Legendary board brand Quatro were one of the first to bring Twin Fins back into fashion (with ex-team rider Kauli Seadi). They were also one of the first to bring a twin fin into production. It is therefore no surprise that they have enough confidence in their range to submit a twin fin for test as their all-round 75 litre wave board; the only brand to do so.
This year the range consists of three boards: a 68, 75 and 81. There is only one construction level offered and all shapes are by Keith Teboul. A few weeks ago we tested the 81 litre model in our group twin fin test, this time we have the 75 Wave Twin Fin.
"A year has passed since we introduced the Quatro Wave Twin Fin boards, and the response has been overwhelming. A number of both professional and casual sailors have shifted gears and gone for this powerful design. What has been a rarity is now the trend. These boards allow you to finish your turns all the way, resulting in a continuous motion from the bottom turn to the top, going right back down the line. The two fins put the rails in the water sooner and keep them in the water throughout the whole turn ." – Quatro International
The QUATRO achieved a SILVER Quality rating with the following scores:
The board comes standard with two high quality and well-matched 160mm G10 MFC Fins.
Unfortunately similar to the 81 we tested, the foot straps were not as good as they should be. They tend to self-tighten and can be quite brutal in bare feet due to their very stiff nature. Again, like the 81, it’s also a shame that the mast track doesn’t come with some kind of scale to help you relocate to your favourite position each time you sail or even better, a recommended position.
The Quatro has the narrowest tail width (measured at 30cm from the tail) of all the boards in this group. In fact with a tail width of 32.5cm it is nearly 6cm narrower than the Exocet!
It is also one of the shortest boards in the test at 226.5cm and slightly on the heavier side of the group at 6.2kg.
The Quatro is a reasonably fast and easy planing board. You could sail this board all day and not feel hard done by, but if you step off one of the faster boards such as the Fanatic or JP, the Quatro’s bias towards wave riding performance rather than blasting becomes evident.
The slightly heavier weight, narrow tail and twin fin set-up all have a slightly negative contribution to the 'get up and go' factor of the board.
Like the 81 version that we tested before, good technique will compensate for the deficit, but if your priority is for an early planing, or high wind blasting board, then you may be a little disappointed.
For jumping, the Quatro performs to a very acceptable standard. It has a reasonable turn of speed, fairly directional feel (allowing you to line up accurately for your jump) and in the air has a good shape that seems to generate lift, yet feel compact at the same time.
Similar to the ‘get up and go’ factor, you only become aware of any shortcomings when you try one of the other better ranked boards. Its fair to say that if jumping is your absolute priority, you would be better considering one of the other boards. If, however, you are more interested in how well a board rides, the jumping performance of the Quatro is easily good enough to keep you entertained.
In cross-on conditions, the Quatro needs speed and power to perform at its best. With a good rider who can generate and maintain speed through turns in cross-on conditions the Quatro will deliver some of the best turns in the business.
The top turn is where the benefits are most noticeable. Twin fins seem to offer a lot more control and loosness off the top and the Quatro 75 is certainly no exception!
In more marginal conditions and with riders not so competent at maintaining speed through their turns, the Quatro loses some of it's magic and other boards in the group will deliver better performance.
Move aside and make way for the Quatro. This is probably the best cross-off riding board you will ever have sailed, without exception!
In the bottom turn, the Quatro is remarkably reliable, bringing a real feeling of confidence to the rider.
Once engaged, it holds its rail perfectly and just keeps turning. Where some boards carve hard through the first part of the turn and then fizzle out, the Quatro just keeps turning, allowing you to get as vertical as you like.
It’s such a versatile board on the wave face. From fast-flowing linked turns to snappy full radius top turns, the Quatro gives you maximum chance of doing the right thing, in the right place, at the right time. Absolutely awesome!
The Quatro errs more towards advanced riders. It's not that it's technically challenging to sail, it's simply that the real qualities of the board don’t get recognised until you start pushing it hard in better conditions.
Less experienced riders will have no problem sailing the board, but will probably find their technique flattered more by boards such as the Real World Wave, Evo or Exocet U-Surf.
Advanced sailors will love the performance that the Quatro delivers, particularly in proper wave conditions.
First things first. As with the 81 version that we tested, we would recommend trying some different footstraps. Putting new straps on this board will really improve the foot comfort and give the board a much nicer feeling.
Once this is dealt with, the Quatro has a very safe and predictable feel to it in a straight line. In fact, you would be hard pressed to distinguish it from a single fin model, except for the slightly more ‘planted’ sensation - a characteristic that we are finding on all of the twin fins that we have sailed. It does feel a little smaller underfoot than most of the other boards in this group and also a little heavier.
On the wave, it has a very ‘surfy’ feel to it. The narrower tail makes it feel both controllable and manoeuvrable (albeit a little harder to keep your speed up) and the wider nose gives it a nice forgiving feel, particularly off the top.
The standard 160 fins complement the board well. We are finding that twin fins seem to offer more range than single fins (ie less need to change sizes), particularly at the top end of the wind scale, so the standard fins will probably be all you need.
Fin positioning does make quite a difference to the boards performance. Positioning forward will make the board looser, moving them back will make it more directional. We had the fins set in the middle of the track for most of the test and found they worked well in this position.
The Quatro feels one of the smallest boards in this test. Our 80kg Clones could wobble around on 5.0m sails with it, but it was pretty small and anyone much heavier than this will struggle if the wind is light/marginal. For proper down the line wave conditions you could probably push up to 5.3m on it (just), but for cross-on, the board is best targeted at 5.0m and smaller.
In strong winds the Clones sailed the board completely overpowered on 4.0 and had no control issues at all. In Cross-on conditions, there should be no problem going as small as 3.7m.
Mast track position worked well in the middle and approx 1cm further forward for bigger sails and waves.
This is a truly awesome board for down the line wave riding – you are unlikely to find better in this size. It still remains fun in cross-on conditions, but needs to be powered up with 5.0m or smaller as it's not the easiest to get going on or to keep speed through the turns.