DIAB Divinycell H Firewire surfboards

Firewire makes waves with Diab materials

Innovation is critical for manufacturers of sporting equipment. Even in long-established sports like surfing, the slightest advance can mean an advantage for the user. Firewire Surfboards, today’s leader in alternative surfboard design, relies on Diab to stay at the cutting edge.

Firewire Surfboards believes more in revolution than evolution. The company’s mission statement makes clear that the future of surfing lies not in subtle tweaks to board shape, but in the use of entirely new construction techniques. A good example is the company’s own proprietary sandwich construction, which yields a lightweight and resilient board with extraordinary performance.

Firewire’s reasoning is simple. International surfing has moved into an era where aerial maneuvers are commonplace. This creates a demand for lightweight boards with lively flex and high durability – a combination that leaves standard construction methods behind. Traditionally, the only way to lighten a surfboard has been to reduce the amount of material, which provides greater flexibility but also increases the risk of breakage.

Firewire has resolved the dilemma by being the first global manufacturer to commercialize a new construction technique that defies the limitations
of traditional surfboards. Above and below an extremely light core of shaped EPS, a 3 mm layer of Diab Divinycell H 80 is bonded with fiberglass and epoxy resin, creating an incredibly lightweight and durable blank. Complemented with balsa rails, balsa springers or carbon rods, the construction is used in Firewire’s FST (Future Shapes Technology), FST Springer and Direct Drive models, which account for 50% of the company’s overall output.

Firewire began using Divinycell H over four years ago, and the company’s positive experience with the material has led to a further exploration of alternatives. Diab has met with Firewire several times to discuss designs and possibilities, with the result that both Divinycell Matrix 11-9 and Divinycell F 90 are now being used in different stages of testing.

Meanwhile, both the general surfing population and an increasing number of the surfing elite have found their way to the company. Firewire is championed by some of the most recognizable names in surfing today, and is in fact the only OEM surfboard manufacturer using sandwich construction to have top professional surfers riding its boards on the World Championship Tour. With the high strength-to-weight ratio that is characteristic of Diab composites, Firewire’s surfboards are riding a wave of success.


Louise Eriksson Jacka
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