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surfing events

Watch Sebastian Williams Tear Apart New Pier

The surf city of Durban in South Africa was crippled by a series of xenophobic attacks on foreigners during April 2015 in a wave of violence that swept across South Africa. International surfer Sebastian Williams (14) took refuge from the city troubles in the relative safety of the surf at the famous New Pier break.
Soundtrack: Short Memory by Midnight Oil.

Finatic and CJ Hobgood will change the way we all think about fins!


For Immediate Release June 2015

Finatic and CJ Hobgood will change the way we all think about fins!

Perhaps one of the least understood variables affecting surfboard performance is fin choice. Surfers are now faced with the challenge of fin selection due to an overwhelming variety of brands, templates and materials; this decision is made even more difficult due to the configuration options offered by 5-fin boxes. Finatic aims to change that…

Finatic is the premiere fin testing program for surfers!

Taking a page from the Netflix playbook, Finatic offers surfers an affordable subscription-based service allowing subscribers to demo fins from FCS II, FCS, Futures Fins, Kinetik, 3D Fins and more. Members also have the ability to demo multiple fin sets simultaneously with a Platinum subscription.

Finatic provides unparalleled revenue streams for shops!

Fin demo programs at retail require constant maintenance and in most cases individual retailers are unable to stock a wide range of demo fin options. Not only does Finatic solve these issues, but Finatic has also developed a strategy that recognizes the importance of surf shops to the surf eco- system by including them in the Finatic subscription revenue streams.

Finatic Authorized Partners receive a percentage of subscription revenue generated by any referral that signs up for Finatic using their shop code.

All that a Finatic Authorized Partner has to do in return is place a Finatic Authorized Partner decal in their shop, place small Finatic promo stickers on their stock boards, and hand out flyers with their shops code to potential subscribers.

Finatic DOES NOT sell new fins, and will refer any new fin inquires to the shop associated with the

initial sign up. Finatic Authorized Partners also receive a percentage of any used fin sale.

We look forward to discussing Finatic’s new business model in more detail and we hope that shops will consider partnering with Finatic Fin Testing Program.

For more information about becoming a Finatic member or becoming a Finatic Authorized Partner, please visit or contact [email protected]

Norway Friends of Firewire

Far more environmentally friendly surfboards – FireWire Timbertek!

Here is a nice little write up from our friends in Unstad Norway:

Many surfers like to identify themselves as environmentally friendly and many live a relatively simple life. With few possessions and staying in homemade campers, close to the surf spots. Fires bonfire and feel close to the nature.
But many also wants higher standard- and ever more stuff fills your life. I want to write a few words about the movement FireWire now really sets a standard for – a lot more environmentally friendly boards.
We, the Wegge brothers have been fortunate to be ambassadors for these new boards, and will briefly introduce what this is:
Timbertek is the name of the boards that have a wood layer around them – along with a far more environmentally friendly mixture of epoxy as the outer layer. 2% of environmental emissions, compared to conventional polyester boards, and I have to say that this is totally awesome!  And although this is a factory produced board, and not handmade and made for your unique  surf style, I find great pleasure in surfing the FireWire boards I’ve been playing with for now. The shapes and properties are so well designed – and our new boards; Spitfire, Potatonator and unibrow, are all absolutely wonderful, if you ask us.
Another significant feature is that these boards are very solid; they can hit a few more rocks (as we often do) before it gets dings -which are perfect for Norwegian conditions, according to our mentor Mr. Frost.


Mr. Frost and Crew

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 1.40.10 PM Kristian Breivik (aka Uncle Frost) tells us about the properties, and sponsoring us with pads, leash and the shipping. -a man with a lot of great tips – and now a nice surf shop located at Unstad. Less volume on the sides gives more aggressive rails – and it can turn tighter – this will be exciting to try!

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 2.19.13 PMThe first eco certification for surfboards and it’s not be ignored that they are absolutely incredibly beautiful!

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 1.38.57 PMMay 17th 2015 the “garbage dump” on Unstad was on fire- exactly a year since I last surfed this wave, in approximately equal conditions, only windy, but now calm and a historic nice social crew. -What a wave and board (the Unibrow)!

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 1.39.13 PMLofoten surf at its best. And the hoy is even greater now that we now have the ability to surf more environmentally friendly boards. Yes please, more of this!


Surf Snowdonia announces partnership with Firewire Surfboards

Surf Snowdonia announces partnership with Firewire Surfboards to supply environmentally friendly, high-performance boards for retail and demonstration

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.38.58 AMSurf Snowdonia, the world-first Wavegarden surf lagoon in North Wales, has announced a partnership deal with leading surfboard brand Firewire Surfboards.

