Several three-letter acronyms require unpacking here.

I’m not sure I agree with using an acronym to name a surfboard but, as discussed elsewhere, most of the good surfboard-model names have already been taken. In any case, I suppose TLAs kinda fit with the clinical, bright-white, futuristic vibe that Firewire and their star-shaper have been cultivating in recent years.

The S and K stand for Stu Kennedy, the stoic working-class hero from New South Wales who at times looked unbeatable during his two-year stint on the CT. I think the X, which could stand for any number of words, is probably just meant to express the additional gnarliness factor that for some reason is often associated with this letter.

The board looks fairly middle-of-the-road by Tomo’s standards, but still embraces the modern-planing-hull principles on which he’s built his reputation. Most importantly, it features his trademark “Quad-Inside-Single-Concave” through the fins.

Firewire SKX Surfboard – tail/fin detail

Whereas conventional channel-bottoms generally “grip” the wave face, Tomo’s bottom contours cause the board to “release” and rise up from the surface in a planing fashion. This is what accounts for the instant acceleration and amazing speed that almost everyone who tries a Tomo board remarks upon.

"This is what accounts for the instant acceleration and amazing speed that almost everyone who tries a Tomo board remarks upon"

That planing effect has been reined in slightly by the narrower square tail, designed to increase control in powerful or choppy conditions, when all that speed and lift might otherwise prove too much. That was reportedly a problem with the wider-tailed Sci-Fi, this board’s predecessor.

Firewire Tomo SKX Surfboard
Firewire Tomo SKX Surfboard

As for LFT, that’s the Linear Flex Technology, not to be confused with FST, Future Shape Technology. It incorporates a “Springer HD” — an “18mm-wide aerospace composite”, otherwise known as a carbon strip — into an EPS blank, which is reinforced with a 1mm high-density “deckskin".

Firewire SKX

Dimensions: 5’9” x 18 7/8” x 2 3/8” / 27.3L
Shaper: Daniel “Tomo” Thomson
Set-up: Thruster/Quad
Materials: LFT
Price: €819 / £670


It’s hard not to be suspicious of such a high-density outpouring of marketing speak, but it’s true that the “deckskin” feels a little more like PU underfoot, a little more alive, than the usual Firewire finish. The SKX also qualifies as a Level One Eco Board.

Read about Tomo’s drug-fuelled collaboration with Chris Christenson here.

Read about his being one of the 6 sexiest surfer-shapers ever here.