Firewire Surfboards

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Firewire Surfboards
Firewire surfboards logo.png
Founded 1981
Location Australia, San Diego, Thailand
Category Shortboards, Longboards, Performance

Firewire Surfboards has quite a fascinating history thanks to the man behind the boards, Australian shaper Nev Hyman, and has become one of the most well known surfboard manufacturers of epoxy surfboards.

In 1975 Nev started Odyssey Surfboards in Perth, West Australia. After some traveling Nev changed its name to Nev Surfboards in 1981. From here, Hyman began to design blanks for some of the best surfers in the world.

Gaining much experience, Nev began to hone his craft and feel for the perfect surfboard. By 1998, Nev Future Shapes was the new name, Hyman’s business was now in the global market, and was producing over 5,000 boards a year with his crew.

Starting in 1989, Hyman began to get involved with computer shaping. He became quite involved in the general acceptance of the practice and began to seek his ‘Holy Grail’ of machine-shaped surfboards. Around 2004, Hyman met Bert Berger and was introduced to his high-tech, handmade surfboard that included balsa rails, and a high-density composite top and bottom.

By early 2006, Firewire Surfboards were making their appearance in the lineup. These boards were completely created on a CAD/CAM software allowing for a perfect board to be consistently created without variations in shape. The designing is done by Dan Mann and Nev Hyman on a 2D program called AKU Shaper. A master is cut out on an AKU CNC Shaping Machine and then examined by Hyman and fixed to his standards.

The blank is then transformed into a 3D drawing on CAD modeling software. Here, all parts of the board are created in 3D including rails and stringers. The 3D model is then sent to Firewire’s factory in Thailand, where the final surfboard is created under strict guidelines.

All Firewire Surfboards are constructed using Expanded Polystyrene Foam. This material is more environmentally friendly than polyurethane and can also be recycled. This core is also essential to the design of Firewire Surfboards. A heavier core allows for faster direction executing during rail changes. In addition, Firewire boards use only epoxy resins because they emit an estimated 2 percent of the volatile organic compounds that polyurethane resins do.

Firewire relies on the Future Shapes Technology Parabolic Balsa Rails to control flexibility. These boards also use high density aerospace composite foam that is vacuum-attached to both the bottom and the top decks of the board. This adds significant strength the final surfboard, and is more durable than polyurethane surfboards. The rails are created from 12mm balsa wood and shaped into 3 x 4mm strips that control flex, add strength and allow the board to be protected from rail dings. This allows the board to be durable and retain its ‘feel’ for an extended amount of time.

Direct Drive Firewire Surfboards do not use Parabolic Balsa Rails, but use interior carbon rods for strength. These rods are suspended inside the high-density foam on the edge of the board and are installed to help control flex and its flex memory. This board is specifically designed for performance, is a stiffer ride, but with a faster response compared to the Future Shapes Technology balsa rails. The Direct Drive has a higher retail price than the Future Shapes Technology board but involves a more complex design that incorporates carbon rods for superior performance.

Future Shapes Technology also incorporates Springer technology in select models. These springs are similar to a car’s suspension and are layered underneath the skin of the deck to create a slightly different flex response. Taj Burrow, a professional Australian surfer, prefers that his Firewire Surfboard has this slight adjustment to create a stiffer and snappier flex response.

Rapid Fire Firewire Surfboards are a combination of the carbon rod system of the Direct Drive mixed with a bamboo top layer. In this case, the carbon rods and bamboo skin create patterns in the flex design which help increase speed and allow you to rip sick turns. The bamboo is not as resistant to damage as the Direct Drive or Future Shapes Technology boards but it does offer significant flex strength. These surfboards are also tougher, better tuned, and more sophisticated than your average surfboard.

Crossfire boards have bamboo on the top and bottom of the deck. It is combined with the Balsa Parabolic rails of Future Shapes Technology to control flex. The addition of a bottom deck of bamboo allows for a great amount of flexibility in turns and adds to its strength.

Technology Features of Firewire Surfboards

Firewire Surfboards is more so a commercial surf shop that places emphasis on the background technology that goes into the surfboard design. They highlight these features on their website to help you understand more of why certain surfboards will out perform and out last others. These technology features include:

Future Shapes

  • High Density Fin Plug / Box Inserts
  • Parabolic Balsa Rails
  • Fiberglass and Epoxy Resin
  • High Density Aerospace Composite
  • 1 lb EPS Interior Foam

Direct Drive

  • Lateral Rods Create Carbon Frame
  • High Density Foam Rails
  • Epoxy Glass
  • High Density Aerospace Composite
  • Parabolic Carbon Rod Suspension System
  • 1 lbs EPS Interior Foam


  • High Density Fin Plug / Box Inserts
  • Parabolic Balsa Rails
  • Fiberglass and Epoxy Resin
  • High Density Aerospace Composite
  • Balsa Springer
  • 1 lb EPS Interior Foam


  • Bamboo “Sandwich” Deck Skin
  • Fiberglass and Epoxy Resin
  • Parabolic Carbon Rod Suspension System
  • 2 lb EPS Core


  • High Density Fin Plug / Box Inserts
  • Parabolic Balsa Rails
  • Fiberglass and Epoxy Resin
  • Reinforced Bamboo Deckskin
  • 1.5 lb EPS Interior Foam

White RapidFire

  • PVC-free and VOC-free Composite Deckskin
  • Fiberglass and Epoxy Resin
  • Parabolic Carbon Rod Suspension System
  • 1.5 lb – 2 lb EPS Core (depending on length)

They extensively describe the materials and constructions they use so you have the knowledgeable background of what type of surfboard would suit your surf needs. Lastly, although their product development, research, and design are located in San Diego and Australia, the majority of their production is held in Thailand.

For the enthusiast behind surfboard design, check out their website for all the detailed background information.

Overview of Firewire Surfboards

With the emphasis on the technology aspect of surfboards, Firewire provides a great selection of performance shortboards and longboards that incorporate their advanced materials and design technology to provide the best long-lasting, durable board. The following are part of the Firewire Surfboards collections:

High Performance

  • Michel Bourez (signature model)
  • Flexfire
  • Alternator
  • Hellrazor
  • Quadra-5
  • Gromflex
  • Lost F-1

Performance Hybrids

  • Spitfire
  • Activator
  • Hellfire
  • Futura
  • Lost Mini-Driver
  • Lost Sub-Scorcher
  • Lost Stealth


  • Dominator
  • El Fuego
  • Addvance
  • Potatonator

Pure Stoke

  • Sweet Potato
  • Baked Potato
  • Quad Fish
  • Fish Tail
  • King Fish


  • Taylor Jensen
  • Flexflight

See also