Firewire will supply a range of its latest models to Surf Snowdonia’s on-site retail store at Dolgarrog, as well as a number of demo boards, which will be available to Surf Snowdonia surfers on a try-before-you-buy basis.

This is the latest partnership announcement for Surf Snowdonia which is now entering its final construction phase. The unique £12 million facility is due to open in summer 2015.

Firewire is widely regarded as the global market leader when it comes to innovative, high-performance boards design, as well as a commitment to producing the most environmentally-friendly surfboards available at global retail today. The San Diego-headquartered company uses unorthodox high-tech materials, including aerospace composites, sandwich construction and paulownia wood deck-skins to create lightweight, flexible, state-of-the-art surfboards.

Firewire prides itself on the green credentials of its surfboards, which are amongst the least toxic and most environmentally friendly of any commercially available surfboards in the world. The boards are manufactured using innovative computer-generated design and technology and claim to be livelier and more responsive than conventional boards.

Andy Ainscough, operations director at Surf Snowdonia said: “Our partnership with Firewire means we will be stocking some of the most exciting, high-performance boards in the world, which is great news for anyone who is planning to visit Surf Snowdonia.

“Firewire is a brand that we have a huge amount of respect for because they produce the most environmentally-friendly boards on the market. Their combination of market-leading innovation cut with their strong green credentials made them a compelling partners for Surf Snowdonia.”

With a decade of R&D behind it, Surf Snowdonia will deliver the longest man-made waves in the world at the push of a button. The facility will generate consistently powerful surfing waves of varying heights up to 2 metres, in a 300m long lagoon. With guaranteed barrelling point-break type rides of up to 20 seconds long, it’s a concept which has fired the imagination of surfers world-wide.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 10.45.36 AMAbout Surf Snowdonia:

Surf Snowdonia is a genuinely revolutionary outdoor adventure destination, which will open in summer 2015 at the village of Dolgarrog in the Conwy Valley, North Wales.

The £12m unique facility will showcase the first ever publicly accessible Wavegarden® surfing lagoon and is almost certainly the world’s most hotly anticipated outdoor adventure destination for 2015.

It is a game-changing facility. Surf Snowdonia will use unique Wavegarden engineering and technology to produce powerful and consistent barrelling waves at the push of a button. The waves will interact with the contours on the bed of the lagoon to provide different wave profiles at different points in the lagoon. The waves will be variously 2m, 1.2m and 70cm high, and will peel for up to 150 metres.

The unique Wavegarden concept has been developed over the last ten years by a group of hydrological, civil and mechanical engineers who also happen to be passionate surfers. Wavegarden is based in Northern Spain.

About Firewire Surfboards:

Firewire surfboards are manufactured using an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) core, and Entropy bio-resins, which are infinitely more environmentally friendly than the PU (polyurethane) foam common to many other board manufacturers. As a result, Firewire surfboards emit just 2% of the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) versus regular PU surfboards.

For more information please contact:

Louise McWatt

PR, marketing and media relations

[email protected]


+ 44 753 204 3072

Firewire Volume Calculator App

volume_app_01Choosing the right surfboard can be a daunting task and Firewire is trying to change that.

The NEW Firewire iPhone App, will generate a short list of the best boards for you based on wave type, your height, weight, fitness level and surfing ability.  You can save your favorite boards on the app and be equipped with the best pocket guide for buying a surfboard when you walk into a surfshop.

The Firewire iPhone App is powered by Boardformula’s proprietary algorithms.  According to Benjamin Thompson, founder of BoardFormula, most surfers are not riding the optimum surfboard, so he created an algorithm that helps surfers find the right board.

Download the free Firewire iPhone App.

In addition, BoardFormula is building the world’s largest database of surfer feedback about surfboards whereby surfers can see how boards were rated by surfers of similar ability, weight, fitness and age. To encourage users to rate their boards, Boardformula is giving away 4 Firewire surfboards through a random drawing for the first 1,000 rating surveys submitted. For Terms and Conditions please go to

To access the Boardformula app which allows users to determine their optimum volume, and then access those boards across multiple surfboard brands, ($2.99) Download Here.

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits.  Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.

In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards.  Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.

Shred Talk featuring Tomo


Shred Nation this is it: Interview the worlds most impressive surfboard designers. Filmed in front of a live audience at Shaper Studios. Create something even better than Ted Talks; this is Shred Talks. (more below)

Shred Talks by Shaper Studios is an interactive event with Q&A sessions in front of a live audience with some of the industry’s most successful and creative surfboard shapers.  The event is hosted by Chris Grow, of the popular YouTube channel “Shred Show”, who delivers a charismatic interview with a surf icon and follows up with live audience questions.  The filming takes place on various Tuesday nights at Shaper Studios San Diego – 4225 30th Street San Diego, CA 92104.

