Firewire process using environmentally friendly lamination
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 June, 2009 : - - San Diego-based Firewire Surfboards has blazed a bold new trail in surfing--but its not clear if core enthusiasts will follow. Firewire boards, launched in Australia in 2005, are far lighter, stronger and more flexible than the polyurethane-foam-based competition.
Although Firewire uses unorthodox and high-tech materials such as bamboo and carbon, the real advances are in the factory, where, over the last two years, Firewire has developed a high-capacity computer-aided process that includes environmentally friendly lamination.
The result is a featherweight product that suggests new ways of riding waves. When Firewire came on the scene, it was a disruptive technology, says company CEO Mark Price, a former wave-riding pro. It represented a real threat to the entrenched surfboard manufacturing interests.
In fact, the biggest hurdle for Firewire is the past: Surfers prefer their gear old school--custom-shaped to order, just like Simmons offered. Firewires products come in off-the-rack sizes, but that too is about to change: This fall, the company is introducing its first custom board line.
The made-to-order products will cost a little more than the companys standard $600 sticks, which already come in more than 90 models, from longboard cruisers to shortboard scalpels. Price, 48, notes that an off-the-rack board from Channel Islands, which he calls the industrys gold standard, costs $650.
The difference, he says, is performance, with Firewire offering flex and maneuverability never seen before. He likens the Firewire board to a racecar you can drive on the street. Youre buying a Formula 1 surfboard here, he says, and I think thats an important distinction vs. the competition.
The CEO might sound hyperbolic, but Firewires capabilities were on display when teen surfing sensation Dusty Payne was awarded $50,000 this spring for winning the Kustom Air Strike best-aerial contest.
Payne shot off a wave, spun 360 degrees in the air and landed with nary a hair out of place. The jaw-dropping, skateboarding-style trick, caught on video on the North Shore of Oahu, could shake surfing the way Tony Hawks two-and-a-half-rotation 900 helped to launch ESPNs X Games into popular culture 10 years ago
Read the full article at Entrepreneur.com
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