Chris Grow may be surfing’s only bonafide Youtube celeb. For the past three years, he’s been at the helm of Shred Show, a no-frills series that geeks out over surfboard design and tech for some of the newest and most interesting surfboards on the market. And now he’s hosting Firewire’s new podcast The Wire.
With a wealth of knowledge about design and board functionality, stage presence and energy, and great enunciation (when talking tech, the importance of which can’t be understated) Grow built an audience of more than 23-thousand subscribers with upwards of 130-thousand views on some of his most popular videos.
All that was enough to garner the attention of one of the largest surfboard manufacturers in the world.
“This does not go public until Monday,” said Grow in a Youtube video back in August, “so you’re hearing this before the surf media or anyone else does. I am joining Firewire Surfboards.”
Grow expressed his excitement to continue to produce amazing content, and the exclusive partnership with a brand at the cutting edge of design and surfboard production.
After getting to do everything he wanted to do with Shred Show, Grow asked himself, “Why don’t I just try to get my dream job?” And this partnership was the result.
The Wire podcast is a breath of fresh air given the dearth of intriguing and intellectually stimulating surf podcasts. This new series from Firewire is different, precisely because it draws inspiration not from other surf podcasts but successful non-surf podcasts.
“For surfers who are used to listening to podcasts that have nothing to do with surfing, I think upcoming episodes of The Wire will be some of their favorite ever,” Grow told The Inertia. “I think we actually set out at Firewire to make the sort of podcast we wanted to listen to.”
Grow’s first guest, Dr. Jess Ponting, is the director of San Diego State University’s Center for Surf Research and is at the cutting edge of sustainable surf tourism research. Dr. Jess also spearheaded the STOKE certification initiative that both identifies and promotes the sustainability of lodging and tour operators in surf and the outdoors around the world.
Dr. Jess does not have a direct affiliation with Firewire, which, for listeners, may be unexpected. But that’s precisely what makes the podcast more enthralling.
“If you had to guess last week who the first guest on Firewire’s podcast might be, you’d probably say Kelly Slater or Rob Machado, maybe someone like Daniel Thomson or Jon Pyzel,” said Grow. “They are the usual suspects, and when most surfers think of Firewire, those are the guys who come to mind. And listeners can count on their future involvement.
“But what’s fun about this podcast is the ability it gives us to introduce our audience to a lot if interesting folks that they haven’t had the chance to meet yet as well, people like Jess Ponting, who are really interesting. That said, the podcast will concentrate on themes and points of view that tie back to Firewire’s DNA, even though some of our guests might not have a direct connection to Firewire.
“I mean, consider Jess – Here’s a guy who created his own career and place in the world, totally centered around surfing, and he did it in a ‘self-made’, genuine way that’s allowing him to create a ton of value for surfers all over the world. He’s literally creating a standard that every single surfing accommodation in the world – from Sumbawa to El Salvador – can choose to participate in for the betterment of the surfing experience in the coming hundred years.
We’ve already planned and even recorded future episodes. I can’t wait for people to subscribe and listen to what we have coming.”
Click here to learn more and download the first episode. You can also find the podcast by searching for “Firewire Surfboards” in iTunes.