“Firewire believes that the combination of EPS/Epoxy and other high tech materials is where the future of surfboard technology lies. Our goal has always been to combine high performance surfing with increased durability resulting in a more sustainable surfboard that increases the fun factor for everyone who rides them. After multiple WSL event wins over the years, and Kelly’s incredible surfing during these last few months of El Nino waves all over the world, we believe in our proven track record for innovative designs and technology. The future under your feet.”– Mark Price, CEO
Helium is the culmination of three years of research and testing. And it’s what many fans of Firewire have been requesting for years – the absolute best elements of FST and LFT combined into a single surfboard technology.
Each Helium shape is cut from the lightest foam blank in our stable – just .8 pounds, combined with a brand-new rail we crafted for Helium, using both Paulownia wood from our Timbertek boards and balsa wood from our FST boards. It’s all wrapped in a brand new deckskin material we’re introducing for the first time.
The same expanded lifespan beyond traditional materials that many expect from FST, in addition to the gentle compression beneath your feet that you’ll recognize from LFT.
The moment many surfers will fall in love with Helium will be the first time they pump rail to rail down the line as they generate speed, because of how quickly this technology responds to input from the person surfing it.
We can’t wait for everyone to feel it, and we’re anxious to see everyone trying Helium for the first time at demo days this year.
Future Shape Technology
FST relies primarily on the PARABOLIC Balsa Rail to control flex while the high density aerospace composite vacuumed to both the top and bottom decks provides significant impact strength, and is stronger than a traditional PU surfboard.
The Parabolic Balsa Rail features a band of 12mm thick balsa wood, constructed from 3 x 4mm strips, which not only control flex and add strength, but also act as a buffer against rail dings. Furthermore, the long-term flex memory created by the balsa rails ensures that FST boards maintain their lively feel indefinitely.
FST DECK SKIN
The aerospace deck skin works in conjunction with the Parabolic Balsa Rail to optimize the flex pattern, while also creating tremendous compression strength that minimizes denting and dings throughout the lifespan of the board.
Linear Flex Technology
LFT incorporates Firewire’s SPRINGER HD, a 0.75” (18 mm) wide aerospace composite that runs down the centerline of the board, representing the next generation in our SPRINGER technology. The SPRINGER HD runs the entire length of the board and plays a pivotal role in optimizing flex from nose to tail.
LFT TOP DECKSKIN
LTF’s deckskin serves as an additional buffer against the ridging effect that center stringers create over time, while simultaneously working in tandem with the SPRINGER HD to optimize the overall flex pattern of the LFT technology.
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, sustainably-grown Paulownia wood deck skins, Firewire’s proprietary parabolic rail construction, and an Entropy bio-resin hot coat yield an extremely lightweight, durable surfboard with ALL of the high performance flex characteristics of Firewire’s existing technologies.
Even more impressive, the physical properties of the raw materials involved have allowed us to reduce exterior lamination significantly, furthering the reduction of the board’s carbon footprint. Or as we like to describe TIMBERTEK, it’s simply High Performance Art.
PAULOWNIA WOOD DECKSKIN
Paulownia wood is extremely fast growing; up to 20 feet in one year when young. Some species of plantation Paulownia can be harvested for saw timber in as little as five years. Once the trees are harvested, they regenerate from their existing root systems, earning the name of the “Phoenix tree.”
TT has a comparable break point to FST due to the similar construction of the Paulownia wood parabolic rails and the same material used as deckskins on the top and bottom decks.
FST has a very high break point due to the combination of the parabolic balsa rails and the 3mm thick hi-density aerospace composite deckskins on both the top and bottom decks.
LFT’s break point is slightly below FST and TimberTEK, while the hi-denstiy top deckskin is more durable than traditional PU decks.
LFT has slightly less flex than FST, while not as stiff as TT or a traditional PU surfboard.
FST has a rapid flex and rebound rate which results in a slightly more flexible feel than LFT, and considerably more flex than TT.
TT has a slightly stiffer flex characteristic than FST anf LFT as well as a faster rebound rate.
LFT has a 1.0mm hi-density deckskin that will develop foot-wells similar to a traditional surfboard over time.
FST has significant compression strength resulting in very slight ‘foot-well’ depressions on the top deck over time and has greater ding resistance due to the balsa rails and bottom deckskin.
TT offers considerable compression strength on the top deck due to the 3mm wood deckskins, and the same significant all around ding resistance as FST due to the Paulownia wood rails and bottom deckskin.
Firewire built 4 identical boards, 3 Firewire technologies (FST, LFT and TT) and a stock PU version. Firewire Marketing Director and ex-pro surfer Chuy Reyna rode all 4 boards at the same break in similar conditions to generate the data used to compare the performance characteristics of each board, while holding things like rider, waves and conditions constant. The PU board performance was benchmarked at 0.0%, and the 3 Firewire boards were then compared to that benchmark.
It is also worth noting that all 3 stock Firewire boards were lighter than the stock PU. This is all the more significant when you consider that the Firewire boards have greater compression strength, and the lighter weight also enhances perfornance. In fact the stock FST technology board was 26% lighter than the stock PU.
|TECHNOLOGY WEIGHT||5.04 lbs (2.30kg)||5.76 lbs (2.62kg)||6.08 lbs (2.76kg)||6.37 lbs (2.90kg)|
|ROLL SPEED (rad/s)||91.3%||34.0%||2.9%||0.0%|
How quickly the board goes from rail to rail. A higher roll speed = increased performance.
|G-FORCE MAGNITUDE (g)||63.5%||19.1%||2.1%||0.0%|
The force generated during a turn. The flex characteristics of FST and LFT generated increased force coming out of turns as the flex and rebound generate increased speed.
Critically measures the energy that is shed while turning, and higher scores reflect a tighter turning radius. The increased flex of FST and LFT created a quicker rotation and higher g-forces.
|PITCH SPEED (rad/s)||81.2%||42.0%||5.8%||0.0%|
Measures how quickly the surfer can pitch the nose of the board up or down by stepping on the tail of the board. A higher number equates to a more responsive surfboard.
|YAW SPEED (rad/s)||22.4%||6.1%||-7.1%||0.0%|
Measures how quickly the surfer can rotate or pivot the board.
The Final Analysis
We believe that the above data numerically proves that Firewire's flex technology delivers higher performance than a stock PU surfboard. While the top Pros are probably approximating Firewire flex performance because their boards are glassed so lightly, Firewire offers premium performance and durability to all surfers. A clear value-add in our view.
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