The Cornice


For Immediate Release – Jan 2015

THE CORNICE proves that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


“I remember a casual conversation with Paul Naude over two years ago encouraging Firewire to explore a side cut design, so when Eduardo Cenzano, Managing Director and lead engineer at Trinity Technologies in Spain approached us with the idea, we decided to pursue it”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “The original Trinity design showed immediate promise and with Eduardo’s consent, we brought long-time Firewire collaborator Dan Mann into the design process and the final version represents a synthesis of everyone’s input”.

Eduardo explains the principles behind the enhanced performance of side-cut technology, “

“Trinity has significant computer resources due to our work designing products such as wind turbine blades and modeling how they perform in different conditions. I believe this is the first time anyone has applied that much computing power and engineering expertise to determine the functionality of a surfboard design. After countless months of computer modeling, we’re convinced that the side-cut design offers significant performance advantages”.

Eduardo continued, “Firstly, the water flows more smoothly through the ‘waist’ of the board rather than buffeting against it. The way the board fits into the flow of water, reduces the water pressure from the wave, allowing the board to respond intuitively to maneuvers. The overall effect is the sensation of travelling on rails, and a feeling that you have complete control over the most radical turns”.

“In addition, the side-cut shifts the majority of the board’s volume from the mid-point towards the ends, and in the Cornice outline in particular, towards the tail, leading to a most effective area in contact with the water. The board literally displaces less water, leading to minimal friction and in surfing terms, increased speed that is noticeable.”

The Cornice from Firewire Surfboards on Vimeo.


Dan Mann adds, “Reviewing Trinity’s original design, what grabbed me immediately was how this challenged what we all think a high performance board should look like. It shows how radical you can go and still have that familiar feeling of a regular board, but with in my view notably increased performance.”“While we’re not the first to explore side cut on a surfboard, the challenge was to make it work with predictability in a wide range of surf. The rocker, bottom contours and fin clusters are tried and true through all my designs. Obviously the outline is the design’s biggest feature and after a couple waves it all made sense… it takes less force and time to tip the board on its rail. That fast twitch sensitivity, especially on late drops or hollow waves, is where you feel the side cut really engage, and the wide tail still allows for speed in the flats”.On that note, to overcome the possibility of exaggerated slide from such a wide tail, THE CORNICE incorporates a Step-Rail design through the tail, creating a blade-like profile in the tail rail, which acts like an additional fin in some respects.Dan continues, “as Eduardo mentioned above, the design shifts most of the boards volume and planning surface well behind center, which is a significant departure from today’s widely accepted foam and volume distribution ratios, and tips its hat to the 1980’s McCoy Lazer Zap in some respects. This essentially places most of the planning surface under your back foot so you have a sensation of riding an even smaller board with total control and responsiveness, and the ultra narrow nose makes it even faster through turns”.Firewire CEO Mark Price added, “Dan Mann, Chuy Reyna (Firewire’s Marketing Director and ex pro surfer) and I have been riding THE CORNICE in a wide variety of conditions, and we’re absolutely convinced that the design has a legitimate place alongside other high performance designs in the market today”.Firewire will showcase THE CORNICE at the January Surf Expo and deliver boards to market shortly thereafter.

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits.  Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.

In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards.  Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.

Mitch Parkinson Test Rides the Hashtag

Mitch’s comments:

“I really got to test the Firewire in a variety of conditions. I rode it in a solid, overhead, shifty left. I rode it in four-to-six foot punchy rights and I also rode it in four-foot racy lefts.

After a while I really started to get the feel for it. Initially I think I was over-surfing it. But then when I slowed it down a bit and just let things happen, I felt like I could string my turns together and I started to really get it flowing.

They’ve got a reputation for being pretty strong. The stringer runs along each rail – it’s what gives them their distinctive look, the woodgrain visible along each rail, and they’re glassed in epoxy which is lighter and stronger than traditional polyurethane resin. I knew it was such a strong board, it’s not like your normal surfboard … so every time I tried a big air and I over-rotated or landed in the flats, I knew it was gunna be sweet. I went for one Hail Mary alley-oop which I almost landed. Any other board I reckon would have buckled. At the end of the trip, there’s not even a foot indent in the Firewire, not one depression.

The other cool thing about the Firewire is if you find a board model that you really like, you can have it replicated. That can be hard to do with a lot of other board brands.”

