Hand is still a mess, still working on getting treatment.
Toe-in and cant are standard.
Hand is still a mess, still working on getting treatment.
Toe-in and cant are standard.
And here I am thinking I'll tell you...
Searching for new #'s for the next MLB.
Ah, with reverence to moving the quad rears closer to the thruster mark.
Robbed you on this!
Just a few adjustments.
As I laid it out
I caught a glimpse of Elliott.
I would rather be someone's shot of whiskey, than everyone's cup of tea.
LiveThe Moment, fill us in and feed the stoke!
jus' can't help myself!
It's the "Bugs Club"
I know these are crummy and $$$ days.
Pre-op tomorrow, surgery on monday, hoping for the best! Finger bone damage a tricky thing, similar to back surgery there are lots of horror stories out there. Most likely never be the same, but hope to get everything at least in operating order.
Went to work today, my daughter came with me as helper, glad I trained her right, the little girl can work! She and her husband off to distant parts soon, so I'm glad I have her now for a few weeks.
We all know this is EERB or the dark side.
You seem to be thinking a functional "fun" shape with quads.
Don't confuse this as a challenge...
But my take is this,
Why, go with the main stream?
Not the outline, although...
I'm saying quad set up.
Moreover I know for a fact, that you are very aware as to toe in.
And you are of a like mind in exactly where "those" lines intersect.
I feel more like Grif, in so much the some had it figured out way before the standard of
McKee/Hanalei stuff addressing toe in “standards”
“Rules were made to be broken” is what I believe.
And anyway, yeap I have messed with toe in
And more importantly cant.
The search is just this…
Make a quad react like a truster
Rail to rail it is the stuff on which I thrive.
Want ‘a collaborate?
Come on over to the dark side Bro.
“Why make boards like everybody else”
Search, seek and advance…
LTM - thanks, that's not my x-ray. Mine looked worse, but better now, with a steel pin holding things in place while I heal.
Mattwho - sure, I'm open to any advice / suggestions you'd care to share, would love to try concave on my next shape, and fins an open topic as well.
Upon my return to this business
I reviewed volumes of info.
never mind the template for now!
And I quote:
"Four fins are faster than tri fins.
Four Fins are looser than tri fins.
Four fins ride the barrel higher and tighter than a tri fin.
They drop in easier.
They come out of the gate quicker.
Accelerate on cutbacks.
Do better airs.
Can be ridden shorter.
Draw new and different lines.
So why isn't every surfer on the planet riding one?
It's all Hype?
The pros don't so I won't?
Maybe shapers don't have it right...yet?
Perhaps if there were a ubiquitous effort, a Manhattan Quad Project, the design would evolve at a faster rate and all would enjoy the benefits.
Sorry, somebody has to win a major friggin contest on one first. (Biggest win? CJ won the Body Glove Surfbout on a quad in '07.)
So at this point, who seems to like them and who doesn't? And why?
Typical first impression of a quad is this: fast and loose, but not confident without something directly under the back foot. It takes a few sessions to trust the setup -- and run with the positive attributes.
The lack of an auto-centering sensation seems to be a common complaint from most detractors. Without a center fin, a lot of surfers miss the instant feedback from the back foot and the ability to do quick adjustments. With quads there is an information gap in rail change that varies widely depending on fin (rear especially) position.
Backhand performance is also a concern of 3-fin loyalists. Going heelside, the rider delivers more power through the rear foot and specifically the heel. Visualize foot angle and where the energy is going...for most surfers pretty much in line with the rear fin, three inches and change from the back end.
Early days of the 3-fin, I'd put rear fins way back on some rider's tail blocks. It was necessary to do this to keep more powerful, rear-foot surfers from blowing their tails out on acute direction changes. Occy's were set at 2 3/4" and some of Tom Carroll's trailers were as far back as 2" from the end of the board. As rockers and outlines evolved, the rears crept up to 3 1/4" to 3 1/2" on an average shortboard.
If a rear fin on a tri is moved up an inch or two from the placement most people are used to, the board loses drive, hold, and moves the pivot point further forward. A surfer would have to completely readjust his rear foot placement. Same holds true with a quad.
Which leads to probably one of, if not the single most important detail in designing a 4-fin surfboard: fin positioning. Not weird-ass tails. Not crazy bottom contours. Fins. How big they are, outlines, and foils. Where they are, their relative positioning with respect to each other, cant and nose vector.
