Surfing is a sport that continues to grow around the world, and along with that growth comes innovation in gear and equipment.
One of the latest innovations in surfboard construction that we are psyched on is Thunderbolt Technology.
The thunderbolt process was developed in Japan by shaper Yu Sumitomo and his family, and they truly have created something special.
The process of building the boards incorporates advanced materials such as aerospace-grade fiberglass, carbon fiber, and epoxy resin to yield high-performance and durable surfboards.
Plus here’s the kicker that many aren’t aware of....Thunderbolt surfboards are 100% hand layups.
In this post, we discuss the benefits of riding a Thunderbolt Technology surfboard and highlight the different construction types available today.
These boards are available to touch and get under your arm in our boardroom, so come down anytime to check one out.
Benefits of Riding a Thunderbolt Technology Surfboard
Thunderbolt Tech surfboards offer several advantages to surfers of all levels, from beginners to experienced riders. Here are three of the main takeaways:
1. Super Durable
Thunderbolt surfboards are incredibly durable and resistant to dings and cracks, thanks to the advanced materials they are built with.
This means that the board will last longer and require fewer repairs, saving you money and headache in the long run.
It also helps knowing that the board can take a beating when you paddle out into a crowded lineup, or a rocky Rhode Island surf break!
2. Nice and Light
Thunderbolt surfboards are also lightweight, making them easier to handle and maneuver in the water.
This is especially important for lighter weight surfers who may struggle with heavier boards.
A lighter board also allows for quicker turns and better speed, making it more fun to ride and keeping them lively under your feet. Fun to surf in a variety of wave types, even quick beach break! Plus they are great to travel with.
3. Lively Performance
The advanced materials used in Thunderbolt Technology surfboards also enhance the boards performance.
The boards were engineered to have some flex, allowing for a more lively and maneuverable feeling under your feet. This means that you can take on bigger waves and push your limits as a surfer.
The enhanced performance of Thunderbolt Technology surfboards also makes them a great choice for competitive surfers who need a board that can keep up with their skills and abilities.
Different Construction Types
All Thunderbolts start with an EPS Blank, wrapped with fiberglass and paired with carefully placed carbon strips both on the deck and bottom that enhance the flex.
The deck and bottom are reinforced by a PVC shell, which is what gives it the high durability that we all are after.
Thunderbolt Technology surfboards come in three different construction types, each with its own unique benefits. They can be distinguished by the bolt color on the tail label, which are:
1. Thunderbolt Silver
Thunderbolt Silver is a full fiberglass layup (of course including the carbon strips for flex). It utilizes a heavier glassing schedule than the others to give the board a bit more weight, which feels great on the boards designed for noseriding.
Thunderbolt Silver is the closest feeling to an old school/classic log. Enjoy effortless paddling and smooth trim and glide while you make your way up to the nose.
2. Thunderbolt Red
Thunderbolt Red is the original Thunderbolt Technology construction type. It features aerospace-grade fiberglass and epoxy resin, making it extremely durable and lightweight. This is a great all-around construction type that works well in a variety of conditions. It's a popular choice for beginner and intermediate surfers who want a board that is easy to handle and offers good performance.
3. Thunderbolt Black
Thunderbolt Black is the newest and most advanced Thunderbolt Technology construction type. It features a unique carbon fiber weave that creates a board that is both strong and flexible. This construction type offers the highest level of performance and is ideal for advanced surfers who want to take their surfing to the next level. Thunderbolt Black surfboards are also a popular choice for big wave riders who need a board that can handle extreme conditions.
Quick and Dirty Breakdown
Black: Full Carbon layup (quickest response, lightest, and strongest) - performance longboards
Red: Full fiberglass layup: 6/4 top, 6/2 bottom (more flex, great for smaller waves)
Silver: Full fiberglass layup: 6/6 top, 6/4 bottom (heavier weight, better glide and trim for noseriding)
For the Epoxy Skeptics
We understand you may have a bad taste in your mouth from epoxy boards of the past… but these are different. Mass-produced epoxy boards are corky and stiff. While light and durable, they simply don’t ride well.
But Thunderbolt’s hand-built boards take superior epoxy materials to an entirely different level.
These boards provide the feel and sensitivity of a good poly board, but deliver performance far beyond traditional epoxy pop-out constructions. Indeed, those who ride these high-tech epoxy boards claim they actually feel better than polyurethane.
CJ Nelson claims the tech has changed his life and made him surf about 30% better than he was on a poly.
He says anyone who is open minded enough to jump on one will feel the same way he does.
With riders like CJ Nelson, Taylor Jenson, Harley Igleby, Ben Skinner, and others - you can trust that the boards preform at a high level.
Riding a Thunderbolt Technology surfboard offers several benefits, including durability, lightweight, and enhanced performance. The different construction types available allow surfers to choose the board that best fits their needs and skill level. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, there is a Thunderbolt Technology surfboard that will help you take your surfing to the next level.
Ultimately what you get with Thunderbolt is the flex and board feel that we all love in poly, but built to last and maintain that lively feeling for life.
Want to learn more? The check out "The Thunderbolt Story" video below: