Decades ago, choosing between materials for your next surfboard was a non-issue. Polyurethane (PU) foam and polyester (PE) resin at one time was the only reasonable option. These days, though, surfboard manufacturers are experimenting with a dizzying array of construction methods. Firewire especially has a handful of acronyms that for the uninitiated can be difficult to sort through – namely TimberTek, LFT, FST, and Helium constructions. Lucky for us, Kelly Slater’s here to break flex patterns and theoretical mumbo jumbo down into human speak.
In the video above, Kelly talks through two of his Slater Designs Gammas – one in Helium and the other in LFT – and compares and contrasts them for us. The LFT construction, says Kelly, is a tad heavier which helps cut through chattery faces on days with a little texture. On the other hand, the Helium version is lighter, easier to whip around, and lively. Same board model, same dimensions, different construction, wildly different feel.