Read more here:


Discover Tomo’s Vader

“Harmonizing established principles of Fluid Dynamics with a design ethos that reduces the modern surfboard down to its purist essential elements.”


Considered by many to be one of the most creative surfboard companies today, Tomo Surfboards is releasing the Vader design in the USA next week and the model is now available in Australia, with a global launch in early Spring 2015.

Designed by Tomo Surfboards founder and designer Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson, the Vader represents the first Tomo-only branded model that will be available through surf retailers around the world, and additional releases are planned for 2015.

Dan ‘TOMO’ Thomson explains his design philosophy, “surfing inspires all of us on a much deeper level than just a sport. The Ocean is our daily communion with the purity of its natural elements. With that in mind, my goal with surfboard design is to allow us to express ourselves freely, harmonizing design to maximize the waves energy”.


Dan continues,” TOMO Surfboards blend the well-established principles of Fluid Dynamics with a design ethos that reduces the modern surfboard down to its purist essential elements. The result is a free-flowing sensation of speed, intuitive maneuverability, and a natural inclination towards a more ‘creative’ approach to surfing”.

“The goal is to create a higher level of performance readily available to every surfer with an open mind, and willing to unlock their own performance potential”.

Previous designs such as the Vanguard and V-4, which are built and distributed by Firewire, were colab projects with both Tomo and Firewire logos.

2-Year Partnership

“Firewire and Tomo have already enjoyed a successful 2-year partnership”, explained Firewire CEO Mark Price,” Co-lab models will continue to be introduced, but the long-term goal was always to develop Tomo into a stand-alone brand in its own right, allowing Dan’s full creative potential to flourish, while leveraging Firewire’s vertical platform to bring the designs to market around the world”.

For more on the Vader: Click Here

Timmy Wins Mr. Price Pro Ballito


Tim Reyes (USA), 31, etched his name into the history books with the biggest victory of his career, defeating Australian Matt Wilkinson, 25, in six-to-eight foot surf at the ASP Prime-rated Mr Price Pro Ballito in South Africa.


Back in the water just two weeks after a shoulder injury, Reyes’s razor-sharp performance saw him pocket US$40,000 and 6,500 rankings points. His victory rocketed him from No. 131 on the Qualification Series (QS) rankings to a remarkable No. 5, and opens the door for potentially requalifying for the WCT in 2015.

Timmy built house in the opening minutes of the final to take an early lead, but Wilko bust the door wide-open with a massive 9.20 with 13 minutes remaining. The ball was in the Australian’s court following that big score, but Timmy, needing a 7.54 to re-take the lead, hooked into a running right-hander with seven minutes remaining. A series of critical turns completed with total control were rewarded with an 8.27 by the judges. This handed the 2014 Mr Price Pro victory to the Californian – his first professional win for a decade.

“I had a dream a few days ago that I should just sit wide, be patient, and the wave would come to me,” Reyes said of his strategy. “Almost every heat I had, the same thing happened and that’s what happened on my 8.25 in the final.”



“I had a dream a few days ago that I should just sit wide, be patient, and the wave would come to me,” Reyes said of his strategy. “Almost every heat I had, the same thing happened and that’s what happened on my 8.25 in the final.”

Asked at the prize giving if he was eyeing-out a return to the Dream Tour, Timmy replied, “I’m taking it one contest at a time, one heat at a time. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a long year.”

“This is definitely the biggest win I’ve ever had in my life,” continued Timmy. “It’s been so cool to get the support from the locals. Thank you, guys!”

Chuy Reyna, Firewires Team Manager stated ”Timmy’s free surfing has been amazing despite his shoulder injury” which happened two weeks prior to surfing the 6 star prime event ”It’s a real testament that all the hard work and training with coach Wade Sharp has all been worth it” “We are stoked for Timmy and look forward to his possible return to the WCT, he loves good waves and the WCT is where he belongs”

Firewire Embraces Sustainable Surf’s ‘ECOBOARD Project’ Program 100%

For Immediate Release July 2014

SS_newsletter_graphicAn early adopter of the ‘ECOBOARD Project’ program through the release of its TimberTEK construction 18 months ago, Firewire is pleased to announce that it has converted 100% of all surfboard production to Entropy Resin’s ‘Super Sap’, a bio-based (low/zero VOC) epoxy resin. This shift now qualifies all Firewire surfboards to carry the ECOBOARD Project “verified”  label – the first global brand to do so.

