A lot of dudes bought those things thinking they would not break or ding justifying the big price tag. Early ones with the PU sheet foam were absolute crap breaking, delaming and turning brown on the rack. I watched our local shop replace a dozen as these kids would crash and snap them in mere days.
Agree. I repaired a couple of those older FWs for friends and couldn't believe the construction. Nightmare to repair, and prone to just falling apart once the skin was compromised due to lack of any real "core" integrity.
For me, straight PU/PE construction still makes a lot of sense..its not bullet proof like a surf tech, but I'm not hucking many airs or riding up onto the sandbar, nearly any repair is easy, quick, and basically permanent, and local shapers have it dialed.