Product Review: Firewire's "Custom Board Design" Platform

Embracing the futuristic technology they incorporate into their surfboards, Firewire Surfboards has created a CBD (Custom Board Design) platform on its Web site where consumers can customize existing stock models to suit their preferences.

After the initial login, the process begins with a greeting from Firewire's mad scientist Nev Hyman. From there, the real fun begins. First, you pick from their signature board series a board model that best suits your tastes. There are seven to choose from and I went with the "Flexfire." A stock 6'0" Flexfire is 18.25 inches wide but I don't like that narrow of a board so I bumped it up to 18.5 inches wide. As well, I've never been a fan of narrow noses so I bumped that up a ¼ inch. I didn't know what to do as far as the tail width so just left it at the standard 13.94 inches. In hindsight I should have pulled that in a bit.

Firewire CBD 3D

The 3D view of your self designed Firewire allows you to see your board from all angles.

After designing your dream stick, you click onto a "my boards" tab and an email is sent to you where you can download a 3D PDF. The 3D version is cool but, I'm like a lot of people in that I need to pick up and (gently) fondle a board to know whether or not I like it. So, in my opinion the best way to approach this would be to go to a shop where they sell Firewire's, feel up the model that you like best, then go back to the CBD site and get that board, just with your preferred dimensions.

After reviewing your board in the 3D format (you'll need the newest Adobe Reader to do so) you'll choose which fin setup you want (FCS or Futures) and where you want the board shipped ($75 extra to get it shipped straight to your house). After that, you'll be directed to PayPal where you can pay with a credit or debit card.

Justin Isla Natividad

A late season mission to Isla Natividad was the first time I rode my new self-designed Firewire. It went well in the punchy, hollow beachbreak but is probably a bit too thin and narrow for the small, mushy crap I ride at home. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Price: Same as you'd see at a surf shop plus an additional $75 for the extra labor required.
Pros: It's really easy to design your own shred sled, shows you the overall volume which is crucial element to overall performance, it's the board you ordered—not what a shaper thinks you want.
Cons: Can't customize the rocker, takes a while to get your board (about 12 weeks), currently available only in the USA, Australia, and Japan (more markets are said to be opening soon).