Maui based Quatro are generally more known for their awesome waveboards, but their range also boasts three sizes of the aptly named Freeride – designed to cater for all freeriders’ demands.
The Quatro Freeride is offered in just one construction option – wood PVC – which is claimed to offer a great compromise between durability and light weight. At 8.22kg the Quatro is marginally the heaviest board in the test (although this is reflected in the price).
Length and maximum width are pretty much in the middle of this group, but the Quatro has a very wide tail (second widest of the group) compared to the other boards.
Compared to most of the other brands the Quatro’s footstraps are positioned relatively far forward on the board, and it’s notable that the front strap is set with much less angle than the other boards.The MFC straps are soft and comfortable.
When you get the Quatro on the water, well, we may as well get straight to the point. It’s much more of a turning than a blasting board.
To get going the Quatro does feel a little heavier than the others and suffers in the acceleration stakes. At top speed it can just about match the other boards when worked hard, but requires considerably more effort than the best blasting boards of this group to go fast on. The lack of acceleration really doesn’t let you transform the gusts into speed as well as some of the other boards.
The stance is also somewhat unique. The board rides with a relatively low nose, but it feels like your back foot is higher than on the other boards. When comfortably powered this is okay, but when you get a gust or reach the top end it’s noticeably more awkward to drive the power through your back foot.
For blasting the Quatro is best taken as a moderate wind cruiser. For this purpose it’s fine, but don’t expect too much at the top or bottom ends of the wind spectrum.
Now, you might be thinking that this isn’t a great board, but we haven’t yet talked about the gybing! And gybes are where the Quatro really excels. For advanced gybers the Quatro scored third best in the group (just behind the Fanatic and Starboard). It’s great for gybing because it’s very smooth; it sets the arc and holds it, but you can still turn extremely tightly on it. With many of these boards you try to keep the nose clear through the turn so that the shoulders don’t catch, but the Quatro never catches. You can drive forward as hard as you like and the board just grips and turns tighter using the full rail. It really is awesome at hard, full-speed turns.
Less experienced gybers will also like the way the Quatro gybes. Once the rail is set the board carves on a very smooth, steady arc. The only downside is the slight lack of acceleration out of the turn if you do lose speed.
The Quatro is very much focused on manoeuvres rather than blasting. In the gybes it’s one of the best boards here, but whether this is the right board for you depends upon how much emphasis you put on turning over straight line performance.