Has anyone held a Sunova and a Firewire?

Has anyone seen and held a Sunova and a Firewire? I was reading the Firewire site and it was leading me to believe that they had solid balsa rails, but the posts I read about Sunovas talked about the skins being the control and the rails being really small pieces of balsa joined together for protection.

Just curious on how mass production changed the prototype.

The firewire I saw, it looks like EPS foam core covered with a finer foam / epoxy . . . they could have put exotic foams into it, balsa parabolic rails . … rails are made out of balsa, unlike parabolic rail stringers (which stringers are put inside the rail) . …

The Sunova at US Open in Huntington 05 had full on balsa skinned construction . . . differences. Maybe Bert found a way to keep the same performance sans balsa skins?

I dunno.

The ones I saw at expo in Orlando were solid balsa rails, and balsa skinned top and bottom. I actually saw the one kelly is pictured riding in the new surfer mag…

If the skins are not cored with balsa, its likely Corecell pvc foam…its beige in color but i understand FW uses lots of color/graphics tech to hide its raw appearance. The Sonova brand is mostly balsa covered. Im making a corecell board this year but Ive been moving at a snail’s pace…might be ready by August.

hey can you post that pic

which mag is it

“surfer” from the us?

I saw a very short fish and a sub 6’ thruster at the Fish Fry last weekend. The bottom of the fish and the deck of the thruster were made of a light brown, speckled material that was harder than poly lam. It had he appearence and texture of a corian counter top. The rails were balsa laminate. They were as light or lighter than the hollow carbon fiber boards. They appeared very well constructed.

They look pretty bullet proof but time will tell. Compsands are only as strong as their joints and seams. I can’t imagine surfing one in anything but dead glassy conditions as they are so light, any chop or wind is going to screw with them. If Black Monday does nothing else; we’ll be able to answer, “Can a surfboard be too light?”

Core-cell isn’t PVC, it’s Styrene Acrylo-Nitrile (SAN). For an overview of the different types of structural foams, check:


both Airex and Rohacell are very good sandwich skins too. Rohacell have some relativly new (1year) fine celled ones that are very good! they come in perfect thickness choices for sandwich skins. it can be very white and can come in a variety of colors like FL, AL, FU, FI, you may recognize some of the colours.


Thanks everyone for the replies. I don’t know when I will get a chance to hold one, so this has been informative. I completely understand why you would use the sheet foam for the masses. I wonder if the high end line will continue to be balsa skinned. I picked up that surfer mag when I saw it had an article on foam. When I read it, it was a sales job on Firewire and how Kelly was pulling tape because he didn’t believe the moves he was doing. The article also added that the retirement homes were about to empty and join the tour with the new tech.

I have a Sunova .

I’ve known Herbie for a very long time .

We use to surf with each other back in school . I’m real glad he finally got this stuff out there , I always said he was wasting his time in Mandurah .

I have 2 , a 6-5 and 6-10 , both the wooden ones , both real strong and both real light .

Mine have solid wooden rails with balsa panels top and bottom .

I have seen him do other stuff with different timbers , also different colored thin hard foam, ugly brown and green .

Years ago before he started making the balsa ones , he was making these brown ones with paint on the outside to hide the ugly foam , maybe thats what’s in these Firewire ones ?

When I got mine I asked “what are you riding ?” I figured , whatever the shaper is riding must be the best option .

Good on ya Herbs , we always said you were a world beater .


This is LeeV at the Fish Fry. I held this Firewire and some Sunova’s at the Orlando Expo. I believe the Sunova boards were lighter.


I’m glad you can give a first hand account. I prefer the look of the balsa ones, especially that chevron pattern one from very early this year. The article stated that the boards had 1" balsa rails. Is that width, height or both?

dam it , im never gonna shake that name am i matty …

how are ya dude? , how long, 5 or 6 years since the last board ?

that 6-10 would be 10 or 11 by now ?

how they looking ?

as soon as you said the dimensions of your boards i knew who it was straight away , that and my primary school name gave it away …

you never did like the painted ones did you ?

i always reckoned if you hadnt of seen what was under the paint you would have got one , actually no you wouldnt , because i didnt ride them , i was still riding p/u back then …

hey whats with trying to embarris me on the name ???

i was trying to keep a low profile , but i just had to say hello …

its probably past your bed time over there , hey man , pm me and i will give you my email , actually i will pm you , seeing as you probably havnt got the message thing worked out yet …

so everyone wants to know the difference between a sunova and a firewire ???

better ask big brother…



Damn…I was hoping that photo wouldn’t see the light of day! I think I had just got stung by a blue bumblebee when I picked the board up.

Hey Bert, let’s lighten things up…fill us in on the Herbie nickname!!!

ps. good luck…

HerBert Burger?



Former herb farmer…what kind of herbs?


So Bert what’s the latest and greatest…

Those FW graphics look insane…looks like digital sky’s the limit…

Looking forward to seeing some FWs over on this coast…maybe by the September peak hurricane season.

We can only hope…


Here’s an oldy but a goody pic. of a triple stack of burgers…


Hi Bert , yes it has been a few years , those 2 boards are still in pristine condition , actually the 6-5 is the older one , the 6-10 was the newer one .

Those painted boards looked like plastic , they looked so unnatural , thats why I didn’t get one of those , at the time I don’t even think you knew the potential with the boards you were building , but when you started the woodies you sold me on both the looks and the spring , plus the strength of coarse , if you had left the wooden rails exposed like I’m seeing on these new Firewire ones , they possibly might have enticed me , but that solid all over paint job looked like a cover up .

I have heard a few rumors about what you were up to and have recently been introduced to this site , why the name change ? what was wrong with Sunova ? can I still get a woodie ?

I did a search on Firewire and an article in Transworld came up with a picture of Nev and Mark Price , some of the jargon sounded like what youv’e been telling me for years , what was with the comment about vacuum forming ? as far as I know , no one was doing it before you with surfboards .

Obviously your associated because the technical talk sounds similar , there are many references on this site which make a link between you and Firewire and I heard you had teamed up with Nev Hyman but I didn’t see your name mentioned in the article , what’s the real story ?

I am making sure I get a deal on my next board and that you don’t forget who your friends are , the original ones with all the dirt .

PM no problem , should be waiting in there for you .


I like the look of the new boards, where the sandwich layer is an inlay and the rail stringers run hull to deck. Sound engineering for flex.

I’m not sure I’d trust a Gore-tex valve though. That stuff is awesome in the beginning, and doesn’t retain its magic with time and wear.