, speed and performance, allowing you to transition easily between turns and generate enough speed for a nice end section whack to finish things off!

Overall the board is fast, fun and draws some beautiful lines and will certainly bring a smile to your face during your sessions on it.




How Does It Compare To The Seaside?

Given the board dims and wave range it works in, I’m not surprised a few people have already asked how it compares to the Seaside.

The Too Fish feel almost as quick as the Seaside and certainly work equally well in those smaller, mushier conditions.

Of course the main difference is the quad fin v twin fin side of things – with the biggest takeaway being that the Too Fish is certainly easier to throw around and has a much tighter turning arc.

So if you’re looking for a bit more manoeuvrability or what to progress your top to bottom surfing, the Too Fish wins out.

When it comes to skill level I’d say the Seaside is a bit more forgiving, due to the extra stability and control of the quad fin setup – but if you want to give the twin fin a go, the Too Fish is still going to be heaps of fun too.

So it’s really going to come down to what you want out of the board and where it’s going to sit in your quiver.




Final Verdict

As you might’ve already guessed from the rest of my Too Fish review, I’m absolutely loving it!

Fast, fun, plenty of flow and handling a range of conditions from small and mushy to bigger and hollower – the Too Fish makes short work of anything you can throw at it.

It’s going to be a super fun small wave and summer board for surfers of all levels, as well as a great all round fish for more experienced surfers who are wanting to push the performance side of things.

I can also see it being a grab board to travel with, or for sessions in the wavepools too – in fact I may well have to take mine on my next surf trip to URBN Surf and I’m heading back to Sri Lanka later in the year and know it’ll go great there!

So whether you’re looking for a new fish, twin fin or just a board that’ll bring you plenty of froth factor no matter what the waves are doing, I can certainly recommend the Machado Too Fish! 


Have you surfed a Machado Too Fish yourself?

What did you make of it?





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