VIA – PLASTIC NEWS
By Kate Tilley
Published: September 17, 2014 2:18 pm ET
Updated: September 17, 2014 2:42 pm ET
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA — Surfboard manufacturer Firewire Surfboards Ltd. has developed a new board design it says is more flexible than its predecessor designs.
Firewire’s Australian sales officer Michael Pinneo told Plastics News that the boards, which retail at A$850 (US$772), are made from epoxy resin and fiberglass with an expanded polystyrene foam core.
They use what Firewire calls linear flex technology (LFT) — a 0.75 inch aerospace composite down the length of the boards’ centerline, “optimizing flex from nose to tail.”
“There are some huge differences between LFT and our Rapidfire technology, which came before it. With LFT, two hollow carbon rods run up the inside of the board and there is now a high-density foam springer,” Pinneo said.
The impact-resistant composite deck skin is made from a thin material that helps with pressure and controlling flexibility. There are only three models so far but, “because of their lower price point, they are going straight out the door,” Pinneo said.
Firewire was founded in early 2006. Its Australian head office is in Currumbin, in the Queensland coastal resort city of the Gold Coast. The U.S. head office is in San Diego. All Firewire boards are manufactured in Thailand.
He said the company uses innovative materials to increase surfboards’ flex and performance. Firewire differs from other surfboard manufacturers because it “pushes technology and materials rather than just shape.”
Tahitian surfer Michel Bourez, winner of the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro and fourth in the 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world tour, and Australian surfer Sally Fitzgibbons, winner of an International Suring Association (ISA) world title, a Billabong ASP U21 world title and three ISA world games open titles, both use Firewire boards.
Firewire’s Australian sales volume is 5,000 units a year. Pinneo said U.S. sales are 5,000 to 6,000 units a year.
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