Early on I took a fairly simplistic approach to it.
Early quads were an attempt to add drive and control to twins. In 1980/81, Twins were de rigueur. Since 1982/83, tri-fins were most surfers' experiential basis. In my mind, I'm starting with a tri-fin. So I took the rear fin on a tri, and was theoretically splitting it in half. The more the rider wants the feel of a tri, the further back and closer together I'd keep the fins. If a rider was after more of a twin-fin feel, I'd move the rears towards the rail and the front fins.
My common middle ground: for argument's sake, a 6'2" tri-fin has fronts at 11" and rears at 3 1/4". A lot of designers go half the distance on a quad, so that would put the rears at 5 1/2" and the same distance from the rail, about 1 1/8". In my humble opinion, I feel this is a little on the neutral side. I split the difference on distance from the tail (tri vs. quad: 2 1/4"), which would be 3 1/4" plus 1 1/8"...or 4 3/8". Easier math: 7' board. Fins at 12" and 4" on a tri. Half the distance is 6". Split the difference, 5" for a quad. On average, I try to keep my rears about 2" in from the rail. That's a generalization. It becomes a more complicated depending on tail width and board length.
Fin size: Fronts are similar to tri-fins, perhaps slightly smaller. Rears: profiles similar to fronts reduced approximately 10% in overall area. You can adjust drive by swapping out rears with different aspect ratios. More upright fins for tighter arcs. More rake to add length and draw to turns.
Foils: Your preference on fronts...your favorite tri fin fronts are a good starting point. If you are a fan of cambered fins -- stay with them. If you prefer flat-sided fronts, you will probably like them in the trailers as well. Smaller, weaker surf; flats are probably the go as they react a little quicker and provide instant feedback. Bigger, more powerful surf -- most prefer cambered or dual (full) foil trailers. Less prone to cavitate and let go. Some prefer full-foil trailers in everyday surf, citing more "feel"...smoother, cleaner, etc. Not as fast.
Cant on rears: Typically, I halve the angle of the fronts. It can vary according to intended use. Smaller softer surf; a little more cant will add some lift and looseness. Conversely, less tilt will increase speed, hold, and drive.
Nose vector (line towards nose): I typically point all four fins to approximately the same place, which depends on board length and type of surf the board is intended for.
Another shaper's insight into quads and fin positioning: Bruce McKee has done nearly 30 years of homework for all of us and he's quite happy to share it here.
So back to...why aren't more surfers embracing this design?
I suspect that there were probably a lot of takers that might have had a go early on before a lot of work had been done. They may have had a less-than-satisfactory experience and shared it with others that may have at one point been interested.
Some of it may be due to negative stigma. The print media. In an incredibly myopic and disappointing "Surfboard Issue" last year the polyurethane/polyester tri-fin was declared the winner and still champ in a fizzling technology push.
Thankfully, we have the Internet.
Search and you will find. There are quite a few board builders offering quads. Even Simon Anderson himself rides and enjoys quads and has several models in his product line.
My suggestion is that if you are interested, search out a builder who embraces the design and has a solid history with the setup. It's not as easy as just sticking four fins on a board.
More often than not when I let someone demo a quad they are pleasantly surprised.
Check back later this month for "Part Two: A History of Quads," with words from Simon Anderson, Jeff Clark and more.
BONUS ANSWER TO A COMMENT FROM LAST MONTH:
Last month's blog on tails, we received a question in response to the Simon Anderson story:
So Rusty - did you build a thruster later that same night? --Munga
I tripped on the experience for a couple of days, wrestling with the thought, was it the board or the surfer? My mind said it was 90% Simon.
After a few days, wtf, I stuck a trailing fin on my favorite twin. My first surf on the jury-rigged tri-fin was in decent surf but it was not nearly as good as Blacks on that day I watched Simon. First impression: board was noticeably slower but had a tentative short burst of speed out of turns on the better waves. It felt like the parking brake was on but when I drove off my back foot hard enough the board would come back up to the speed it had as a twin...just briefly, and as soon as I let off, it would slow down again.
I shelved it.
The next board I made myself after the twin to tri-conversion was a 4 fin round-tail. It was a super fun board. It had the speed of a twin but with more drive and a bigger sweet spot. I vividly remember it doing swooping cutbacks at full speed, almost effortlessly. I rode it for a few months.
