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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
Mon, 24 August 2015

BACKGROUND

Nev has a successful 35+ year history in the surf industry and is recognized as one of the best shapers in the world. Working closely with Taj Burrow over the past 4+ years, Nev has been instrumental in developing Future Shapes Technology and designing equipment perfectly suited to Taj's needs. Taj's results on the 2007 WCT were his best in years and speak volumes about Nev's understanding of surfboard design and the pure performance potential of Firewire Surfboards. While Nev has considerable shaping expertise, due to the sophistication of our computerized design programs and shaping equipment, we prefer to call him a Designer. Drawing on his actual shaping expertise and combining it with the unlimited design capabilities of Firewire's CAD/CAM platform, Nev has the tools to take surfboard design into the next frontier, a place where materials have as important an influence on performance as proven design principles. In fact, we believe that just like the influence that Future Shapes Technology has already had on surfboard performance, the next quantum leaps forward will be centered around completely new materials and how those materials allow us to re-tweak longstanding beliefs surrounding shape. To that end, Direct Drive and more recently RapidFIRE reflect those beliefs.


GALLERY

flexfire_boards1


ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY

Firewire Surfboards use epoxy resin and EPS foam, materials that are exponentially less harmful than traditional surfboard materials. Over a 5–year lifespan, including the construction process, a traditional PU surfboard releases 50 times more Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) than a Firewire surfboard. In recognition of this, Firewire Surfboards won the coveted EuroSIMA Environmental Product of the Year Award in 2005. And we’re not resting there. Ultimately our goal is to constantly improve the sustainable manufacture of our surfboards. The end point being the design and production of a surfboard that can be recycled indefinitely by reusing old boards to make future Firewire Surfboards. Granted, we are a long way from that lofty goal, but it is a standard we have set for ourselves.

TECHNOLOGY

Firewire boards are lighter and stronger than traditional PU surfboards and much of that weight saving and strength comes from our proprietary blank construction. Unlike regular polyurethane cores, which weigh 2.5 - 3lb per cubic foot, the FUTURE SHAPES TECHNOLOGY (FST) and DIRECT DRIVE (DD) cores are built from 1lb EPS foam. A 3mm layer of high density aerospace composite is added through a vacuum process to stabilize the core and increase strength.

The end result is an incredibly light weight and durable blank unique to Firewire. EPS Foam Core: Firewire is 100% committed to EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) for our shaped cores. Not only is this material infinitely more environmentally friendly than PU (polyurethane) foam, but the excess EPS material is recycled. In addition, the 1lb core is an essential part of Firewire’s high performance. The way in which materials travel through different mediums is a direct result of their density AND shape. For example, a baseball and tennis ball are roughly the same shape and size, but behave completely differently when thrown. Similarly, a 1lb foam core allows for rapid direction changes and overall responsiveness during rail–to–rail turns.

Corecell Skin: Corecell is an amazing material with an extremely high strength to weight ratio. One of its primary uses is in wind turbine blades, which gives you an idea of its durability. It is flexible and has very high impact strength with very little material fatigue over time. Unlike traditional PU foam boards, Firewire blanks are not only lighter weight and stronger, but the flex characteristics remain intact for a considerable amount of time, long after traditional blank materials have fatigued and lost their spring.

Epoxy Resins: Firewire boards are built with epoxy resins, which are not only far stronger than polyurethane based resins, but emit only 2% of the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) versus regular PU resin. Unlike a PU based laminating facility, you can walk anywhere in the Firewire factory without a mask and without a headache. Furthermore clean up requires simple citrus cleaners. Balsa Wood Rails: The specific construction and choice of balsa for the rails is vital to Firewire’s flex characteristics and performance. While the balsa looks like a thin veneer on a completed surfboard, in fact it is over half an inch thick, built from 3 x 4mm strips laminated together and running the length of the surfboard perimeter, creating an incredibly lightweight, durable structure and incidentally a great buffer for those inevitable rail bashes when surfing. The balsa ensures that the degree AND rate of flex is controlled to maximize performance.


TEAM RIDER- DEON LAATEGAN

 
 

Name: Deon Lategan
Age: 35
Hometown and Occupation: land surveyor
Board size and model: 6'2 Flexfire direct drive

How did you discover Firewire?
I saw the article in Surfing about the shaper of the year, about Bert Burger and became very interested. With Taj on them, it also gave them full street cred, then when Cheron brought them in I had to try 'em out.

