When describing Helium compared to LFT in his Gamma shape, Kelly Slater says “On a typical day to day, especially in beach breaks, I would be on this.“
When we released Helium for the first time in 2017 we were most excited by its weight and flex characteristics.
But since then surfers everywhere have come to love Helium for reasons different than what we expected, most notably its durability.
We’ve heard many surfers remark that the deck of their Helium shape often looks new even after a month of surfing because of what we’ve come to call ‘memory’ in Helium’s deckskin – it can rebound to form after being compressed beneath your feet.
For example, it’s common for a surfer who rides Helium to feel their foot sink into the deck when loading up turns.
But when wax is removed post-session, the footwells often aren’t there.
This is part of the reason why surfers who frequent online markets like Craigslist and Gumtree find it hard to locate used Helium shapes – their original performance levels last long enough to avoid being resold, and when they do get listed for sale, they move quickly because they don’t look used.
Because of this many Firewire grovelers are often built in Helium, like the Chumlee and Baked Potato because it’s groveler shapes that have traditionally endured the most deck beatings accross all of surfing, as surfers jump up and down on them to get past fat sections, generate speed, etc.
However, both Daniel Thomson and Dan Mann are each refining shapes currently for waves in the 4 to 8 foot range that are set to be built in Helium in 2019.
In fact one of our longest team riders, Gavin Gillette on the island of Kauai, often surfs his Helium Gamma in the most perfect, big, and round waves that Hawaii has to offer.
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