The S-Quad is a board purpose built for high-performance surfing. A four-finned epoxy construction, it's made to surf fast and hard and can be ridden with or without straps, hooked or unhooked, in surf anywhere between two and 15 feet. The curvy outline makes for a looser feel, especially in smaller surf. However, when the conditions deliver pumping surf and strong winds the four fins really come into their element. The S-Quad boasts an all-new durable EPS construction this season, featuring a full-length wood deck and carbon reinforcements. The board comes complete with two Cabrinha surf straps and front and rear traction pads.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
First off, what a beautiful looking board. It's got that pro ASP feel to it with the logo positioning on the nose and along the rails. Nicely finished with the white wood pattern on the deck and it's really light weight. This has performance board written all over it and therefore isn't the most robust board on the market, but it definitely looks the part. The foot straps are exactly what we personally like on a surfboard - nice and unfussy; literally just there to hold your foot to the board and allow you a good range of movement. They are adjustable with a screwdriver and can be made big enough to easily accommodate your foot in boots.
Very easy to mount and remove from the board, the screws bite smoothly each time into the inserts, so switching between riding strapped or strapless each session is no hassle. The traction pads are nice, simple and grippy, but there's no grip on the desk itself, so you'll need to remember wax. At 6'1'' the S-Quad is certainly a very usable length but does need a bit of juice to get it going. This isn't a light-wind machine, it's for use in proper conditions. It also felt quite susceptible to foot positioning, but once trimmed correctly it goes like a rocket. We had it out strapless the first day in 20 – 25 knots and a fair amount of chop. While fun on the wave, it's speed off it when getting back out and upwind incredible. Very smooth it soaks up lumps and bumps beautifully and felt a bit like a Cosworth rally car, motoring over and around the lumps and bumps. It's light weight only adding to this sensation. Riding it strapped it goes into over drive. But down to the business on the wave and this is where the board really comes into its own.
It doesn't automatically drop down the face like some more buoyant shapes might. You have to have some technique, but keep pressure on that front foot and it will reward you by dropping down a gear and accelerating brilliantly, handling the speed especially on the steep sections as if it was second nature. It can handles all the pace you want to put it through, locking through the bottom turn and then maintaining speed right the way beyond a 180 carve at the top. It really does carve hard – a bit more Formula One and less rally car in that instance. It doesn't push out quite as well as a thruster but it'll certainly wiggle nicely enough in the pocket. When you're riding waves with a kite you're usually following the kite through the turns and going with the power it generates at speed. This is just stunning for that.
A light weight high performance weapon, everything is comfortable on this board in the right hands. It's not the easiest first time board as it doesn't have huge amounts of buoyancy or forgiveness for heavy footed rookie gybes, but rewards better riders with a very positive speed, great upwind drive and hard, fast carves.
Light, fast and Formula One handling in the waves.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Make it a bit more robust for getting thrown around in shorebreak and shingle.
SIZES: 6'1'' x 18.75'' and 5'7'' x 18.25''
This test is in issue #49