Getting Groovy With Rob Machado’s Firewire Seaside
Rob Machado has been one of surfing’s most stylish surfers for three decades, so when Cardiff’s favorite son started shaping, it was only a matter of time before we all sat up and took notice. Not surprisingly, Machado’s quiver of shapes is heavy on
flow and fun. Rob was one of the first world tour guys to fully embrace the “ride everything” ethos, and his performances on single fins and fish shapes had a lot to do with the fact that they are now universally accepted as a legitimate alternative to the high-performance shredstick. When Rob teamed up with Firewire to create a line of boards, the brand jumped at the chance to have both his name and his ideas for fishy shapes in their catalog.
While all of Machado’s boards have gained loyal followings, the Seaside has proven to be the most popular. The Seaside is a slightly refined take on the Go Fish, Rob’s retro fish shape. This updated version has dropped a little bit of area from the tail, narrowing the swallow and creating a rounder template for more maneuverability. Interestingly, the Seaside (which is named after Rob’s home break in Cardiff, California) is a dedicated quad, rather than having the option to be a quad or a twin fin. This should give riders a further indication that although the Seaside maintains the traditional fish shape, it is intended to be a modern, high-performance version—without sacrificing the classic fish flow and speed, of course.
The board is built with Firewire’s Helium construction, making it light, flexible, and responsive. While Rob has ridden the shape in draining Tahitian barrels, most people like to use a fish in small beach breaks and points, and the Helium helps the board to feel alive in smaller waves.
Why is the Seaside built in Helium?
Rob - "The first one I made for Tahiti was LFT and I was riding it in 6-foot tubes. The thing is, most everyone wants to surf a shape like the Seaside at little beach breaks and point breaks, so we made it in Helium because it’s really light, very responsive, really flexy with a softer feel and very durable. It’s the best option for a shape like the Seaside in smaller, weaker waves, I think."
The Seaside is a slightly refined take on the Go Fish, Rob’s retro fish shape. This updated version has dropped a little bit of area from the tail, narrowing the swallow and creating a rounder template for more maneuverability.