Developed with emerging wave talent Bear Karry, the Quad reflects the demands of the South Californian conditions, excelling in crossonshore to cross-offshore set-ups. Best for mushy waves, it really out-performs a tri-fin on flatter sections and softer surf. The narrower relative width and intermediate rocker make the Quad better suited to faster, top to bottom down-the-line riding when compared to a traditional small wave board or fish. Available in the Flytech II or patented Carbon Active construction for an ultraresponsive surf feel. The relatively straight rails running back from the mid-point are combined with the intermedaite rocker for speed and drive required for new school aerial surfing, while the quad setup ensures powerful drive and maximum snap off-the-top.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
You'll think you must have left half the board behind when you pick this up, it's so light. Airush's Carbon Active system (more on that next issue) makes the board incredibly strong for its weight. Chunky in feel and width, the 5'10'' actually has relatively narrow rails, so although it has loads of float and get up and go, it bites nicely and can also be carried or grabbed easily with a nice little grab rail running all the way round. The overall look is amazing, with striking colour combos, bright purple hex-fins and lovely finishing touches and attention to detail throughout that make this a real eye-catcher straight away. Quality pads, including the optional front pad, as well as the adjustable straps finish the Quad off beautifully.
We couldn't wait to get out on this, but chose the wrong conditions straight away. Cape Town blew its socks off the whole of January and most of the time we were really powered on five and seven metre kites in good shoulder – head high down-the-line sets. Turns out these are not the conditions for the Quad. It fought tight turns at speed and at the top took a lot of leg pressure to get any sort of tight snaps going on. We went back to the drawing board, or in other words, waited for some lighter winds. If you're on it, you can be out in Cape Town in the morning in some fairly sensible wind conditions and, when we were, the Quad came alive, completely changing its character. Agile, responsive, fast and full of life, it was a completely different animal, acting like a pure surfboard.
In light enough wind to be able to unhook comfortably on a seven it is pure joy. You really can rip on this, just using the kite when you need to. Where it had been a work out on the legs to turn at the top of a wave the day before, it now slid and came off the top with pace fantastically. Bottom turning under its own pace it glides smoothly round when you balance the power in the kite with the drive from the fins. The generous proportions and float also make it incredibly easy for gybing and learning the basics, even for bigger riders. Plus, when you get it out of the water and show the base a bit of wind, it'll stick to your feet on airs like glue!
If you want to go charging big waves in strong winds look elsewhere. If you live somewhere where you get some average slop and marginal wind days, this'll light up your life. It would also makea fantastic first board as it's so stable for learning in lighter winds.
Fantastic drive and handling in onshore slop, making you feel like Kelly Slater in very average conditions, especially strapless.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Maybe stick some smaller fins on when it gets windy.
This test is in issue #50