The Cornice proves that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
“I remember a casual conversation with Paul Naude over two years ago encouraging Firewire to explore a side cut design, so when Eduardo Cenzano, Managing Director and lead engineer at Trinity Technologies in Spain approached us with the idea, we decided to pursue it”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “The original Trinity design showed immediate promise and with Eduardo’s consent, we brought long-time Firewire collaborator Dan Mann into the design process and the final version represents a synthesis of everyone’s input”.
Eduardo explains the principles behind the enhanced performance of side-cut technology, “
“Trinity has significant computer resources due to our work designing products such as wind turbine blades and modeling how they perform in different conditions. I believe this is the first time anyone has applied that much computing power and engineering expertise to determine the functionality of a surfboard design. After countless months of computer modeling, we’re convinced that the side-cut design offers significant performance advantages”.
Eduardo continued, “Firstly, the water flows more smoothly through the ‘waist’ of the board rather than buffeting against it. The way the board fits into the flow of water, reduces the water pressure from the wave, allowing the board to respond intuitively to maneuvers. The overall effect is the sensation of travelling on rails, and a feeling that you have complete control over the most radical turns”.
“In addition, the side-cut shifts the majority of the board’s volume from the mid-point towards the ends, and in the Cornice outline in particular, towards the tail, leading to a most effective area in contact with the water. The board literally displaces less water, leading to minimal friction and in surfing terms, increased speed that is noticeable.”
Dan Mann adds, “Reviewing Trinity’s original design, what grabbed me immediately was how this challenged what we all think a high performance board should look like. It shows how radical you can go and still have that familiar feeling of a regular board, but with in my view notably increased performance.”
“While we’re not the first to explore side cut on a surfboard, the challenge was to make it work with predictability in a wide range of surf. The rocker, bottom contours and fin clusters are tried and true through all my designs. Obviously the outline is the design’s biggest feature and after a couple waves it all made sense… it takes less force and time to tip the board on its rail. That fast twitch sensitivity, especially on late drops or hollow waves, is where you feel the side cut really engage, and the wide tail still allows for speed in the flats”.
On that note, to overcome the possibility of exaggerated slide from such a wide tail, THE CORNICE incorporates a Step-Rail design through the tail, creating a blade-like profile in the tail rail, which acts like an additional fin in some respects.
Dan continues, “as Eduardo mentioned above, the design shifts most of the boards volume and planning surface well behind center, which is a significant departure from today’s widely accepted foam and volume distribution ratios, and tips its hat to the 1980’s McCoy Lazer Zap in some respects. This essentially places most of the planning surface under your back foot so you have a sensation of riding an even smaller board with total control and responsiveness, and the ultra narrow nose makes it even faster through turns”.
Firewire CEO Mark Price added, “Dan Mann, Chuy Reyna (Firewire’s Marketing Director and ex pro surfer) and I have been riding THE CORNICE in a wide variety of conditions, and we’re absolutely convinced that the design has a legitimate place alongside other high performance designs in the market today”.
Firewire will showcase THE CORNICE at the January Surf Expo and deliver boards to market shortly thereafter.
Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits. Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.
In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards. Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.
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