Firewire kiteboards
 

FUTURE SHAPES TECHNOLOGY

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Future Shapes Technology (FST) relies primarily on the PARABOLIC Balsa Rail to control flex while the high density aerospace composite vacuumed to both top and bottom decks provides significant impact strength, and is stronger than the traditional PU surfboard. The 1lb interior core holds the shape and provides flotation, allowing the board to seamlessly follow the flex characteristics of the Parabolic rails coupled with the deck skins.

The Parabolic Balsa Rail features 12mm balsa built from 3 x 4mm strips, which as mentioned not only control flex and add strength, but also act as a buffer against rail dings. Furthermore, the long-term flex memory supplied by the balsa rails ensures boards maintain their lively feel for longer. In addition, we’ve worked closely with Felix Pivec to reinforce both the top deck lamination and the internal sandwich construction to handle the added compression of kitesurfing. We feel we’ve achieved the right balance between flex, weight and durability.

Firewire Future Shapes Technology

 

TIMBERTEK TECHNOLOGY

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TIMBERTEK represents a significant step forward towards the holy grail of any product designed and manufactured in today’s environmentally conscious world. While by no means sustainably built, Firewire’s TIMBERTEK has by far one of the least toxic and smallest carbon footprints of any commercially available surfboard today.

The combination of a lightweight EPS core, sustain- ably-grown wood deck skins, Firewire’s proprietary parabolic rail construction, and Entropy bio-resin throughout, yields an extremely lightweight, durable kiteboard with ALL of the high performance flex characteristics of Fire- wire’s existing technologies. Or as we like to describe TIMBERTEK, it’s simply High Performance Art.

Firewire Future Shapes Technology

 

Firewire's Proprietary Sandwich Blank Construction

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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) core is 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.

 

MATERIALS & CONSTRUCTION

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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) core is 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.

Lamination: With the inherent strength of our custom blanks and the epoxy resin systems, all our kiteboards are laminated with double 4oz on the top deck coupled with a reinforced sandwich under the top deck high density skin. The bottom decks have a single 4 oz layer over the high density skin. The net effect is a slight weight gain over our regular surfboards and increased durability while maintaining the lively Firewire flex pattern.

High Density Fin Inserts: All Firewire Surfboards have high density inserts surrounding the fin boxes for both FCS and Futures. This is a far stronger method of attachment than anchoring the boxes to the top deck as is the case with the regular FCS installation, or letting them float directly in the EPS. This also allows the tail to flex more than a system anchored to the top deck.

The Vent: The 1lb Firewire EPS core contains a lot of air. It is NOT a hollow core, but as you can imagine a blank that weighs 1lb has far more air inside than a blank weighing 3lbs. As an added precaution to allow the core to expand and contract during extreme changes in temperature or air pressure, the vent allows air to pass back and forth between the core and the exterior of the board, while preventing water from entering. The GORE–TEX membrane does not require any maintenance, other than kept free of wax in order to breathe. You can imagine the stresses and strains on any surfboard materials when you take a board on a hot day and jump into 50° water. While some may argue that the vent is not essential, we believe that it does prolong the life of the board.

 

SURFBOARD DESIGN

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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 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/kiteboard 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.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL

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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.

 

FIREWIRE FACTORIES

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Initially all Firewires were built in Australia and San Diego. However, due to the labor intensive and complex nature of our construction, it soon become apparent that we would not be able to build our boards in these locations and still offer them at reasonable retail prices. Like most high tech sports equipment, we had to move our production to Asia. But that's where our company has not followed the traditional path of out-sourcing production to third party Asian manufacturers.

We took the difficult and expensive step of setting up our own factory in Thailand from scratch, owned and operated by Firewire and focused on building our boards. Not only has this allowed us to control our quality and protect our technology, but we've also implemented a western style of management (our full time Operations Manager and QC manager are both Australian surfers), and in doing so we've created a positive working environment for our staff.

All of our product design, research and development and testing is still done in Australia and San Diego.



Firewire Surfboards


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