Can you share a story where you were blown away by your board, like a manoeuvre, or a contest result?
My go-to board was the 6'2" swallow tail alternator (I'm a fairly staunch bugger) - surfed it in the Xcel Supertubes showdown and pulled of the best move, which won me a new Firewire. I took the 6'2" rounded pin flexfire direct drive as prize and am now blown away by this board. I can push it really hard in good waves and it responds well.

I’m trying to get people to understand that boards made out of foam can and will break under the right impact; do you have any broken board stories?

My first 6'2" alternator kinda blew up in the Transkei, just became swollen mess for no reason – but the guys replaced it. The replacement I have had for 2 years now and is in mint condition – this board seems immune to minor dings and pressures. My 6'2" quadraflex got a minor crease when I went over the falls and landed on it (breaking my rib). This was fixed, but at a later stage this board broke clean in half. No replacement this time – driver error


CONTACT:

COUNTRY FEELING SURF SHOP
SHOP 1
J-BAY VILLAGE
3 Da Gama Road
Jeffrey's Bay

phone: +27 42 29 31679 mail: firewiresurfboards.com web: www.firewiresurfboards.com  


Comments  

 
Holmesy
+1 #6 Holmesy 2010-11-23 15:01
My firewire boards rock!! I have boards ranging from 5'10 - 6'3" My newest 5'11" flexfire addition is without a doubt one of the best boards i have ridden. It turns on a ticky and gets me into places on the wave face with so much speed, its crazy!
Rock on Firewire!
 
 
Deon
+3 #5 Deon 2010-11-12 16:12
These boards are the real deal.

I've been on em for a few years now and cant get off em. They're fast, responsive and have so much "zing". So lively. Makes me feel younger when I surf them.
I can't think of any negatives about the boards - some people moan about the price, but they're worth every cent: They last so much longer than PU boards and they go so much better from Day 1 till whenever.... They don't lose that zing like PU boards do after a few months, but feel like a brand new board everytime you surf them. So for the price of 2 PU boards you end up with a better board thats gonna last you longer than those 2 PU boards, plus be so much more lively. Its a no brainer.

Good boards are the most important thing a surfer can have, so its just not worth compromising on.

Deon
 
 
warwick wright
0 #4 warwick wright 2010-11-11 15:01
i think firewires are deinitely some of the best boards out there,the quality and finish are really amazing,and the drive can make you feel as if you on a freight train.
ask taj he will tell you to go buy a firewire any day of the week.

thumbs up for the direct drive model

wok
 
 
Bruce Campbell
-2 #3 Bruce Campbell 2010-11-11 10:17
This is my view on my Firewires that I am riding and will be riding exclusively forever!!!
F - Fast
I - Identity
R - Reliable
E - Electrifying
W - Wild
I - Insane
R - Responsive
E - Evolutionary

Since I have been riding Firewire surfboards I have been alot more faster in my surfing and I can really get in tune with my boards! They have given me more confidence to surf harder and they just go so well in all conditions...

Bruce Campbell
Team Rider
 
 
Dylan Macleod
0 #2 Dylan Macleod 2010-11-02 11:12
I left an awesome sponsorship/ relationship with one of SA's leading board building company's just so that I could ride Firewire Surfboards (their longboards in particular). The way they have managed to mutate their shapes, technology, and passion for performance together is way ahead of it's time! Other boards (PU or Epoxy) just can't compete with Firewire! Join the reformation!
 
 
michael ginsberg
-7 #1 michael ginsberg 2010-10-25 15:08
Firewire surfboards are a dynamic new force in todays modern surfboard era. Built like no other surfboard ,Firewire has produced a state of the art and design concept to cater for the complete spectrum of surfer who will experience a completely new and superior feel and ride. The range of models available start with the Taj model which is an ultra high performance board,along with the Flexfire and Direct Drive models which are also for the advanced surfer. The Alternator range caters for the surfer who requires a user friendly stick with great paddling capabilities but still maintaining performance designs of a modern surfboard. Lost surfboards also have a mayhem model designed by Matt Biolios which is in a class of its own. The Dominator and El Feugo Models are a new breed of design that is tailored for small wave conditions and will enhance your rippability by leaps and bounds. The Firewire longboards are in a class of their own with unmatched lightness and flexibility that provide a ride like no other longboard, just ask Dylan Mcleod our team-rider . Also available are many other super interesting models to tickle your fancies go to the Firewire surfboard website for all the info . Please phone me, Michael Ginsberg at Country Feeling surfboards for any advice or queries about Firewires 042 2931679/Please do not deny yourselves the opportunity to re-vitilize your surfing experince
 

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