Have a question for Rusty? Leave it below. Read more entries from this blog »
Comments: (114) Add Your Comment
Jimmy 11/20/2009 01:48 AM
Been riding quades for some time now. The response you get from them is unreal. Takes a couple of sessions to get used to them at first but. It does have to do a with your shaper (AL DOVE). If your lookin for a quad that works you need to hit up AL DOVE. You can go into the Russel shop in New Port to get ahold of him.
Chris 11/19/2009 04:35 PM
I ride a 5'10" Schneider quad round nose/round tail and it is by far my favorite board. Way better than my tri,twin, and single fin set ups. Much faster, much more responsive. As for Tommy "from 909", this is about board performance not a fashion show buddy.
Bri 11/19/2009 10:53 AM
My quad is great on small choppy junk. On big, over head stuff, I use the thruster. My experience with the quad much like a twin (don't tell MR) is that on big stuff I had a tendancy of sliding out and not keeping my line. Bring back the single.............
sam 11/18/2009 10:23 PM
Have the trailer fin on a thruster actually slows you down. I have a 5 10 quad pod and the thing flies. You cannot quick directional changes with it like you can on a tri but that either might be I ain't that good or the fact that it's not technically a shortboard. I dunno.
bru 11/18/2009 09:25 AM
has anyone mentioned glen winton? mr.x rode quads to abstraction...
Jersey...Fresh.... 11/18/2009 07:41 AM
Howzit... First time I surfed a quad it was an NSB board I bought off my land lord on the North Shore... It was fast and loose kinda thick board responded really well... easy to turn... now I ride a 6'3" LOST... shark... setup for 5 fins mostly ride it like a thruster... maybe now I will try the quad setup again and compare... shoots...
lossurfistos2 11/17/2009 05:53 PM
I have a Miyasaki 9'1 quad stinger and it does everything I've ever asked....and my backside is way better on my quad than my tri
Jeremy 11/17/2009 04:54 PM
Why not just get a Bonzer5? Its the best of both worlds and are better tube riders and are faster than the quad and tri fin combined. Check out their website www.Bonzer5.com
11/17/2009 02:20 PM
more grip in the steep parts of the wave
s.s. howze 11/16/2009 07:36 PM * PREMIUM MEMBER - Real Name
Rusty, How can a four fin board be faster than a three fin board? Four fins obviously have more drag than three fins, right? My quad seemed slower than my tri
Enlightened One 11/15/2009 10:15 PM * PREMIUM MEMBER - Nickname
Ive been riding a quad on my 9 8 gun. love it
Jay 11/15/2009 05:55 PM
My buddy shaped me a quad last spring and copied the dimensions off of a 6'3" ...Lost Shark. It's the nicest board I have ever ridden. I've let people try it out and they love it. It's setup for 5 fins and I always wanted to try quad. I've never messed with the fins since my first ride.
Kevin McCallum 11/14/2009 09:39 PM
Great stuff R.P. Ditto kudos to Bruce Quattro McGee
doug 11/14/2009 09:04 AM
dear rusty. my friend rob aka biscut is in north carolina.. he trys really hard but cant stand up very well. his 4 fin always shoots out from underneath him ..any pointers for ole biscut??
the_quad_hammer 11/13/2009 01:40 PM
All you guys who bought tri-fins should ask for some money back, they owe you for the missing 4th fin.
Part one of Quadrophenia was focused mainly on what makes a good quad. In part two, Rusty interviews notable shapers, surfers and designers on the history of quads. Enjoy. --Ed
Front Fins Height: 4.38" Base: 3.75"; Cant is set at 7 degrees
Rear Fins Height: 3.75"; Cant is set at 4 degrees
Pipe Master and former World Champ Tom Carroll on a serious quad in the late nineties.
Simon Anderson on quads:
I'm looking to make a quad that performs like a thruster -- in other words: predictable and connecting smoothly through turns. My 2009 quad has a twin-type plan shape with flat nose entry but a lot of tail rocker with deep vee through the back half of the board and at the swallowtail, deep single concave cuts through the front half of the bottom with a double cutting thru the vee to the tail.
The fins are more clustered than last year's model. I use normal thruster side fins and 1/8" smaller double-sided foiled-back fins both at five degrees -- the forward fins point to the nose tip and the rear fins point straighter up the board.
