At Firewire, some employees have their go-tos and others ride everything.


The Inertia

You could probably take everyone at Firewire Surfboards’ Carlsbad headquarters and cut them roughly into two groups. The first group surfs the same shape over and over. The second never surfs the same shape twice.

For example, Mike Milliken, the guy in charge of making sure every surf shop in America gets the boards they ask for, mostly rides mid-lengths like the 8’0 Special T.

And Mark Price, the person who runs the company, is rarely seen surfing anything other than a Vader.

How many options is too many options? Firewire’s Mike Thomas has over ten boards in his garage on constant rotation, while other Firewire employees surf the same two shapes over and over.

Then you have the second group…

These guys surf everything. Any shape. Any tech. They’ve got so many things on rotation that you could consider them heavily afflicted with a Surfboard Attention Deficit Disorder of the tenth degree.

Everything is fair game from a Seaxe to a Sci-Fi and no shape is safe from the impact of their heels and toes.

See if you found yourself in Carlsbad one afternoon with plans to have lunch with a few people from Firewire, you’d probably want the people you grab a burrito with to be from the second group. They can tell you what they think works and what doesn’t. Because they’ve ridden everything, everywhere.

Backhand on a Sci-Fi. Tony Curto is Firewire’s U.S. Production Manager. He surfs a Sci-Fi. And everything else, too.

On our most recent episode of The Wire podcast, we have three guests from inside Firewire. And each one of them is from the second category.

First – Mike Thomas, who is Firewire’s Art Director (he has a really wild rule that determines the volume he surfs, and it borders on ridiculous).

Second – Mark Pesce, who is Firewire’s U.S. Shop and Sales Consultant (he rides the weirdest looking set of fins you’ve seen – hint: They look like the letter L).

Third – Tony Curto, who is Firewire’s U.S. production manager. He is hilariously notorious for blowing his board selection at the Kelly Slater Wave pool – have you ever outrun a 700-yard section by accident?

Backhand on an Omni. Mike Thomas likes this shape in head high waves. But whatever you do don’t ever, ever, ask him to ride it in chop.

These three guys surf Spitfires and Sweet Potatoes, Baked Potatoes and Omnis. Some like LFT, some like FST, and some like a brand new tech that finally releases to surf shops in just two weeks.

You’ll enjoy this episode if you want insight into what your next surfboard might be.

Or if you just like talking about surfboards.

You can listen to this episode of The Wire Podcast:

On iTunes here.

And on Stitcher here.

Firewire CEO Mark Price rarely steps off of his MPH shapes by Daniel Thomson. Photo: Pat Flanagan.

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