The ECOBOARD Project, a program created by nonprofit Sustainable Surf, is an important environmental initiative focused on the adoption of dramatically more sustainable (and less toxic) materials by the surfboard manufacturing industry. Sustainable Surf is dedicated to shifting the global surfing culture toward more ocean-friendly living, and helping surfboard builders transition to more ocean-friendly materials and business practices, with the ultimate objective of lowering negative environmental impacts on the world’s oceans and coastlines.

ER_newslettter_graphic“As a wise person once said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “so while we’re got a way to go before offering a sustainably built surfboard, the only way we’re ever going to get there is by constant, incremental steps in the right direction. To that end, the 100% adoption of Entropy bio-resin is an important milestone and we’re proud of that progress”.

Sustainable Surf’s Co founder and Partnerships Director Michael Stewart added,” If Astronaut Neil Armstrong were a surfer, he might say it was – one small slash for Surf, and one giant hack for Surfkind. And while that’s obviously over simplified, Firewire’s ability to shift towards using these more sustainable materials is a clear indication that other board builders (regardless of their size) can make the same change.”

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits.  Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.  

In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards.  Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.

Media Contact: [email protected]

Firewire and Tomo Go Soft………….Goods!

ET_photo_NLAfter almost 8 years of near total focus on surfboards, Firewire has released a concise collection of Firewire and Tomo T-shirts featuring lightweight, slim-fit silhouettes, and focussed on logo adaptations of each brand.

“For years we’ve steered clear of the usual product extensions that surfboard brands tend to take on”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, ”preferring instead to remain focussed on designing and building the best surfboards possible. However, after repeated requests from both our retailers and customers for additional product categories, we felt it prudent to offer a very tight collection of T-shirt and hat designs”.

Price continued, “Its an opportunity to flesh out Firewire’s branding as opposed to a first step on the road to a cut and sew offering. And given we’re also handling the global production and distribution of the Tomo brand, it made sense to take that step as well”.

The designs are currently available in the USA, Australia, Europe and Japan, and will be updated from time to time. While both the Firewire and Tomo collections are primarily logo driven, the Tomo designs also feature some of the sacred geometry design elements that Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thompson uses as inspiration for his innovative surfboard designs.

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits. Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.

In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards. Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.

Firewire and Pyzel Surfboards Collaborate

For Immediate Release – June 2014

Firewire and Pyzel Surfboards Collaborate


Jon Pyzel

After the successful collaboration with Tomo Surfboards, Firewire has entered into a similar arrangement with Pyzel Surfboards.

“Jon Pyzel is clearly one of the best short board designers around”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “and we are excited about the opportunity to combine his high performance designs with Firewire’s innovative flex technology”.

Jon Pyzel commented,” Looking at past and present surfboard technologies, I believe that Firewire is ahead of the curve, utilizing some of the most advanced and groundbreaking types of alternative construction available today”.

Jon continued, ” I also really appreciate the fact that they are committed to keeping the environmental impact of their board building process to a minimum through the use of bio-resins, citrus based cleaning products (in place of Acetone), and recycled packing materials. Furthermore, Firewire is run by a bunch of surf stoked people who love what they do and are just as excited about surfboards as I am”.

Firewire is introducing two Pyzel colab models this year. In addition, Firewire teamriders can now get Firewire technology in custom designs from Jon. The recent World Tour wins by Sally Fitzgibbons and Michel Bourez on designs by Nev and Jon is a perfect example of how the Pyzel Colab broadens the range of options for Firewire’s current riders and future team prospects.

The first Firewire/Pyzel release will be the Pyzalien, hitting retail mid-2014, while the Slab will be introduced around September 2014.

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits.  Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.  In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards.  Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.

Media Contact: [email protected]

Timmy Missions – Winter 2013/2014 Highlight Reel

“Winter is Timmy’s time to shine and he prides himself on surfing perfect uncrowded waves. He doesn’t do it for the money, nor the fame, just pure love for riding waves. So, throw yourself in the shark tank or take a jet-ski on a slab hunting mission. Whatever it is make sure you watch this clip, it might make your day.”

Video from O’Neill/Nick Green

Historic Day for Firewire Surfboards

Firewire Teamriders Dominate ASP Rio Event

In unprecedented affirmation of the performance characteristics of Firewire’s parabolic rail, EPS/Epoxy sandwich construction, Firewire teamriders Sally Fitzgibbons and Michel Bourez won their respective divisions at the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro.

“This is a very big deal for both Sally and Michel and we are so stoked for them,” said Firewire CEO Mark Price,” and I’m equally stoked for Nev Hyman and our entire product development and production team who continue to produce some of the best performing surfboards in the world”.