This style of board for me works great in waves that lack a little bit of power and I find that I can do power turns off the top thru a section with a flatter or weaker face that actually feel like thruster turns on a more powerful wave.
My quads are designed for the most part for small waves, from one to four feet. Average surfers can surf these boards in bigger waves up to six feet and have a lot fun because of the extra speed and looseness off the top. But in the end, the quad is essentially a well-behaved twin fin and the trick is to harness the wild element -- as much as possible -- associated with this type of design.
There's a lot of speculation on who made the first quad. I imagine quite a few designers were searching for ways to build more drive into twin fins and expand their range. Glen Winton is one the first surfer/shapers that I know of who made a four fin. Certainly there were others.
Greg Mungall talked to me recently about the impact of Simon's visit. Greg had a hot-selling twin-fin model with Nectar. Nectar's focus quickly shifted to the Thruster. With Simon's back-to-back wins at Bells and the Coke, the design was more than validated and in heavy demand. Greg asked Gary McNabb if he could do a double-wing swallow three-fin. Gary declined but offered up, "Why don't you put four fins on a board?"
Greg did and took it to his next pro event in Japan.
Late in 1981, Australian shaper Bruce McKee made his first quad and hasn't looked back. His Mission Quattro is a nearly three-decade long commitment to refining and evolving the four-fin surfboard.
Bruce McKee on quads:
I found it interesting the way in 1981, the Thruster was first created, then packaged and heavily promoted by the mags and pro surfer community. It was definitely a major advancement, a great mix of needs finding a solution. A new concept with an iconic statesman to represent it. To me, though, it was just one solution; before the end of 1981, I had commenced what I called: "Mission Quattro."
I saw the first four-fins and quads as twin-fins with baby stabilizers on the back and nothing more. Just as I saw twin fins with baby stabilizers on the back for what they were. Were they also Thrusters? No. You could add a number to the fin combo but that's just a label.
I found that Thrusters had flaws -- not that anyone wanted to agree with me. To say otherwise was heresy, a sacrilege. Maybe it was just my shapes, but I tried other's boards too. Maybe you can have a full quiver of shapes, make a narrow-tailed board to aid the tail fin's penetration and hold, larger fins, etc. But that meant that board shapes and tail widths needed to be customized to certain size waves, as a golf bag has a range of clubs for each part of the course. But I wanted an all-around club, or at least greater versatility out of one. Nursing turns on a Thruster or double setting bottom-turns wasn't attractive to me, so the logic appeared to me to be that having four fins of similar size on the rail, should hold in better than a thruster. To combat the twin-fin image quads had, I placed larger rear fins than the fronts on the board, plus it had a four-channel bottom, which was popular at the time. (I had never ridden a traditional quad, which I knew would ride like it looked -- like a Twinnie with baby back fins.)
When the legendary Tom Curren tore into legendary J-Bay for the Search movies, it was a little known fact that he was riding a quad shaped by Bruce McKee. Photo: Lance Slabbert.
My first-ever bottom turn on that first Quattro board had me feeling that "Eureka!" moment -- like an explorer finding the Fountain of Youth, my own Holy Grail. Acceleration, speed, hold, foam-climbing ability, fluidity...it was all there. Problem was, the world was starting to pulse with Thrusters, and my quad or what I called a Quattro, named after the car, was promptly classified as a lost cause, and sympathetically smirked and snarled upon by surfing's new "Thought and Design Police."
Although my first Quattro had the fin cluster too far forward, it still hung in and I could thump the bottom turns. If I got my foot right back I could go past vertical. I knew then that the system would be amazing for guns. I could have the fins forward and it would be loose with no fear of spinning out. I stuck a baby back fin on the tail for a quick fix but knew that I just had to move the cluster back a bit to get the feeling right.
My first boards from 1981 to 1988 had 10% larger rear fins than front, but on my migration to Europe via Hawaii, I took with me a board with all fins the same size. It was way too small for the conditions I found (a 6'5"), but I got enough waves and big turns in to have complete faith in the direction I was following.
I ended up on the north coast of Spain in the Basque Country. Soon I linked up with the Pukas and factory Olatu where I was resident shaper for 12 years. I managed to make a bunch of Quads, but, as is true in many industries, there are companies that push for innovation and others that want conformity that brings safety. Many of the surfing industry's shaping gurus had me pegged as a heretic -- a poor fool who had lost his way; obsessed (not dedicated) with trying to make others swallow the medicine. According to them, Quads were caustic medicine.
