The Wire by Firewire Surfboards

The Wire by Firewire Surfboards


The Wire is Firewire Surfboards platform for surfing, sustainability and social outreach, as well as other fun surf related stuff.


The Wire ep. #8 - Comparing Surfboards; Firewire employees share their favorite board models  

Inside Firewire there are two types of surfers. The first surf the same board over and over. For example, Mike Miliken who mostly rides mid- lengths like the 8’6 Special T. Or Mark Price who mostly surfs a Vader, and an occasional Omni. Then you’ve got the other side of the spectrum - these guys surf everything. Any Tech. Any shape. They’ve got everything in rotation from a Seaxe to a Sci-Fi and everything in between. They know what they like and what they don’t. They have some techs they favor more than others, but they’ve got experience on everything, and their garage looks like a surf shop. Today we have three guests from inside of Firewire. And each one is from the second category. Mike Thomas, who is Firewire’s Art Director (who has a really wild rule that determines the volume he surfs), Mark Pesce, who is Firewire’s U.S. Shop and Sales Consultant ( who surfs the weirdest looking set of fins you’ve seen - hint: They look like the letter L), and Tony Curto, who is Firewire’s U.S. production manager (who is hilariously notorious for blowing his board selection at the Kelly Slater Wave Co’s pool in Lemoore). These guys surf Spitfires and Sweet Potatoes, Baked potatoes and Omnis. And you’ll find this episode interesting if you want insight into what your next board might be. You may also find clues about why you like certain shapes and build technologies more than others.

The Wire Ep. #7 - Andy Stern. The Neurologist who founded Smartfin.  

Andy Stern enlisted Futures Fins and The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in pursuit of a breakthrough in the way humanity understands the ocean. And a breakthrough in surfboard fins. A Yale graduate and former professional squash player, Andy has created a fin set that measures ocean chemistry and gathers data while you surf. Salinity. PH balance. Temperature. Wave data. It’s all collected through your fins as you ride waves. But Andy is not just the founder of a noteworthy achievement in fin design. He also commissions sculptures of extinct birds and places them in the wild where the species was last seen before vanishing. He also has a Zen Buddhist meditation practice that often entails week-long silent retreats. This is a special episode and we’re excited to have you join us on The Wire.

The Wire ep. #6 - Punker Pat Wants A New Nickname (and a new Evo)  

Punker Pat surfs an Evo. He also has the keys to a recording studio at Hurley. This episode was recorded in the same space that Blink-182, Weezer and Social Distortion have recorded. It's housed inside a building on the campus that Hurley and Nike call home in Costa Mesa. It's the place that Michel Bourez, Rob Machado and others under the Hurley / Nike umbrella come to re-fill on board shorts, pick up new wetsuits and strategize upcoming surf trips, like the explorations seen in John John Florence’s 'View From A Blue Moon'. This episode covers much, such as the role Pat had in designing the Unibrow years before Firewire released it, the one trick to getting in and out barrels while bodysurfing, how anyone can record good video footage of themselves surfing and much more, like Pat's thoughts on the mental habit that makes his friend such a formidable competitor. If you enjoy this episode, you can let us know by rating this podcast 5 stars on iTunes and Stitcher. 

The Wire ep. #5 - 700 surfboards, 25 countries, and 2 board bags. How Kelly Kingston Shares the Stoke.  

Kelly Kingston travels with two board bags wherever she goes. And she goes everywhere. There are enough obscure stamps on her passport pages to cause even the most jaded TSA agent to blink twice - Haiti, Peru, Columbia - her travel bag of choice is made by FCS, and it’s most often filled with Firewire boards like the Sci-Fi, Baked Potato, and Omni - her favorite. She surfs it often near her home in Lake Worth Florida. In 2016 Kelly received more than 150 surfboards from Firewire. But she didn’t surf them all. They were distributed worldwide through her organization Share The Stoke. Since 2008 Kelly has used Share The Stoke as a vehicle to donate over 700 surfboards to kids in more than 20 countries. But she began small. In fact, the origin story of Share The Stoke carries the same intrigue as any tale of inception, whether two computer programmers in a Palo Alto garage or Jeff Kelly, founder of Sanuk, creating prototypes in a Del Mar garage and making all the original sales calls himself. In this new episode of The Wire Podcast Kelly shares a lot about the accidental path that led her to her purpose in life which is to, in her words, ‘Share the gift of surfing”. We’re excited to have you join us.

