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.
With most boards releasing their first twin this year, Quatro are now into their second year with the Wave Twin Limited Edition. 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. We tested the 81 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
first impressions, fixtures & fittings
The Board comes standard with two high quality and well-matched 165mm G10 MFC Fins.
Unfortunately, the footstraps were not as impressive as the fin. They tended to self-tighten and can be quite unforgiving of bare feet due to their very stiff nature.
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(without the need for a permanent pen!).
The Quatro is the narrowest board in the test at 56.9cm wide. More significantly it also has the narrowest tail width, which is more than 3cm narrower than the Starboard and Mistral(measured 30cm from the tail)! It is perhaps a result of the tail width that we find the 2 fins are positioned the closest together of all the boards(11.2cm).
At 6.43kg the Quatro is the heaviest board in the test, 0.4kg heavier than the lightest board(Fanatic).
get up and go
The narrower width and slightly heavier weight combine to make the Quatro one of the slower boards to get going in this test. But it isn’t bad. The fins are grippy and allow you to push against them in a traditional manor, the board feels directional and once on its way, reaches a respectable speed. Good technique will compensate for the deficit, but if your priority is an early planing board, then you may be a little disappointed.
Its hard to draw fault with the Quatro for jumping. For sure it's not quite as fast to get going as the JP and Fanatic, so you may be hitting the wave going a little slower, but the fins give good drive off the top of the wave, the board feels directional enough to line up your jump properly and in the air the Quatro feels nice and balanced.
In cross-on conditions, the Quatro is good, but not exceptional. The more speed you have on the wave, the better the Quatro gets. When you have speed, the board turns better than any in the test with a really tight and grippy turn off the rail. The problem is keeping that speed and in cross-on conditions this is where the Quatro loses out against the RRD and Mistral.
As soon as it becomes easier to keep your speed, the Quatro comes into its own. It feels unique in that the faster you go, the looser the board seems to get. Where the RRD feels skatey and almost freestyle like in the way it rides, turning largely off the fin, the Quatro feels like it grips with the whole length of the rail and allows you to turn incredibly tightly with huge amounts of grip. It also feels very smooth to ride and transitions from one turn to another with incredible ease allowing you to ride the wave with a proper surfing style, linking from turn to turn.
Where most wave boards get less controlled, the faster they go and the bigger the wave gets, the Quatro is the opposite. It really feels like the board comes alive when you put it on a decent wave. At lower speeds on smaller waves, there were a few instances in the bottom turn where our test Clones found the rail to catch a little.
As soon as the board was up to speed however, it didn’t put a foot wrong. It would grip like there was no tomorrow and allow you to position the board exactly where you wanted on the wave without hesitation (so long as you could think quick enough to keep up)!
As such, the Quatro Wave Twin scores very well indeed for waveriding control.
overall feel, ride & foot comfort
First things first. We would reccomend 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. It does feel a little smaller underfoot than the other boards 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 165 fins complement the board well. We find that we are getting more range out of twin fins than single and therefore don’t really see the need for anything extra. From 4.7m overpowered to 5.3 underpowered, the standard fins did the job perfectly. We positioned the fins slightly forward of middle for most of the test. This seemed to work well, but in bigger waves and proper down the line conditions, we would probably try moving the fins back a bit to make the board slightly more directional. The Quatro feels one of the smallest boards in the test. Our 80kg Clones could wobble around on 5.3m sails with it (just), but it was pretty small and we wouldn’t want to go much bigger. In strong winds, the Clones sailed the board completely overpowered on 4.7 and had no control issues at all. In Cross-on conditions, the board could probably be used with a 4.2m quite comfortably. Mast track position worked well in the middle and approx 1cm further forward for bigger sails and waves.
This was a popular board amongst our Clones (of all abilities). It’s a comfortable board to sail (ignoring the footstraps!) and competent in cross-on conditions. However, put it on a proper wave and there are few boards that are as good as the Twin Fin Wave – it really is something special. Beware that with its narrow tail and slightly heavier weight, it is more enjoyable when powered up and using 5.3 sails and smaller.