Aussie expat quad-o-phile Bruce McKee and his eighties and nineties quad guns.
During a surf session at a lefthand point break, a friend visiting from Oz asked, "Why don't you put the back fins closer together more like a thruster's center fin?" I remember saying, "But there's more drive when they're on the rail." With longboards, the fins are way forward, so if you move the rear fins forward you tend to follow the rail so the back fins have a big spread between them. This means that you have to do big body gyrations just to get the board to come down off the lip after running across the wave face. The problem was that the lower side fins engaged too late and the board felt like it was stuck on one tack still wanting to go up the face. What a center fin does is it re-centers the board between turns and enables it to easily be redirected back down the face.
So the words of my friend stuck in my head and, later, I couldn't believe how stupid I had been for not analyzing his words more carefully. His idea was totally logical in that, by bringing the rear fins closer together, they reacted faster in re-centering the board while still maintaining drive. I found that too close loses drive -- so there was a happy medium there that combined the best factors of both.
The early Tom Curren quads had the rear fins close together because they were squashed in narrow tails. They worked due to correct combined fin size, flex toe-in, etc., but needed a back foot overpowering the back fins to get a good pivot off the top when at speed. I had veered off the good track while trying to cluster the fins, not realizing the relevance of the distance between the rear fins to each other.
Nearly three decades later, Bruce McKee is still a staunch advocate of the four-fin. His M5 is a design with five boxes. It is what he calls "The System of Truth" and adds, "The ball is your court."
Back to the early quads.
News drifted back to us in Southern California of Simon's victories at the Coke Surfabout and big Bells. Time to have another look at Simon's three-fin board, the Thruster. Most designers and shapers on the planet began working, in earnest, to understand and evolve the design.
MR had dominated professional surfing for four years riding a twin-fin, winning consecutive world titles from 1979 to 1982. 1982 was a year of transition. Some surfers still rode twins in small surf and would switch to singles in bigger surf. Many had changed over to three fins. Cheyne was still riding singles in all conditions. Glen Winton was starting to have competitive success on a four fin.
[1982 final rankings: 1. MR (two fins); 2. Cheyne Horan (one fin); 3. Tom Carroll (three fins); 21. Glen Winton (four fins)]
By 1983, most competitive surfers had moved to three fins, with the exception of Horan and Winton. Tom Carroll took home the first three-fin world title. For the next quarter century the three-fin dominated the competitive landscape. Simon's design has been further refined by shapers the world over and has become, arguably, the single most important, enduring surfboard design of all time.
Several generations of surfers have known only Trifins.
Who remembers this magazine cover?
Larry Bertlemann. Quad. Aerial. 25 years ago.
He shaped it with George Downing. Larry had been working on twins and added rears to add more drive. The previous winter he told his friends that he was going to "fly." This shot is at V-land on a 5'10" and LB claims he was 230lbs. at the time. He also mentioned that the fins were 747s. (Originally called 747s now called 757s.)
This is from 1983.
Why do evolutionary branches of design get choked off, atrophy, only to be "rediscovered" and nurtured into a new life?
As a relatively new sport, the majority of the surfing audience looks to its competitive heroes and icons to validate what is good. A one-design mentality keeps the equipment very homogenous. It's rare to find a top competitive surfer that will cross the line for fear of prejudice -- at least in the line of duty.
Concurrently, there is another side to the surfing culture that participates in, not a sport, but this kinetic art form; the quest for newness empowers these artists to walk down a different road, indifferent to the opinion of the masses. Herein lie the eclectic seeds of change and variety, freshness.
Why didn't Bob Simmons' twin-finned board take a linear path to Mark Richards' four world titles?
I asked Carl Ekstrom recently what was the first three-finned surfboard he could recall. His answer: "In the late '50s I built a board with a tail that was too wide, it kept spinning out. I couldn't afford to make another one so I stuck two small fins on the rail outside the main fin. It fixed the problem."
In October 1980, Simon crossed paths with Frank Williams. Frank, a journeyman shaper, had worked with Geoff McCoy, Barry Bennett and other notable Sydney boardmakers. Simon ran into Frank as he was coming out of the water at Narrabeen with a board that was essentially a twin fin with a strange little "half-moon" shaped fin on the tail.
Simon asked him what the third fin was for, and Frank told him, "It helps make it more stable."
