Yu Sumitomo has built his name as a visionary innovator in surfboard design and construction. Through his company Thunderbolt Technologies, "Yu-San" combines advanced materials and innovative design features to decrease weight, enhance performance, and improve the durability of his boards.

The Roost team was brought onboard to tell the story of the ingenious proprietary Advanced Vector Technology (AVT) which lies at the heart of each high performance Thunderbolt surfboard. With a brief to show the journey of a board from blank to finished product, we threw on some board shorts, rewatched Point Break for the 100th time and set to work.


Working closely with “Yu-San,” we began by getting a solid understanding of how the innovative AVT system built into each Thunderbolt surfboard behaves. Armed with our newly-acquired grasp of torsional flex characteristics and fluid dynamics, we set about storyboarding and producing a 3 minute long 3D animation to showcase the step-by-step construction of a Thunderbolt board; from blank to finished product.

Handwritten ‘design notes’ tell the story at each stage of the process, as well as highlighting how the AVT system works within the structure of the board. The finished animation was rolled out by several high-profile surfboard brands who licence the AVT system from Thunderbolt Technologies; including CJ Nelson Designs, Harley Ingleby, Skindog Surfboards, and Kai Sallas Longboards.



Minute 3D animation


Fake water droplets on 3D board


Viewings of Point Break for "research purposes"


Number of times Keanu said "whoa"

I became aware of Roost through the impressive animation work they have done for other clients. When it became time for us to showcase the Thunderbolt Technologies that we use to build our Future-State surfboards, we engaged Roost to tell a visual story of the construction and technical details that result in the unique performance characteristics of our boards. Roost were incredible to work with, quickly developing a clear concept of our designs and solid grasp of what makes them special, skilfully weaving the raw script that we provided into a polished and highly-refined work of art. The end result far exceeded our expectations and it is safe to say that Roost created the best video of its kind in our industry’s history.

Yu SumitomoFounder & CEO | Thunderbolt Technologies
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