Firewire: Surfboards for the New Generation
If you are involved in the surf community or live in San Diego County, you may be familiar with Firewire, one of the leading eco-conscious surfboard companies on the market today. Mark Price, CEO of the company, graciously took the time to answer some questions about how Firewire stays at the forefront of the green surf movement while maintaining a dedication to producing leading performance boards. This is what he had to say:
Q: I know Firewire has made a green commitment, but tell me about your work with Ecoboard and how that plays into your general company philosophy.
A: Firewire is the only global surfboard manufacturer to commit 100% to the Ecoboard project. Since July 2014, every Firewire built has been Ecoboard certified.
Firewire believes that the world has finite resources, and a limit on how much manufacturing waste the Earth can tolerate. Therefore, we have an obligation to operate our business in the most sustainable way possible, while staying true to our commitment to push the boundaries of surfboard design and materials, ensuring that the “eco-gains” do not compromise performance.
Q: Are there any other projects/collaborations that further support your goal of sustainability?
A: We recently introduced a Surfrider-branded colab model in the US with $75.00 from every board sold going to Surfrider.
Q: What about the design of your boards makes them sustainable?
A: Firewire uses EPS foam and bio-resin that reduces the total VOCs emitted to 50 times less than polyurethane/polyester surfboards. Furthermore, there is no acetone used in our factory—an incredibly toxic substance that is used in most surfboard factories. We also recycle all of our EPS waste, and I’d argue that the increased durability of our boards is probably their most sustainable feature, never mind the less toxic materials.
Q: I remember when I was first exposed to Firewire in Del Mar over a decade ago, and it stood at the cutting edge of surfboard technology. Can you tell me a little about how your company broke the mold in the beginning and what modern technologies you employ with your surfboards now?
A: Traditional surfboards have a wood stringer running down the center of the board, and generally use a single density foam core, usually around 2.5 pounds per cubic foot in density. Firewire’s FST technology removed the center stringer, replaced it with a parabolic balsa rail around the perimeter of the board, and combines that with a 1 pound foam core sandwiched under vacuum between aerospace composite deck skins. The end result is increased flex, lighter weight, and greater compression strength versus a regular surfboard.
Q: Do you have any future innovations you are working on (that you are at liberty to discuss) or plans for making your products or their delivery more eco-friendly?
A: Yes, we’re testing more eco-friendly bio-resins and less toxic foam cores, including recycled content EPS foam, as well as foams produced from naturally occurring feedstocks.
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