Simon's instant response was, "I'm going to make it real stable!" In that moment the Thruster was conceived in Simon's mind.
Glen Winton, in all probability, may not be the first person to have put four fins on a surfboard but is credited with the design. In a recent Nick Carroll/ASL interview, Glen actually claims to have started with six fins with the intention of knocking two off after getting a feel for the board.
"I put six on with the aim of picking one set to knock off. I actually won a contest on the six. That's how four fins were invented -- by knocking two off 'em."
Shayne McIntyre, four-fins and fancy-free in Liberia. Photo: Sean Brody
Nick Carroll weighs in on quads:
Pros pooh-pooh them for a few reasons. One is that their favorite boardmakers by and large haven't yet "conquered" the design, they've just sorta dummied one up as a semi-Fish or whatever, which just doesn't cut it at a high-performance level. Another is that they have very little trouble with their current equipment -- a refined single concave thruster is a pretty damn good board and it'll go wherever they want, so why fool around? I think that is changing at the moment, a benefit of Kelly taking a few risks -- although the conventional wisdom is that KS was blowing it, riding 5'4"s etc. in heats, a lot of the pros saw him riding those little things in freesurf sessions and were pretty much blown away by what he could do. It's opened up the doors for shorter boards and increasingly quads I suspect.
Me, I got fascinated by the four-fin thing about four years ago after being tormented by TC for a coupla years on it, he is an Early Adopter! They'd irritated me in the past because I'd always felt there was a real loss of center-line feeling in the board -- that it's good to know where the center of the board is when finishing turns, especially because it allows you to flow swiftly into the next turn, and without a center fin, there was just a sort of void, which caused the board to respond slowly at the end of turns. Like whatever speed you were gaining out of losing the back fin, it was negated by that weird clumsiness at the end of a turn.
The old twinnies used to make up for it with that mega-vee through the fins -- nothing like vee for giving you a sense of a board's center-line! So I got one made that was a bit radical at the time, 5'7" with a straight-ish rocker, double concave with a little spine through the fins to give it a sense of the center, template pulled in to conventional hi-performance width at the tail, and back fin set in a bit closer to the stringer. Surfed it a couple of times but then along came those carbon rail epoxy boards and I kinda forgot about it ... dug it out again six months ago and I couldn't believe how quick and sorta savage it was. Have got a few since then and I'm beginning to wonder if in time the quad's advantages might push the thruster aside a bit. It's just taking time because the fin set is so riddled with potential fuckups. People tend to use too much fin overall for one thing.
Why the heck are they faster, well I don't know if all of 'em are faster, but they FEEL like they are, because there's no center fin dragging on entry into a low angled turn like what most normal-level surfers do as a matter of course while running along a wave. That back end freedom is pretty seductive.
Three fins, they're less complex, they surf in arcs and snaps along with longer carves and they recover better in airs and slides, they love single concaves which still feel like the best bottom going, they're easy to tune using a fin system. But they can feel draggy next to a quad, especially for a surfer of average ability, and there's not much left to explore about the design, it's there and it ain't changing the sport any more.
Four fins, they run fast and free, their ability to run longer turns mean they can be shaped short (i.e. a 5'8" quad can ride similar sized surf to a 5'11" three-fin) which makes for some very different lines, they're excellent tuberiding boards, done right they give you heaps of feedback while you're surfing them (you can feel a lot more underfoot than on most conventional three-fins). They can feel awkward on quick direction changes and they don't all like to surf in arcs off the top, but there's still quite a few questions in the design and that makes it exciting I think. The quad could still change the sport a bit.
Pat Maus, a teamrider, came to me five or six years ago and wanted to build four fins. I hadn't really made any since the early '80s.
Pat Maus on quads:
Yeah, the first time I got on a quad the waves were waist-to-chest-high, and all I had with me was my tri-fin squash tail. Nathan [Fletcher] took one look at my board, and in typical Nathan tone gives me the, "Psssssss! Yer still riding three-finners? You should try that quad right there."
Nathan was kind of curious to see how someone other than himself could make the board work. But the last time I saw a four fin -- I think Glen Winton was carrying it! Anyway, I loved the board after the first wave, and since Nathan had a new one, he gave me that board. It was a 5'7" bat-wing quad, shaped by Cole.