Price continued, ”When Firewire first came on the scene there was understandably a lot of skepticism about the technology, but I think that today’s result cements Firewire’s credibility as a viable alternative to the traditional center stringer polyester surfboard. And that bodes well for future development around new materials and construction methods”.

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits.  Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.  In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards.  Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.

Share The Stoke Foundation-Peru Follow-Up 2014

In 2013 we were a part of helping start the girls Chicama Surf Team. Since the inception they have gained 10 girls. The team meets twice a week to work on all aspects of surfing. They are a proud group of girls who take pride in calling the Chicama Surf Team their home. In April of 2014 we had a chance to go to Peru and catch up with the girls and spend lots of time with them. We were absolutely impressed and proud to call them family.

Michel Bourez Wins Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

Author: Chris Cary
Video: ASP

In the day of the “heat analyzer” we all get to play scientist, sportscaster or critic, watching heats over and over at live speed and in slow motion until our daily lives pull us back to reality. To those fanatics who live and breathe surfing, the accounts below that date back to November of 2012 will be familiar. For the second year in a row, California played host to its second World Tour event with the O’neill Cold Water Classic. Something happened though that was totally unexpected: Michel Bourez DOMINATED the somewhat soft and small conditions with power surfing that had recently taken a backseat to the air game and people kept talking about it long after the festivities wrapped up.

Fast forward to the 2013 World Tour stop in Bali and its annual visit to Lower Trestles and the aggression that snapped people out of their “aerial honeymoon” reared its mean face again. In waves that airs were expected to pave the road to the final, Michel dropped 9-point ride after 9-point ride by keeping his rail in the wave and throwing the lip into the stratosphere. The power display was so gnarly it became difficult to imagine anyone else on tour matching it. To those keeping tabs, it was obvious, Michel had figured something out. His raw aggression had become calculated power.

After Michel’s 6-Star Prime win at Haleiwa in November of 2013, his inaugural World Tour victory got reclassified by the surf gods from “possible” to “inevitabile”. At Margaret River, judges were thirsty for power and Michel gave it to them. The early round saw tricky conditions at the main break, hollow conditions at the box, before finals day brought a deeper swell and the best waves of the event, setting the stage.

Michel cruised through his quarterfinals heat against good friend Nat Young to find himself up against King Kelly in the semis. Slater had a stranglehold on the heat up until the dying minutes, when a multi-wave set marched towards the reef and crossed the wires of the 11x World Champ’s competitive super-furnace. Kelly swooped on the first, which left Michel free to bag the wave of the heat, connecting three big maneuvers and earning a 9.37 to tip the scale. The momentum carried the Spartan past Josh Kerr in the finals and landed him the historic spoils of being the first men’s competitor to lay a World Tour victory on the historic Margaret River.

It was Michel’s day. The day he gathered his first world tour win. And the day that the surfing world collectively realized that there is a new permanent member of the top 10.

Taylor Jensen Wins the 2014 Australian Longboard Surfing Open

tjkingy-205 Photo: Mike Pinneo

ASP Press Release

The final day of the 2014 Australian Longboard Surfing Open saw the sport’s top rated surfers do battle in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) divisions with Taylor Jensen (USA) winning the Legendary Pacific Coast Men’s Pro and Jen Smith taking out the Pretty Shady Women’s Pro.

Jen Smith, two-time ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion (2007, 2009) was dominant in the final against Rosie Locke (Sunshine Coast, Australia). Smith clocked 17.83 out of a possible 20 while Locke struggled to find the better waves in the final.

“This is the first ASP event I’ve done this year so to win it is really good, it’s a good set up for the rest of the year,” said Smith. “It’s a confidence booster – it makes me feel good about riding my single fin as I’ve never surfed an ASP event on a single fin before. To bring it out here and win this event is promising. The surf today was really fun, the tide was low and it was pretty ideal for longboarding.”

The Legendary Pacific Coast LQS Open Pro final was fiercely contested between two former ASP World Longboard Champions Taylor Jensen (2011 & 2012) and Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, NSW/AUS) (2009). The American surfer Jensen came out on top even though he only pulled three waves during the 30 minute final for a combined two wave total of 16.10 (out of a possible 20). Current title holder Ingleby, pushed hard all the way through the final and only just failed to secure the win with his last wave falling 2.4 short of what he needed, giving him a total of 13.74.

“It’s my first serious event this year so it has got the ball rolling,” said Jensen. “I feel good and I’m in command. There’s some big events later in the year so I’ll just stay focused. I love the surf here, the water and the people are super nice and it’s just fun.”

