Surfboard design has never been so advanced!
Those who spend their days searching for waves in Cornwall will know that the surfboard beneath their feet is as important as the swell. The technology that gives each surfer the responsiveness, feel and forgiveness that their individual style requires is of paramount importance, as is the sustainability with which the board is made.
In recent years, technological advancements in surfboard design and manufacture have come on leaps and bounds, providing surfers with boards that boast optimum strength and flexibility, whilst being made from eco-friendly materials. Two brands that have been pushing the envelope, are Firewire and Thunderbolt Technologies.
Who is Firewire?
Firewire is a surfboard company that was founded in 2005 by surfboard shaper Nev Hyman and entrepreneur Mark Price. The company is known for its innovative surfboard construction technologies, including TimberTek, LFT (Linear Flex Technology) and Helium. Firewire work in collaboration with names such as Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Dan Mann and Daniel Thomson designing specific board models to suit different styles, from high performance shortboards, to retro-inspired longboards and everything in between. What all boards have in common, is their use of eco-friendly materials, such as sustainable wood veneers and recycled EPS foam.
More recently, the brand has unveiled technologies like Volcanic Basalt Lamination, and I-Bolic – a construction method pioneered in partnership with Kelly Slater.
What is Volcanic Tech?
Volcanic surfboards are a type of surfboard that are made using volcanic materials, specifically volcanic basalt fibre. This type of material is known for its strength, durability, and flexibility, making it an ideal choice for surfboard construction. The volcanic basalt fibre used in Volcanic surfboards is derived from melted basalt rock, which is then drawn into thin fibres and woven together to create a fabric-like material. This material is then combined with other materials, such as foam cores, resins, and fiberglass, to create a surfboard that is both strong and lightweight.
One of the advantages of using volcanic basalt fibre in surfboard construction is that, unlike other materials used in surfboard construction, such as petroleum-based products, volcanic basalt fibre is a natural material that does not emit harmful chemicals or pollutants during production.
Another advantage of Volcanic surfboards is their performance in the water. The flexibility and strength of the volcanic basalt fibre allows for a more responsive and manoeuvrable surfboard, making it a popular choice for surfers of all levels. Click here to shop Volcanic!
What is I-Bolic Tech?
Simply put, I-Bolic is the tech of the future. It’s an engineering feat that builds performance into the core of your board – no external carbon layups or heavy laminations needed – making it a leap forward in surfboard manufacturing. An I-Beam high-density foam stringer and high-density parabolic rails provide the strength and stiffness of Linear Flex Technology (which uses a high-density foam core, sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass and epoxy resin), coupled with the flex and spring back of Helium – a construction method that uses an EPS foam core infused with helium gas. Also designed to ensure firmness underfoot and unparalleled break strength, as Kelly Slater himself puts it: “These boards last forever.”
Click here to shop I-Bolic!
Who are Thunderbolt Technologies?
Thunderbolt Technologies is a surfboard brand that specialises in high-performance surfboard construction. The company was originally set up in Japan by Surfer and Innovator Yu Sumioto. At the time Yu's father Stomatsu Sumitomo was building some of the most cutting edge sail boards in the world. He was also working on a new technology that would cut down the chatter at high speeds. Working on flex and control using a plethora of materials. Yu emersed himself in his father's business learning everything he could about board building and his father's new technology. He quickly started working on applying his father's sailboard technology to his personal surfboards. This was the first conceptualization of what we know today as thunderbolt technology.
Today Thunderbolt technologies work with a number of professional surfers and shapers including CJ Nelson, Ben Skinner, Harley Ingleby, Kail Sallas, Tayler Jenson and Soleil Errico. All of which have their own models constructed in the Thunderbolt construction methods.
There are three laminations that Thunderbolt currently offer, Thunderbolt Silver, Red or Black. All of which take advantage of the extensive benefits of using High Denisity EPS Foams and Carbon Fibre. Silver is a slightly heavier finish meaning it is more suited to the ‘Traditional’ Style Longboard, giving it fantastic glide and performance evening in adverse winds and conditions. Black is more suited to the High Performance board and thus the other end of the spectrum to the Silver construction. This is because it is the lightest construction with a stiffer flex pattern allowing it to perform well, even in much larger surf. Red sits in between the two, allowing surfers to get a traditional feeling with the performance capabilities.
Thunderbolt and Yu San’s focus has always been to create the highest performing surfboards in their respective disciplines. That being said however as a by-product of this revolutionary construction method the durability and life span of these boards are like no other. They really are known for their wide range of shapes and sizes suitable for surfers of all skill levels.
Click here to shop Thunderbolt.
Looking for new surf gear?
The truth is that there is lots out there on today’s market, so much in fact that it can be hard to know where to start. It could be that you’re searching for a brand new board, or you may simply need one of a multitude of accessories, from fins and leashes, to grips and board bags.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, with a little assistance from our expert team here at Mad Water Sports, we can hook you up with precisely the right equipment to enhance your surfing.