The how and the why they work so well? Well, ask any person that's tried a quad and nine times outta 10 the first thing they mention is how fast they go. Then come the people who love how easily they can do turns and control the board. You see, with a quad, the moment you set your rail and go front side or backside, you already have two fins grabbing the face. That allows you to make later, more critical drops as well as being much more stable during tuberides.
Pat Maus puts his quad to the ultimate test.
Also, we can't forget about the youth of today. Most of them just ask: "Does it do good airs?" Across the board, surfers will all agree that the quad can punt some good-ass airs! One of the reasons being is the fin placement on the trailer fins. If you look at a regular tri-fin setup, you'll notice that rake from the trailer of the tri-fin more often than not ends up right at the end of the tail. That means when doing an air the last thing to leave the lip is that trailer fin, giving it a feeling of tracking off, if you don't nail it just right. Now, with the quad, that last thing to leave the water is tail, not a fin, so you can kind of imagine in your head: "Sliding of the tail brings nose underneath me and oh-my-god, I just pulled the best air ever!"
Why do most pros stick to tri fins? I think it has a lot to do with them just being so familiar with tri fins. I'm sure some guys on tour figure, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It could also be that most pro surfers are under a tremendous amount of pressure from their sponsors to win or get good results, no matter what. That could tend to mess with a man's willingness to wanna try new equipment. However, I'm sure the most loyal professional tri-fin surfer has at least one quad in mix.
Is there anything missing from the quad ride? No, I think they are the most well-rounded surfboard out now. One thing I would really like to let people know is that the brand of quad has just as much to do with your perception of a quad. What I mean is, just because you have a shorter, wider surfboard with four fins on the bottom doesn't always mean you will get the performance that so many people talk about. My only advice to anyone looking to progress their surfing ability by riding a quad would be to do a little homework and go with the guy who has the most experience.
Jeff Clark on quads:
Started focusing on quads for big waves around 1990. With guns, it's an easier formula -- you're drawing longer, swoopier lines. Tri-fins stay centered; they want to go straight. Tri-fins pivot. Quads have inherent speed and hold, but there's an information gap -- a void -- going from one rail to the other. (Lots of vee on quad gives a centering feeling.)
The goal was to build a board with the best qualities of both designs; to make a quad feel more like a tri-fin than a twin-fin. At first, the fins were too close to the rail. I moved them closer together - 1 3/4 to 2 inches off rail. I experimented with wider tails at first, around 11.5" on guns in the 9'6" range. They were too wide; so I brought them back to 9.5" to 10.5".
First instinct on late drops is to set a rail; tri-fins want to straighten out. It's that centering thing -- trying to set a rail and battling with the back fin. Quads want to find one rail. Unlike a three-fin board, there is no conflict between front and rear fins. They are all pointed towards the nose on either side of the board.
A tri-fin with flat-sided fins will cavitate, and with the back fin not connected, you find yourself sliding down the face -- you have to go straight or flatten out to reconnect.
Big wave quads: nine inches of base (two fins) in the face on your inside rail; 80/20 foils hold better. You never have to adjust your line back towards flat or perpendicular to the wave's energy to reconnect.
Pat Rawson's take on quads:
When the energy is running down the line, more surfers are receptive to the qualities of a quad. When the energy is coming in towards the shore, the preference is generally three fins.
Personally, after working with Pat Maus a few years back, I made myself one and have been riding them almost exclusively for the last five years. The only time I might switch back to a tri would be in a short, hollow, backhand wave. After riding them for a few years, I made a convertible for laughs. At one of my favorite testing grounds, a fairly long hollow left (frontside for me), I took it out first as a tri. I thought to myself, yeah... I remember this feeling. Solid bottom turn, up the face, snap off the top -- feels pretty good. Surfed for a couple of hours. Took a break. Went back out with it switched to a quad; pretty much the same conditions. The board was so much faster and quicker on turns...it was night and day. I haven't look back since.
Like a Wikipedia entry, this thing will grow and change. Any constructive input is welcome. Thank you for your help on this:"
Just a place to start!
You call it!
Hint not OxN@!
Unfortunately someone drowned the same day.
Know your limits!
Matty: whenever I see that spot I think:
...Damn you all to hell!
Welcome to the depths!
Warthog you are a Winner!
Ah, there is no prize
other than being in the know...
Quite local only...
When it's on it is not for the weak!
Even more funny, the red board is known as "El Diablo"
Yep, could be called Damn You All To HELL!