What to Know About Board Availability as Firewire and Thunderbolt Part Ways
Firewire and Thunderbolt: Going Their Separate Ways
Over the past 10 years, Firewire has established itself as one of the largest and most progressive, high-tech surfboard brands on the market. Part of this has been in-house innovation, but another major factor has been collaborating and partnering with dozens of industry-leading shapers, designers, and inventors, from Kelly Slater (Slater Designs), Rob Machado, Dan Mann, and Tomo to Ryan Engle, CJ Nelson, Kai Sallas, Harley Ingleby, Taylor Jensen, and Ben “Skindog” Skinner.
The Firewire x Thunderbolt Collaboration
The Firewire x Thunderbolt collaboration brought a huge stable of world-class surfers, shapers, and designers under the Firewire umbrella, all of whom were united by Japanese innovator Yu Sumitomo (affectionately known as Yu San by those who have worked with him).
Thunderbolt technology involves the use of a patented carbon fiber stringer system within an epoxy/carbon fiber shell and EPS blank, creating super responsive longboards with incredible flex characteristics that facilitate super progressive performance, whether you are on a traditional log or a high-pro longboard. Yu San came up with the Thunderbolt construction process and initially tested it with CJ Nelson and Harley Ingleby, who quickly became true believers. Over the years, he added boards from Taylor Jensen, Kai Sallas, Skindog, and Soleil Errico—all of which were acquired by Firewire in the Firewire x Thunderbolt partnership.
What to Expect?
Thunderbolt has recently announced that it will be parting ways with Firewire, which means that the longboards designed by CJ Nelson, Ryan Engle, Harley Ingleby, Taylor Jensen, Kai Sallas, Ben “Skindog” Skinner, and Soleil Errico will soon be unavailable from the Firewire store.
These include popular models like the Apex, the Outlier, the Sprout, the Parallax, and the NeoClassic (CJ Nelson); the Mid 6, the Moe, the Diamond Drive, the HI4, and the HIHP (Harley Ingleby); the OVA and the Cherry Picker (Skindog); the TJ Pro, the TJ Pro V, the Gem, the Special T, and the Singleton (Taylor Jensen); the Mango Jam, the Waikiki, and the Waikiki Queens (Kai Sallas); the Velvet Hour and the Sunkist (Soleil Errico).
While Thunderbolt will continue to produce many of these exciting boards on its own, the transition away from Firewire will be a complicated one, and there are no guarantees of what will be available and when. If you have been thinking about picking up one of the Firewire x Thunderbolt boards, this is a good time to do so to ensure that the board you are looking for is available.