The Wire ep. #4 - Left Pocket, $6 Million; Right Pocket, A Big Hammer. Chad Nelsen's Pants Are Getting Heavy  

As CEO of the Surfrider Foundation, Chad Nelsen drops hammers on the people who tread on your surfing experience. And he’s damn good at it. From saving Trestles, to stopping off-shore drilling to banning single-use plastic bags in California, Chad has directed Surfrider through their most successful year ever in 2016, with 60 coastal victories achieving outcomes such as stopping the flow of up to 240 million gallons of waste into Huntington Beach waters each day, and ending the way gambling boats used to dump 44 million gallons of waste into the sea each year in Florida. See, if you’ve ever ridden a wave in North America, there’s a good chance the Surfrider Foundation has, at least in a small way, enabled your ability to enjoy whatever surf break you got wet at, and that’s the reason we asked Chad to join us for this episode of The Wire - he is uncommonly good at organizing action and influencing change. This episode is both a mood enhancer and a how-to guide; listening to it will make you happy if you surf because we discuss the many ways surfers won in 2016 and the progress being made this year, and anyone in a non-profit or startup will benefit from Chad’s perspective on everything from fundraising to spending funds effectively for maximum benefit. Please enjoy, and rate this podcast 5 stars if you want to make it easy for others to find, but of course, the choice is yours.

The Wire ep. #3 - Dan Mann Will Out-Paddle You  

Dan Mann has retired in Australia. And Spain, South Africa and Portugal, all while being the most successful surfboard designer no one has ever heard of. And in this episode, we crack his secrets wide open. Consider for a second some of the surfboard models you've ridden: The Baked Potato, The Sweet Potato, The Potato-Nator... The list could go on for another ten or twelve surfboards. But Dan's face remains unrecognizable when walking the streets of Coronado in San Diego, and he receives 2% of the attention that more well-known designers do, even though they might have less than half the amount of surfboards under the feet of surfers that Dan has. And the best part? This has been intentional. Dan rides a bike to the beach on most mornings with his son Lance, and surfing isn't the only activity taking place in the Mann household. His wife dances Flamengo. His daughter does Ballet. And his family has a vibe that seems more similar to Swiss Family Robinson than his proximity to downtown San Diego would imply. Behind it all is Dan's decision to devote time and energy to family and surfing, and participating in uncommon ways of thinking that inspire his yoga and movement practice. So join us in the studio behind Dan’s home, for this episode of The Wire.

The Wire ep. #2 - Mark Price; CEO of Firewire Surfboards  

Before becoming CEO of Firewire Mark Price had executive positions at many of the surf brands you’ve heard of - Gotcha, Rip Curl, Reef and others. He competed as a professional in the early 1980’s before beginning a career in the surf industry that has spanned 35 years. Today he arrives at work in board shorts on many days where he runs a surfboard brand that is owned by Kelly Slater and his group of environmentally minded investors. This makes Mark one of the better examples in our industry of making a living as a surfer, close to the beach, over ones entire lifetime. This episode functions as a toolkit for business owners, entrepreneurs and others who want to navigate buzzwords like “sustainability” and “environmentally friendly”. But we also cover much more. Enjoy!

The Wire ep. #1 - Jess Ponting of The Center for Surf Research  

Jess Ponting was the first person in the world to earn a PHD in Sustainable Surf Tourism Management years ago. Today he is the Director of The Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University. Sound fun? It is - he dables in many exotic surf destinations you've heard of promoting environmental and social sustainability. He is also the co-founder of Stoke Certified; the world's first sustainability certification program for surf and ski tourism operators. Jess is exciting as a case study on how to align career ambitions with life passions, but he's also much more than that: this conversation contains a fascinating look at the way our actions as surfers in the ocean (or in wave pools) have impacts both good and bad, on everything around us. Enjoy! 

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