"An easy-to-ride and well balanced small boards that rips in more conditions than just waves!"
Last year in Punta San Carlos, Baja the Windsport test team was stoked to get to try 3 new '09 twin fin waveboards (Starboard Evil Twin 80, JP TwinserWave 84 and Mistral Twinzer 84)... so this year when Starboard contacted us about doing an early test on the 2010 Starboard Quad (named for having 4 fins) we were stoked. If two fins can make a board slashier on a wave face what will four fins do?
The Straight-line Ride: Finally, here is a technological advancement that extends beyond the pro level rider with performance that is truly accessible to the Average Joe. The Quad 76 planes up quickly and comfortably for it's small size getting plenty of drive from the 15 cm fore fins and smaller 12 cm rear fins, plus the 57.5 cm width helps as well. Once planing the ride can be best described as comfortable. It is definitely not a particularly fast board but there is enough horsepower to get airborne when used in bump-and-jump sailing conditions. The four fins provide plenty of grip for tracking back upwind after a satisfying wave ride to set you up for that next wave and this is a board that never suffers from spin-out... one fin may break free but not all four.
Lightwind Performance: When there are waves who wants to be stuck sitting on the beach just because the wind isn't quite planable? The Quad 76 will help get you out into the action as it is incredibly balanced and "slogable" for it's volume. There probably isn't an easier tacking sub-80 litre waveboard, especially considering its 228 cm length. It may sink up to your waist underwater but the balance from nose to tail will keep you upright until you get enough wind in the sail to come back to the surface.
Turns, Turns, Turns: Let's face facts, the Quad is classified as a waveboard so it better turn well, but the four fins grip better than single or twin fin boards and also creates incredible drive. In particular, tight pivoty turns that can overwhelm the grip of other boards will spit you out in a new direction with almost no loss of speed. The larger front fins (compared to the smaller aft fins) grip the board to the water keeping you carving no matter how aggressively you rail the board. More experienced riders who may want the tail slide for adding style to a move may find themselves fighting the boards grip, but for the Average Joe the confidence the Quad instills will greatly improve your wavesailing. Along with its directional ride, the Quad feels at home whether surfing sizable side-off waves or smaller on-shore river swell in places like Rio Vista or the Gorge.
Carving on the Columbia River:
The Quad Easily Planes through Jibes:
The Fins: To keep the weight of all these fins in check Starboard makes use of the smaller Mini-Tuttle box for the 2 larger 15 cm front fins. This is a fixed position box with a through-hull bolt for security. Currently fins this size may be hard to find, but since this the Mini-Tuttle is a box already in use by many kiteboard brands it should not be too hard for companies to provide after market replacements. The two smaller 12 cm aft fins are the surfboard standard FCS base, but the actual box is produced by Surf Finz and along with allowing for 8mm of moment fore and aft is much stronger as well. The rear fins in the Surf Finz box will wobble slightly when flexed but Starboard maintains that this is a strong box and we found no issues through our testing.
Straps and Pads: At last year's test Francisco Goya advised us to setup a board for best wavesailing performance with the straps as wide apart as possible to better mimic a true surfing stance...and it works insanely well. The Quad comes with a slightly wider stance width than most production waveboards to help do this. The max stance width for the Quad 76 is 24.5 inches whereas most board average around 23.5 to 24 inches. For better speed and jumping in onshore conditions a more conventional normal stance can be setup. The footstraps are more comfortable than in years past although still not as comfy as some aftermarket straps (but this is always a personal choice). Since the rear strap is firmly secured with 4 screws we recommend not using the “anti-twist” inserts as they raise the strap and detract from the straps comfort.