The festival is located in the world-class surfing destination of Kingscliff, only 10 minutes drive from Snapper Rocks. Running from March 26 – 30, 2014 ALSO pays homage to the history of longboard surfing with surf vehicles and classic car display, the Miss Beach Girl competition, surf films, surf yoga, art and lifestyle stalls.

For more information click here

Free Radicals Blog – Featuring Daniel Thomson and a Focus on Design

Daniel Thomson and Richard Kenvin got together to assemble a creative blog that focuses on the evolution of surfboard design and progression of performance. There isn’t meant to be much structure, rather quite the opposite. The collective purpose of the posts and content is to foster thought and creativity and do it in a fun way. Check the video below of Daniel shredding a few small ones and the letter about their vision from Richard Kenvin. You can visit the blog here

“Welcome to Free Radicals, where highbrow meets lowbrow on the Salty Seas of Then and Now–meaning content for a variety of attention spans. Captain Daniel Thomson is steering this ship, I’m keeping the log. We’ve been on a voyage for the past ten years, and now we’re gonna start making dispatches here. Any authoritative voice on this blog is meant to acknowledge someone or something in a relevant context, and perhaps be educational. We are not assuming that you don’t know it already.

I suppose if this blog has a mission it is to document, explore, and inspire a new design paradigm in high performance surfing. To geek-out on new boards that have evolved through a deep connection to the past, and bear witness to some next level shredding on next level surfboards. Maybe drop a few relevant and inspiring historical nuggets here and there.

I first met Daniel in Australia in 2004 through his dad, Mark Thomson. I shared a couple of Steve Lis style fish boards with Dan, and he really took to the design. Daniel ripped fishes like short boards. Fast, smooth, and powerful, but the lines he drew were a little stretched out and horizontal compared to a thruster. Which was aesthetically very pleasing. Both Daniel and I were (are) dyed in the wool thruster surfers, with undying respect for Simon Anderson. That being said, we (like a lot of surfers) were looking for a way to create designs that combined the speed and flow of a fish with the technical precision of the thruster. We found that the dual keel hydrodynamic planing hull designs of Bob Simmons from the 1940s helped point the way to achieving this goal.

10 years after those first fish sessions in Australia, Daniel is closer than ever to realizing this elusive blend of speed, control, and maneuverability in his designs. He calls his new boards modern planing hulls, which is a direct nod to Simmons. Daniel’s Vanguard, Vader, and Nano designs (which are now being produced under license by Firewire and therefore accessible to a lot of surfers) are the boards most people are familiar with. They evolved out of an extensive survey and study of dual-keeled planing designs of the past, particularly the planing hull designs of Bob Simmons from the late 1940s. By laying off conventional short boards and spending the last 10 years riding Simmons inspired designs, in all kinds of conditions, Daniel, like me, began to see board design from a new perspective.

Now, at this point, there is so much to tell I don’t really know how to do it without writing a hundred thousand words. Sweeping generalizations don’t suffice, and there are too many details. That’s what this blog is for, to fill in the details along the way, over time, from the distant past to right now, today. Not from second or third parties, but right from the source.”

Richard Kenvin
San Diego, California,
March 2014


SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Feb. 22, 2014—The Surfrider Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff gathered at the Talega Golf Club in San Clemente, Calif., to honor its 2013 Wavemakers. During this annual awards ceremony the Foundation recognizes individuals and companies for their outstanding volunteer efforts and support to fulfill Surfrider’s mission of protecting oceans, waves and beaches.


The Surfrider Foundation’s 2013 Wavemaker Award recipients:

Chapter Leadership Award (West)
Peter Snell
When approximately seven tons of crab gear and boat remains washed ashore at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (a marine protected area), Peter determined that the need to remove the debris was immediate, given the nature of the sensitive habitat and federally protected species that would be nesting in the area soon. Working quickly and efficiently, he organized numerous cleanups over dangerous and rocky terrain for three months. More than 2,000 volunteer hours were logged in the removal of all seven tons of debris from the protected area through successive cleanups.

Chapter Leadership Award (East)
Steve Tamar
Steve is the Vice Chair and Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) Coordinator of the Rincón, Puerto Rico Chapter. The chapter’s BWTF program is the largest in the Surfrider network. In 2012, volunteers tested 534 water samples accounting for nearly 20% of all tests performed nationwide. He has led the program since 2006 and writes and sends weekly, bilingual water quality reports to a list of 1400+ recipients. Under Steve’s seven years of leadership, the chapter has established itself as an authority in Puerto Rico providing some of the only beach water quality data available island-wide.

Development Award
Kay Treakle
Kay is the Executive Director of the Harder Foundation and has been actively involved in Surfrider’s efforts to promote healthy coasts in Washington since 2007. Among our funders in the Pacific Northwest, she is the strategic leader and central organizer, identifying needs and providing financial resources for important and underfunded projects. She frequently advocates on our behalf and on the value of grassroots organizing in achieving coastal conservation. Kay works tirelessly to connect us with new funders and other NGOs to create new partnerships and increase our effectiveness.

Environmental Leadership Award
LA Bag Ban Crew: Graham Hamilton, Juli Schultz, Craig Cadwallader and Alan Walti
These four activists led the efforts that resulted in the Los Angeles City Council voting 11-1 to ban plastic checkout bags at grocery stores and large retailers. The ban made LA the largest city in the nation to ban single use bags and is expected to eliminate a significant portion of the billions of bags that were consumed in the city each year that were creating a blight of litter in open spaces including parks, beaches, streets and rivers. Graham and Juli represented the West Los Angeles/Malibu chapter while Craig and Alan handled matters on behalf of the South Bay chapter. Their collaboration and the coordination between the chapters helped to ensure a victorious outcome.

Distinguished Legal Service Award
Senior Members of the Legal Issues Committee: Kris Balliet, Marc Chytilo and Steve Shipsey
These three attorneys and former Board Members helped to found the Legal Issues Committee (LIC) in 2007 and still serve in this critically important role. Each of them donates their time and provides insight and advice on litigation, legislation and federal policy. Their expertise includes beach access law as well as all state and federal environmental law. As the support structure for Surfrider’s Legal Department, the LIC offers technical knowledge, strategic advice and moral support. They are an integral part of the Surfrider family and a key force in advancing the organization’s legal campaigns.

Corporate Partner Award
Volkswagen of America
Volkswagen of America has been a proud supporter of Surfrider since 2012, donating generous funds for the Foundation’s clean water efforts and helping raise awareness through their Think Blue. initiative. As a supporter of our Clean Water campaigns, their donation has helped to fund the Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), Know Your H2O and Ocean Friendly Garden programs, all of which help to educate the public on improving water quality. Additionally, Volkswagen provided two, Surfrider branded, support vehicles for staff use at education, community and social events the organization attends throughout the year. Together, Surfrider Foundation and Volkswagen of America, Inc. are encouraging individuals across the country to Think Blue. by making positive changes in their lives to ensure our nation’s oceans, waves, beaches and waterways are clean and healthy for future generations to come. They recently signed on to partner with us again for 2014.

Outstanding Contribution Award
The Surf Channel
The Surf Channel Video On Demand television network is found on cable, satellite, telco and digital. They went out of their way to produce several videos leading up to the most recent Trestles hearing in San Diego. They pushed action alerts encouraging our members to attend the meeting and then spent all day (nearly 8 hours) at the hearing culminating in the creation of a video capturing the victorious hearing outcome.

Surf Industry Partner Award
Rarely do performance, conservation and sustainability come together. Firewire has done this in their product, which could be said to share the core elements of Surfrider’s mission of “protection and enjoyment.” Mark Price and the Firewire team have worked with us to drive engagement in our mission via membership offerings, social media contests and deeper connection with our surfing roots. They are now expanding this highly successful partnership to all of continental Europe.

Coastal Impact Award
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Senator Whitehouse is an ardent supporter of coastal and ocean protection. He has argued before the US Supreme Court to protect Rhode Island’s public wetlands from development, and led an investigation into a devastating oil spill in Narragansett Bay; he made sure the fine resulting from that spill, which was the largest in the state’s history, was used for conservation. He founded the Senate Oceans Caucus to promote creative, bipartisan policy solutions that protect our oceans, our coasts, and the people and economies that rely on them. He has worked diligently to protect the ocean and coast from unnecessary oil exploration. A true ocean champion, Senator Whitehouse’s contributions in 2013 include his outspoken support for continued BEACH Act Funding and his current work to protect the National Ocean Policy and NEPA process through Congressional deliberations on the Water Resources Development Act Conference Committee.

2013 Surfrider Foundation Board of Directors
Chair, Sean Ahlum; Vice Chair, Walter Wilhelm; Secretary, Meredith Blascovich
Meg Caldwell; Lisa Pierce Fiedelholtz; Mike Harmon; Rick Kuykendall; Jim Lindberg; Michael Marckx; Steve Rabineau; Tony Radaich; Brooke Smith; Shaun Tomson; Rob Wells; David Wilmot

Recognition of Staff
20 Years: Michelle Kremer and Chris Keys
15 Years: Lori Booth
10 Years: Steve Blank, Nancy Hastings and Laura Lee
5 Years: Kyle Lishok